When parents struggle

March 13, 2019

When Parents Struggle

bohemian style wedding, husband and wife hugging at sunset, flower crown


it’s been a long week y’all. coming off of a week of papa being sick with strep, we took a trip to visit family in dallas for a day, and then to ace to celebrate our niece’s second birthday. it’s been taxing on us as a family, as individuals, but mostly as a couple. lots of miscommunication and different planning styles causing snippy comments and silent treatments. i have never been more frustrated and impatient with my husband as i was this past week. it went beyond the “normal” marital tension and sassy tones. i felt as though we weren’t on the same team and that we’d never be again, the end times y’all (talk about dramatic, but this is my pattern). being home and back in the swing of things has been good for us. a gentle reminder that maybe we’re doing ok or maybe i’m just feeling relieved and hopeful that help is near… daniel and i have our first phone session this friday with an IFS (internal family system) counselor/couch/therapist, whatever you want to call it. and i’m so excited about it!!

i’ve attended counseling sessions for my own personal healing for years now. i’ve been a part of an emotional healing community for the last 13 years and to say it’s changed my life for the better would be an understatement. i often wonder what chaotic life choices i’d be making if i hadn’t found a new way at such an early age. i’ve learned so many amazing skills that have helped me live a healthier and happier life, and have better and more meaningful relationships with the people in it. it’s helped me uncover a voice i didn’t know i had and reclaimed my ability to say no and take better care of myself. i will be forever grateful to my mom for seeing me and noticing what a hard time her “happy” 14 year old was having. growing up with an alcoholic (and absent) father, a distracted mother, and a work-aholic step-father, a girl’s bound to have some issues that show up when searching for romantic relationships… que my first couple of boyfriend choices.

effective communication skills was not something that was role modeled to me. i did however, master the art of passive aggressively getting my way, through relentless bulldozing, all the while telling myself i was being a strong independent woman. i honestly believe it’s a skill not many in this world have or are taught. dan and i had been at each other’s throats all week while hiding behind smiles and sticky-grabby fingers, distracted and pretending everything’s fine. it’s fine, it’s fine, everything is fine. our problems don’t disappear if we ignore them, they just get swept under the rug that is “life with children.” i think this is what happens in most marriages, life becomes all about the fun and excitement and contant-neediness of having kids that basically run your life, the unhealthy habits you form alongside your partner get swept under the rug and when the kids are no longer a constant, the dust settles and your left with this heaping mess under that rug. the struggles you had before/during kids that you hid under smiles and forgot about because of the messes, the fevers and runny noses, the mountains of laundry, work, and keeping everyone fed, they’re still there. i think that’s why so many divorces happen once the kids reach the end of high school and begin college. the little things, the dust that’s swept, they matter, they add up and can destroy your partnership.

it’s always seemed like therapy is viewed as this very taboo thing that only people with SERIOUS mental issues take part in. i don’t know if it’s pride or embarrassment or what, but people straight up refuse to go and avoid it as if it’s the plague or something. and if you do go, you don’t tell anyone because they might think you’re crazy. i’m glad to see that view seems to be shifting, some. not enough in my opinion. if you ask me, i think everyone should go to therapy! and be proud. we’re not taught how to deal with our emotions in useful ways. we’re told to brush it off, suck it up, tough it out, and wipe away those tears. god forbid you be scared, sad, angry, or anything other than happy. i think the world would be a better place if we had ways to properly deal with the pains and frustrations of life. coaching or counseling isn’t just for those on the path to destruction… it’s not something to only file in the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” category. it’s for healthy marriages and happy people. so that’s why i’m excited. dan and i aren’t actually in the “end times” we just have some unhealthy communication habits that i’m glad we’ve noticed and want to change. i want to set a better example for my boys. i want to know how to communicate about the hard things and we’re open to learning. i’ve spent a lot of time and money on furthering my education and improving my knowledge in photography. my health, my marriage and my family are so much more important than my business, so of course it makes total sense to invest the time and money in my relationship!

where do you struggle? what have you found to be most helpful?


split image: right, couple hugging in forest with ferns growing on large oak tree surrounding them. right, black & white, parents embracing---maternity shot. when parents struggle, marital issues, married with children, real life