Communication is Key
"Communication is key" these are the first pieces of advice I got after telling my sister-in-law, Ashley, we were pregnant. She was expecting her second little girl, Finley, and we found out we were due 5 short weeks behind them with R. We had just picked her and their oldest, Avery, up from the airport after a Disney World trip when we told her the news. She was the first family member to find out, and is still our biggest parenting mentor and one of my favorite friends - but I will never forget the tone of her voice when she told me that if we didn't communicate, this would not be easy.
For the past year and a half I restate these 3 words weekly.
Communication is key.
Tyler and I are very lucky in the sense that we are both laid back, easy going people. We are also lucky that I am a morning person, and Tyler is a night owl, this being said...the day we came home from the hospital with baby R, we created a plan. I would go to bed around 9pm, Tyler would stay up until midnight and would feed R before he went to bed, she would usually wake up around 4am and this is when I would get up and feed her and lay her back down.
Tyler would get up with her before work, and that was it.
The night resulted in 1 wake up for me. Easy. It was our master plan.
This plan was perfect, until Riley wasn't okay with that routine any longer. She would wake up and want to play, verse sleep. She would wake up and scream for no good reason (because, that's what babies do.)
This ended in multiple nights, and early mornings, of strong nudges to the arm and "she's crying and she wants you" grumbles while attempting to sleep through the baby wails. We would argue who's job was harder - I stayed home and nannied another baby all day (2 infants) and he got to "escape to a room full of Accountants all day" - It was definitely not always rainbows and butterflies - but compromise (read: communication) that moves us along. (big s/o to you, Maroon 5)
I had to force communication out of Tyler sometimes (and still do) - but one thing that totally has helped my marriage and the communication during parenthood is reading The Five Love Languages I finally found that my Love Language is Words of Affirmation.
Tyler knows, if he gives me a few uplifting, positive words - I exceed all expectations. I am happy, positive, the house is usually cleaner, I am usually putting more work into my parenting and my business soars - (read: if you hit me with negative words and shoot me down, I crumble.)
Tyler's love language is Physical Touch. If I rub his head, hold his hand, scratch his back, hug him - he is his best self. Now, if I don't do these things, because life is busy and sometimes I need to remind myself that that is how to bring him up, he crumbles.
Communication is huge in all aspects, still.
We are both extroverted introverts. I am obviously much more extroverted - but in order for us both to "recharge" we have to be away from people.
That being said, If we are invited to do something, we discuss it first....this leads to less stress during the actual event.
Sometimes I don't want to go to the gym, and Tyler doesn't always want to attend a playdate..when we communicate these things - we both have higher expectations for what is to come.
Sounds simple, right?
I am so incredibly stubborn sometimes, that it is sometimes way harder to communicate than it seems (and I know this isn't just me...) but sometimes I have to have Tyler give me permission to communicate (hence:the stubborn in me) before actually doing so.
Tyler and I rarely fight, but we are always with one another - which usually ends in some tension. (i.e: I won't pick up my avocado peel from the counter and he won't turn off his xbox when I'm trying to get out the door..) - sometimes I shut down and become quiet...waiting for him to give me the permission to communicate - "what's wrong??" <--- that is all I need sometimes.
Tyler is different, he needs 5 minutes to himself and then he regroups and is totally fine (this is usually the case after his team loses during whatever season of sports is on.)
Then comes communication while parenting.
Do we smack her on the hand when she touches something we have told her not to touch, or do we send her to time out?
Do we give her cow's milk or almond milk?
She's screaming but desperately needs a nap - do we get her out of bed or leave her until she stops fighting it?
These are all things we have to communicate. Parenting is SO HARD sometimes, the act of simple communication is so easy but can be so tough.
You can be in the same relationship and can see two totally different ways, this is why communicating is so important.
So go on with ya bad self - and remember that the next time you are stuck. Talk it out. Communicate.