You may have seen my post yesterday – a snapshot of Phil and I in front of our friends’ very impressive pizza oven. The picture inspired feelings of nostalgia and connection between us and got me thinking about not only the digital footprint of our relationship but also the living memory footprint, as seen through the eyes of our children.
My experience as a child growing up with a single parent, has – in a way – given me a clear understanding of what I valued in relationships around me. What I yearned for, and what I took from those relationships.
Phil and I have done the work to become the united front we show to the world. Don’t get me wrong – we have our moments. We have our moods, our arguments and our points of contention – some of which I choose to share with my audience (sorry not sorry Phil). Because let’s be honest – we all have little irks and quirks that grind each other’s gears but at the end of the day – Phil and I are a team. A partnership, with three beautiful babies born (and created) with love. We all go through ebbs and flows in relationships that are affected by outside AND inside components; health, trauma, hormones, clashing schedules, and general parenting life but we always come through stronger, because of our shared family values.
Communication + Honesty: Honestly!
I guess something that keeps this team mentality together is how we own our shit. I KNOW when I’m being a moody b#*%h and Phil knows when he has done something that has upset me…because you bet I will let him know! Nobody is perfect and married life is hard, add three kids into the mix and it’s #evenharder. We have always been able to be upfront and honest with each other, which is so, SO important and necessary to grow together, and flow together. Living life with so much exposure has tested the thickness of our skin (hi trolls! I see you…), but we are stronger than the monotonous rumour mill.
This is a huge one. We are a team, but we are also individuals with different careers and interests. We make family decisions together, but don’t squash each other’s dreams or needs in the process. Phil knows I am incredibly invested in my friends, in my followers, my self-care and my skills and I in turn, honor his videography passions, health and fitness focus and time with his mates. Does that mean that I have to be as invested in fitness? Nope. Ya girl loves a matching active wear ‘fit, but if I’m honest there’s a solid chance I’m going to be smashing a Big Mac (whilst lookin’ cute).
PDA’s all DAY.
I don’t want my kids to be stingy when it comes to handing out/showing love. Shout that shit from the mountaintops! Phil and I make sure to show affection and adoration of each other in front of the kids. Seeing parents in love is such a rarity in this day and age and Phil is a handsy guy – one who is not afraid of grabbing a sneaky handful with a shit-eating grin on his face.
Kindness is Key
As parents with three kids under 6 – there’s gonna be fights. There’s gonna be yelling, there’s gonna be not-so-gentle full-body slams and there’s GONNA BE TEARS. It’s inevitable – a rite of passage as a parent that we will have to step in and call a time-out when the kids (often irrational) fighting hits a peak. But it’s how we turn these heightened emotions into a teaching opportunity that will resonate with them and keep them accountable. It’s so important that we teach them that these scary, big emotions are totally ok, and what to do with them when they become too big for their little bodies. Mama has days where she cries because she feels sad for no apparent reason, but I always tell them if they see me upset, that I might need a hug or that I am feeling not-so-great. The lesson? To be kind, always. Particularly with Levi being at school now, it’s so important that he learns empathy and awareness of emotions, naming them and feeling safe when he feels them himself.
Our kids are absolute sponges. They hear, see and feel it all. Having non-negotiable values and behaviors as their parents is an effortless way to set them up for success when they are formulating their own values and morals as they grow.
What are some values you put at the top of your list as parents?