Relationships within a family is a tricky thing.
Especially if it’s loaded with parenting.
For a first look, it seems to be pretty easy: an equal partnership between the spouses (“co-workers”) and parents guiding their children (kind of “leader – subordinate”).
However, as time passes by, children are growing, both types of relationships need to adjust to changes occurring.
First of all, we all change over time, at least a bit. So, our partner likely needs to adjust to us, just as we need to change to fit them. Also, the challenges as a team of co-workers in parenting we face, well, let’s say, might get more unpredictable as our children grow into their teenage years. It means that our usual problem-solving methods might not work anymore, i.e. we need to change.
Secondly, as our children grow, we try to give them more choices to make and through this, they can learn to make decisions and bear consequences.
We must never forget,
the day will come when they leave to have their own life, even their own family.
We cannot stay forever beside them and make all the decisions for them like when they were toddlers. We should not even think of that. The best we can do is to nurture them up to be responsible adults. And then let them go. Although they are forever in our hearts, only temporary guests in our home. Even if temporary, in this case, means two decades 😊.
Thirdly, our relationship with our parents is changing. First, we left their home. Whether they let us go or still cling to us, we need to find our place. Having a spouse likely challenges the connection with our parents. Now there is another person in our lives we listen to. Some parents can get pretty upset about losing control over their children’s lives. Then, when our children are born, our parents become grandparents. And it can open up another Pandora’s box over parenting (ours vs theirs and who knows it better), boundaries (they’re first and foremost are OUR children, and, by the way, our parents’ grandchildren), and a lot of other unexpected issues. Not every grandparent is an angel. Unfortunately, some would love to control our family.
Drawing that firm line in the sand can be a real emotional struggle for us. Those couples who stick together in it, I believe, are more likely to succeed. And it is another challenge to their relationship as a couple.
How does your “co-worker team in parenting” cope with it?
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