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13 Feb How can I share the emotional load with my partner?
There’s almost always one parent who thinks of or takes care of more household and parenting matters than the other. Here’s how you can learn to share the challenges and improve your parenting relationship.
Sharing parenting responsibilities involves three things – good communication, all parties not taking things personally and letting go of control. These principles apply whether you’re separated or still in a relationship with the other parent. I am not sure where you’re feeling stuck, but managing children’s lives involves creating a new dialogue and way of relating.
The tricky thing about parenting is that we all fall back to our parenting default mode and, from this place, carve a new way of parenting – or not. This is where most families become stuck. Most parents want to hang onto the good bits of parenting they received and re-mould the more unhelpful bits, which can leave parents in different places with different values and desires for how they wish to carry out the practicalities of parenting.
So, in terms of sharing the emotional load, it’s helpful when both parties reduce expectations. I’ve met many parents who won’t share the emotional load because their partner “doesn’t do things as well”, misses details, and the big one, “won’t do it properly”. But here’s the thing – each child needs to form a relationship with their parents, and that’s between them.
So how to share the emotional load? Talk about why you do the things you do, why they are important to you and then listen to the other parent’s opinion too – somewhere in between is your middle ground. Keep talking, keep your views/instructions clear and reflect on why it’s hard for you to let go of control because this will give you all the answers you need.
If anything in this blog resonates with you and you’d like support to create change, you’re welcome to book a free call with Bethan here to explore your support options. Make sure you download your free 5 Steps to Calmer Parenting to help develop new coping skills for what’s hard. If you’re looking for immediate parenting support, you can start your free 7 day trial in the Calm Parenting Club, my online parenting community.