Any other mothers out there who don't mind admitting the relationship-parenting combo is bloody hard work?
Research into couples' well-being shows a significant drop during the child-rearing years (which doesn't rise again until the kids leave home 😱).
In many ways this is unsurprising. Having children places a multitude of pressures on a couple, and if that couple were very different in their approach to life's challenges before kids came along it may not take long for the cracks to show.
We've experienced this since having our son, and with an imminent new arrival I'd be lying if I said I wasn't worried about the equilibrium being rocked further.
But here's what I've come to realise:
1. So long as you keep the lines of communication open, you'll work through it. Stonewalling is the most damaging thing you can do when things aren't going well. Talk to one another and you'll find a path through your issues.
2. Be kind. Always. Even when you're cross and feel misunderstood. ESPECIALLY when you're cross and feel misunderstood. Remember nobody's perfect. We are all doing the best we can, with imperfect qualities, in an imperfect world. Before picking a fight try to acknowledge and accept this.
3. If you take some time to remind yourself of all the qualities that you love in your partner before initiating a sensitive conversation it can help you to approach the conversation better.
4. Take a deep breath and count to ten before tackling an issue with your partner that is emotive. Think about the best way to phrase what you want to say that will minimise confrontation and get the best result. Nobody responds well when they feel defensive.
5. Take a walk. Ideally in nature. When things are tense in our household it's the first thing we do. It's way harder to be cross with someone when you're walking through a beautiful woodland, and walking side by side is a less antagonistic way to have a sensitive conversation.
Have a peaceful Sunday folks.