I’ve been talking a lot recently about who is supporting mum. I wanted to focus on dads and partners and the importance of dads/partners considering who is supporting them?
Last week we had a group EFT session in Overcome the Overload on partners and relationships and how you feel in those relationships? One of the common themes that came up was the battle of who has the hardest job. And that is certainly something that I am personally very familiar with and I am 100% sure at least 80% of you reading this will also be familiar with that battle about who has the hardest job.
When we have that resentment towards our partners, it can creates a toxic and unhealthy environment for parenting. One of the things that certainly has become much clearer to me over the years is that I do resent my partner for going out to work and not being the one at home, but he’s certainly does not want to be the one shouldering all his responsibility either. Neither of us expected it to be like this.
When I’ve started realise it’s resentment at the situation that we’re in rather than directly at him, because that’s something that has developed from society and unconsciously rather than on purpose, that life has become so much easier. I’ve found removing the resentment from him and understanding that it’s much more just to be the way that we’re set up in terms of in society helps us to be kinder and nicer to each other.
That was a key theme last week in our group EFT session is that everyone wanted to experience more kindness and compassion. And what we were discussing was when we start being nicer and being much more compassionate that what we get this mirrored back to us.
Most of the time, when your partner comes in and you’ve been at home with the baby or kids and you’re snappy, short tempered, having an emotional outburst, probably what will happen is the drawbridge goes up and it becomes an intense situation. When we start working in a much more compassionate way and realising that it’s not the fault of our partner (which is easier said than done!) and that I’m annoyed at the situation life become a lot easier.
This does not mean that anyone should not expect to get their needs met or that we should become 1950s housewives with our partner’s dinner ready and waiting for them. What it does mean is some appreciation that we are both struggling with our various demands and that instead of working out who has it hardest, is come together to work out how to make it easier for each other as a unit. This is easier when you come from a place of compassion rather than a place of resentment.
We have to appreciate that neither of us can fully appreciate the other person’s experience and situation because we aren’t experiencing that. Nor are any of us mind readers. We need to be much more accepting that as much as we’re doing our best and be compassionate towards ourselves, we also have to be much more compassionate towards understanding that they’re doing their best to.
I know that not all dads and partners are exactly the same, but I know that the vast majority of of them are absolutely and that’s what they are doing their best.
When I went to counselling many years ago after PND and when I turned up to the counsellor, one of the topics was my partner and all the things that he had done wrong and all the ways that he wasn’t supporting me. With the help of my counsellor, I started to realise was as much as I was/had been struggling, he was also really struggling too – something I just hadn’t considered. When I start to understand that and accept that and work with that, then everything became so much easier in our relationship. Rather than being at loggerheads we started trying to work together about coming up with solutions.
One of the things that I’ve been realising more and more since I’ve been pregnant and had my fourth son is my husband and how he has been doing a lot of the work. He’s absolutely amazing. He’s literally looked after me, got up most days and organised the kids so I can sleep and rest, helped during the nights. But what I feel is who is there to look after him?
As much as I think that we need to look after mums (and I 100% believe that – I talk about this all the time). I also think society isn’t geared up to looking after our dads and partners. I think if we had a much a much better attitude towards that, we would see that rippling effect with dads/partners too. The ripple effect I always talk about is if mums are well looked after, then they can support their babies, they can support their families, they can support the partners, they can support the community and society. It’s exactly the same with dads and partners. If we can support our dads/partners much better and they feel much better supported then they can also support their partners, they can support their families, they can support the communities, societies, etc too. Both people need support
If you’d like support to help with how you feel in your relationship with your partner, then you might be interested to join the Overcome the Overload community when it re-opens, or book in for an EFT session or Coaching session. If you’re pregnant, I run Preparing for Parenting sessions.
Much love, Tricia xx