Updated on January 11, 2016
The topic of having a baby is a life changing one. In most couples one person tends to have the desire first. This can often create a state of apprehension between feeling the desire and expressing it to your partner. There may be concerns of whether your partner is ready to have a baby, are you both prepared as a couple to bring a child into the world, and how will you do it in the face of the challenges that may lie ahead. So how do you go about breaking the ice? It all comes down to communication – authentic communication.
I will guide you through the 5 steps to healthy communication and the supporting elements of expressing your needs and desires, receiving support and letting go of expectations.
5 steps to successful communication:
1. Recognising how you feel and honouring that as your truth.
When we really tune into what we are feeling we have a better understanding of who we are and what we want.
2. Taking full responsibility and ownership of your feelings.
When we own our feelings we can communicate without blame or judgment. When we take responsibility for our feelings and express our needs and desires from that place, we speak in a way that can be heard by our partner.
3. Understanding the other person’s point of view.
By looking at the situation from our partners eyes we gain a broader perspective which supports us in speaking about the subject not just from what “I want” but “what will work for us”.
This one might seem obvious but we have to be willing to listen to the other person if we too want to be heard. Communicating comes from the word communion which is about sharing and part of sharing is both giving and receiving.
5. Seeing the greater picture.
Ultimately for the health, well-being and success of having a family both partners have to be ready and supportive as it will be a joint venture. Seeing the greater picture, from the perspective of the entire family, (even before you have had the baby) is essential because you will be entering a world of “we” instead of “me”.
Why is communication so important?
If you can start this journey with pure honesty and openness between you both, you will be creating an amazing foundation for the future you are creating. It will not only help you as partners but as parents to your children. Raising a child these days when there is no longer a norm can be challenging and the better we know how to communicate the easier it will be to move and live through the challenges that may arise.
Expressing your needs and desires:
Once the platform for healthy communication has been created you can express and share your individual needs and desires. Sharing your needs with your partner is so important because when we don’t express our needs, we build resentment. Remember to come from your own experience, sharing your needs and what support for those needs would look like. Then ask your partner what their needs are and how they would feel supported. From there you can speak back and forth and discover where you can meet each other in the middle. I call it meeting at the table (metaphorically speaking), where both of you pull up a chair, share and develop a way in which both of your needs can be met.
Now moving onto your desires. It’s wonderful to share our dreams and desires with our partner. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut in relationship, and in life, and reconnecting to what makes us feel happy and fulfilled enlivens the relationship with our partner and ourselves. Share your vision and keep on reinventing it together, remembering that life is what you create and make of it.
We would all love to believe that our partner will always know exactly how we are feeling, what we need and how to give us the support we wish for. Unfortunately we can’t always know. It might seem unglamorous to have to ask for support, or it may even feel awkward if you are not used to asking for it, but there is a great sense of empowerment and intimacy when we can kindly ask for what we would like to receive from our partner. By asking we are both expressing what we need, and giving our partner the opportunity to feel that they can give us what they now know we would really appreciate. This is the spirit of giving and generosity and in turn we can fully receive knowing we’ve asked for it rather than demanded it.
Letting go of expectations:
This can be a challenging one but every time you have an expectation you are setting yourself up for potential disappointment. When we communicate what we think and feel without the expectation of a particular response, we give ourselves the opportunity to remain open and maybe even be pleasantly surprised to hear what the answer may be.
I invite you take the above, make it your own and build a beautiful relationship and family based on trust, communication and a shared vision.