Relationships can be complicated at the best of times. Add in exhaustion, heightened emotions and adjusting to a new baby in the house and your primary relationship is going to face challenges.
- Who wakes up at night with the baby?
- Who makes dinner, does laundry, feeds the baby?
- How do you each still have time for personal interests and self care?
There is a lot to negotiate and less time available.
One thing to ask yourself is if there is a hot potatoe.
Remember the children’s game of passing an object quickly, pretending it was hot and not wanting to be the one left with it? Challenges in our relationships can be similar.
When you are triggered there is a strong emotional response. Often it is initially a feeling of anger or sadness. The feeling can feel big and intolerable particularly when it is activating past, unresolved wounds. Our response is to pass this on to the one we believe inflicted this pain upon us.
We blame. We point fingers. We pass the hot potatoe.
Because feelings can be uncomfortable. It feels like it’s too much to handle ourselves. It feels easier to blame someone else for our upset. This keeps the problem outside of ourselves.
Instead, this is an opportunity to Reflect.
Hold your own hot potatoe, even if it feels like it’s burning you and check in with yourself.
- What are you feeling?
- Have you felt like this before?
- What might this be triggering from your past?
- What are you believing about yourself when this feeling is activated?
It is our responsibility to notice and own what is ours. Although it can feel uncomfortable, this is where the power lies. It is where new insights are revealed and where opportunities arise to make healthy changes.
There is no denying that we are impacted by the actions of others. We must also remember our own impact and our own responsibility.
What do we ultimately want in our relationships? To be heard and understood? To connect? What if our challenges were an opportunity to achieve this and so much more?
Upon self reflection we can then reach a more vulnerable place within ourselves and allow this to be the place we communicate from with our partner.
Keep your own hot potatoe. Taste it. Smell it. Evaluate it. Get to know it well, really well.
It’s worth it.