Inspiration From a Family ReWriting Their Story
My clients inspire me all the time as they choose transformation. I get the honor of watching them walk through the process and celebration of the beautiful outcome that emerges.
As we continue to celebrate Father’s, I want to share with you one such story of a husband and a wife that I get to coach individually. (They have given me permission to share their story and I have changed their names.)
This story actually begins with the mother. As Sue began Transformational Coaching with me, she had a constant complaint that she felt like a single mother. Sue did NOT see it as a complaint but rather as expressing her reality.
As we began to dig into that complaint, she got curious about what she was contributing to her husband John’s lack of involvement in parenting their son, Junior. In time, she began to realize that she was contributing a lot to the lack of relationship between John and John.
Up until that point, she had made up the story that raising Junior was all up to her because John wasn’t interested. The more she told herself that the more she reinforced that her story was right.
Yet, she longed for John to have an active role in loving Junior and growing him into the man she knew in her heart he was destined to be.
As her unhappiness with her current reality grew, she decided to try something new. That something new began with honesty. She owned that up until that point she hadn’t wanted to ask John for help with Junior because he might have a different opinion as to what helping looked like. She liked the control that not asking for help gave her. But, it was costing her the desires of her heart and what she knew Junior needed.
Once she got clear about what she was gaining from not asking for help as well as what it was costing her, she began to get curious about what she wanted and needed. She realized she had been stuffing down her own wants and needs since Junior was born.
She missed sleeping in the mornings. She missed alone time. She had made up that those wants and needs were something of the past and she was being selfish to consider that she still wanted and needed them, but she had been resentful of John because since Junior had come into their lives, he still got to sleep in and go out with his buddies.
As Sue gradually got clear about her contribution and where she hadn’t been asking for what she wanted and needed, the perfect opportunity to rewrite her story emerged.
Some changes occurred with her work situation and she was able to cut her work days down to three days a week. At the same time, Junior needed some changes with his daycare situation.
As Sue talked with John, he made it clear that he wanted and needed Junior to go to daycare 5 days a week. However, Sue only wanted him to go to daycare the 3 days a week that she was going to the office. As they got clear about what was underneath each other’s desires, Sue realized that she wanted to use the extra two days a week to step into her desires to sleep in and have some alone time. She felt that if Junior went to daycare 5 days a week she would feel pressured that she needed to work all 5 days as well. However, John explained that that isn’t what he was asking for and since Sue wanted a day to sleep in and have alone time, he would take Junior to daycare once a week. They agreed to step into this and got clear about what it would look like.
As the weeks began to unfold, John began having a constant complaint about keeping his commitment. He would mention that things came up at work or his stress was too much and he needed Sue to take Junior to daycare on the day that he had committed to take him.
Sue stood by what she wanted and needed and trusted John to keep his commitment. She didn’t allow his complaint to move her to take over what she knew everyone in the family needed.
As John stepped into this weekly opportunity not only to take Junior to daycare but to get him up, feed him, and dress him, so that Sue could sleep in on that morning, a relationship between John and Junior began to emerge. In our coaching calls, he began to get honest and own what was uncomfortable for him allowing us to get curious about what was underneath it. John was experiencing something new, and I loved hearing his excitement grow as he would share stories of the funny little things that Junior would do during his time with him.
Taking his son to daycare once a week turned into him wanting to spend more time with Junior everyday. Last week he told me how he got home from work late one night and Junior was already in bed. He needed to give him a hug and a kiss and so he went in and Junior stood up and hugged and kissed him and then Junior went right back to bed.
They are bonding, laughing and loving each other! This is new for both of them and their joy is running over.
The complaint of being a single mom is in the past for Sue and her joy overflows as she allows herself to experience what she wants and needs and allows her husband to care for and parent their son in his own unique style which isn’t bad, broken, or wrong, but different than Sue’s.
A husband and wife are partnering together to love their son.
A new story is being written because a mom started owning that the story she was writing with her constant complaint was not the story she wanted to live any longer.
A husband began owning his own fear about being a father and knowing how to care for his son. As he began to honor his wife and her needs, he began spending time with his son and stepping into the unknown about how to change a diaper, feed a two year old, and dress him. Junior is still alive and thriving despite the high-chair being a bit messier and Junior arriving to daycare with his pants on backwards once or twice.
A father, a mother, and a son’s deepest desires of connection and love are emerging and it is a Beautiful Outcome.
What inspires you about this story? I would love for you to share in the comments below.