Sunday, January 20, 2013

Goal 4: Relationships

My 4th realm of mindfulness is in relationships.

This is pretty broad but I am going to narrow it down to
1. spouse
2. friends
3. family

(Ben got his own mindfulnes post)

1. Spouse:
They always say that marriages strain the most after the birth of a baby. And I can see why/how. All of the attention goes into baby, whereas it used to go into each other. Date nights or the ability to just get up and go on an adventure togther is significantly limited. Your partner wants your attention, but someone else NEEDS it.
However I think that being the best parents we can be includes being the best team that we can be. And I want to be that and improve in that. How can I be mindful of my time and relationship with my husband. ( I am open for suggestions)
A few ideas: 
  • again, limit my screen/online time to after hours if possible
  • Just "be". Be together. enjoy. sit side by side on the couch.
  • be intentional in my interactions. say "hi, how was your day" when he gets home, make it a positive interaction vs "i had to___ " or "you didn't ____" or other negative nonsense
  • try and get out and do more everyday stuff together. shopping, errands. Maybe even "gasp" a date night. we have really sucked at date night type activities in the past almost year.
2. Friends:
One of last years goals was to make new friends. I have come to the realization that I am not a "lots of friends" type of a person. More quality than quantity. And I have been floundering and the quality part lately, which is why I have felt rather disconected and isolated. And I have learned that just "being a parent" is not enough to go on to meeting people and making friends.
I have a couple of people close by who I would like to be more intentional about strengthening those friendships. Talking, walking, listening, little outings. There have been a few outings in the past few weeks that have just been lovely.
I have also joined this MOPS group. Yes, parents, but also hopefully some common interests in spirituality. Lets hope so.

3. Family:
Now that I have an expanding family, I am beginning to value family more, in all of its insane glory. Family isn't perfect, but it is important. Roots, connectedness, shared stories, genetics, etc. I want Ben to be a part of that.
I very much want to be more intentional about connecting with family, having time, energy having Ben know his family and seeing them.
With my family its a lot of webcam calls, which are always weird for me, but I can deal with that. I mainly put the camera on Ben so they can watch his antics and I talk off screen. And sending pictures via phone or emails. I need to do that more. Family who are reading this, feel free to remind/harrass me to do so if I am slacking. I will continue to be mindful of reminding my younger sister that she needs to move north!
And just an hour and 20 north are lots of my in-laws and Bens aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents. I need to take advantage of those resources more and visit. I want Ben to KNOW them and have good memories and connections. And well, I just like them.

A lot of this is will be me initiating and doing, verses wishing what everyone else would do in relationships. I cannot expect anyone else to mind read or assume. It will force me out of my comfort zone in making people feel like they are wanted/needed/important/liked, which I am not so good at. I usually like to have a wall of apathy so if it seems I don't care, then I can't get hurt.

And what do you think I tell my clients about this kind of thing?

Yes therapist, take your own advice!

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