When two becomes three
Family dynamics impact us throughout our lives. A time when we often become hyper aware of it is when our immediate family has a new addition.
We find ourselves needing to learn how to parent as individuals and as a team. With our first child in particular we are learning on the job, regardless of how many books, online sites and blogs we read, our family will be unique.
Within this growing family are two people with their own perspective on how to bring up their baby. The primary carer spends the majority of time at home and is therefore able to implement what feels right to them. The partner, who is not there day to day in the same way, can feel left out and is expected to slot back into family life with ease. The partner can be punished for being absent, despite often working to support the family during maternity/paternity leave. It is important to acknowledge both jobs are in their own way tough, neither better nor worse than the other, just different.
Having a baby can either bring us together or push us apart. Supporting each other through clear communication is key. Using ‘I statements’ can help with this. For many first-time mothers’ it is important they are seen and heard. Acknowledging them by saying, “I can see you have had a tough day, what do you need?” can reassure that the hard stuff is not being missed, and in turn neither are they. It is not about fixing but accepting where we are and listening to what the other needs.
Within my practice I work in a variety of ways to empower my clients to communicate authentically.
Written for Darling Magazine Wimbledon, September - November 2019 edition