3 skills to grow while being a parent with a time crunch.

I’m pulling my hair sitting outside of my house. “How can I fix this!? I can’t. There’s nothing I can do. UGH!!” I stand up, walked back into my house where my pregnant girlfriend is. “I don’t know what to do.” I said under toned with frustration. Our arguing was more consistent than ever. I didn't know how to fix it. I hadn’t an idea at the time how our relationship was going to work.

So I listened. I listened to her fears, to what she said. Also to what she didn’t say. I listened to her think out loud and repeated it back to her until we both understood. Turns out, trying to fix it was part of the problem. As Einstein said, "We can not solve our problems with the same thinking that created them." 

New relationships and seasons of life have challenged my growth like a champions road to the Super Bowl. I’ve wanted to quit. I had no idea how it was ever going to work. It’s taken a lot of listening and using tools I’ve learned while pursuing to "master thy self." From the challenges of destructive drug addictions into the timely trials of parenthood there are three skills I’ve used to keep growing as my time gets more and more crunched.

Balance is the first and most important skill I’ve used. This was my girlfriends biggest worry. That I’d be a workaholic and choose work over our family. I told her that I believe we make time for those things which we deem most important. I started practicing self awareness assessments on a regular basis help me keep sure my focus doesn’t deteriorate other important areas of my life. I break mine down in 3 main divisions. Body, mind, and spirit. A total of 12 combined areas of focus. Click here if you’d like to check it out for your personal reflection.

To maintain this balance I place a high value on time. When we feel there aren’t enough hours in the day we better make sure the time we use is quality. Having total presence in each task or conversation isn’t a skill which can be mastered in a week. It takes a long time focused and development. If I only have one hour a day with my girlfriend it needs to be high-quality for both of us. We know what quality means to each other. Me, I just want to hold her and zone out and maybe watch a show. She wants to talk. We work together to maximize this valuable time.

Structure ties all of this together. I realized this when I was thinking about work while trying to enjoy my time with my family. When I plan my days and weeks out it allows me to have confidence and balance in my life so I can be present with others. I don’t need to think about work when I need to spend quality time with my family. Also the quality time I need to spend with myself, reading and writing, can be structured 20 minutes into every day. Plan the day before you start it! Click here to check out my daily structure template.

Practicing balance, valuing time, and applying structure allows me to take care of me, wholly. Without these three my frustration levels elevate in my relationships, or passions start to crumble. For balance use a self-assessment. For quality time practice presence. For structure, plan every day before you start. This will keep us ascending toward the highest levels constantly despite the many challenges and trials that come our way.

Oh and back to finish the story from the beginning. We didn't just work it out then and there. We decided to go try marriage counseling. Which I was ecstatic for. I mean what isn't to be excited for right? We got to learn more about ourselves, and each other. We got to learn more about communication skills, which will enhance all relationships. The conversations that once made me want to pull my hair out have become constructive learning opportunities for growth which has made our relationship more intimate. This caused the question, "I wonder how many arguments can be avoided, and relationships developed just from trying to understand the other, before trying to be understood?"   

The BA2L is real,
Be Addicted to Life.

Airek

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