Mon, 6 March 2023
Having a child is one of the coolest, most meaningful experiences a human being can have. It’s also a mind-blowingly huge responsibility. How can you decide if you want to become a parent? And if that is your heart’s desire, how can you know when you’re ready for a baby?
As a longtime marriage and family therapist, I know that many individuals and couples can remain stuck at this particular crossroads for years. It’s one thing to want a baby, but getting all of the pieces in order to make that dream a reality can be complicated. Not to mention all of the uncertainty and anxiety you may feel about this decision if you’re not sure whether you want kids (but you hear the ticking of the biological clock regardless).
If you are contemplating parenthood in the near future, this episode of the podcast will help you find clarity about your next steps. It’s a conversation between myself and my fellow Growing Self marriage counselor Brittany S., M.A., LMFT. Brittany has coached and counseled many parents and prospective parents along the journey of building a family, and today she’s sharing her guidance with you.
I hope you’ll join us.
Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby
Direct download: Am_I_Ready_For_a_Baby.mp3
Category:parenting, marriage -- posted at: 4:00pm MDT
Mon, 28 November 2022
What hopes and dreams do you have for your kids?
Do you want them to do well in school? Have good friends who love and support them? Build a successful career doing what they love? Find a healthy, loving relationship some day and start a family of their own?
As both a marriage and family therapist and a parent myself, I can tell you that these are the dreams that most parents, including myself, have for their children. And that there’s one skill that’s essential for making all of these dreams and many others a reality: empathy.
Empathy is the ability to understand another person’s emotional experience, and to connect with it from a compassionate place. Empathetic people have healthier relationships, a wider circle of support, stronger self-esteem, and greater success in every area of life. Fortunately, we all have the power to help our kids hone their empathy, and this episode of the podcast will help you do that.
My guest is Georgi B., a marriage counselor and parent coach on our team at Growing Self. Georgi is sharing some valuable parenting tips on teaching empathy to kids. You won’t want to miss this conversation — this topic is so important, and it goes so much deeper than you think!
I hope you’ll join us.
Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby
Direct download: Empathetic_Children.mp3
Category:parenting, marriage -- posted at: 3:45pm MDT
Mon, 31 January 2022
Do you ever look at your teen and wonder, who is this person? Your child is on the path to adulthood, and they are bound to do some confounding things along the way. If you’re parenting a teen, this episode of the podcast is for you. We’re talking about keeping your bond with your child strong, while being the parent your teen needs.
Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby
Direct download: Parenting_Teens.mp3
Category:parenting, marriage -- posted at: 4:25pm MDT
Mon, 6 June 2016
Becoming a Family: The Greatest Adventure of All
Nothing can quite prepare you for the realities of parenthood. Life with babies and small children is, for most couples, a total shock to the system. As joyful and meaningful as this stage of life is, it can be very difficult. If you aren't thoughtful and intentional about what you're doing, parenthood can quickly become a chaotic, frustrating experience -- and take a huge toll on your marriage.
As a marriage counselor, I'm always thrilled when smart, proactive couples show up for premarital counseling. My only wish is that more would show up for "pre-baby counseling." Because having a baby is a much bigger deal, emotionally and relationally, than getting hitched. Unfortunately, there is no such thing. Do a quick google search and about the only thing you find about "preparing for a baby" has to do with fitness, nutrition, and the ocean of baby-gear that you could acquire.
Having kids changes everything, but it's hard to imagine what those changes will be until you actually do it. Most couples experience challenges that never occurred to them were even possible, while they were spending leisurely days shopping for baby furniture and talking about how much fun family fishing trips will be. (Or were consumed with riding the rollercoaster of protracted infertility).
From the first day that little bundle is home, they are both faced with needing to make major changes around everything from they way they communicate, to expectations about what should be happening, to a higher need for teamwork, to establishing new systems so everything runs smoothly, to what role they each take with each other and as parents. Sprinkle in some anxiety, post part depression, sleep deprivation, no game plan, and a screaming baby and it can get tense pretty fast.
It's a major life transition, and a lot to deal with. And if you just let it go, and hope for the best it's quite possible to become a statistical average and not enjoy the experience that that much. Research on marital satisfaction over the family life cycle has shown that there is a trend towards lower enjoyment of married life after having kids.
Here's the depressing graph: www.growingself.com/parenting-without-losing-your-mind-yourself-or-your-marriage
Parenting Together CAN Be Joyful
That graph does not have to be YOUR reality. You are not a statistical average. You are a person with free will, choices, and you're already taking control over the situation by educating yourself. You get to be in charge of your life, and your family experience.
I'm here as a wife, mom, and marriage and family therapist to tell you that life with kids doesn't have to be difficult, and it does not need to negatively impact your marriage. In fact, if you put even half as much time into figuring out your post-baby game plan (and your own personal growth opportunities) as you do into childbirth preparation classes you can avoid many of the most common pitfalls of new parents.
Embracing the opportunities to grow that this phase of life offers will expand you. Parenthood is truly a vehicle to personal evolution. Even more importantly, when you intentionally grow skills in a few key areas you can cultivate a stronger marriage than you had pre-baby: You can have better communication, stronger agreement, more teamwork, and more fun than ever before. Except that it can be even more meaningful, important, and love drenched -- and probably messier -- that you ever imagined.
On this edition of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast I'm going to be sharing some tips about where to where to start if you want to have a peaceful home, a strong marriage, great communication, easy kids, be on the same page with your partner, and have a shared vision for your family that is rooted in your core values.
All the best,
Direct download: Parenting_Without_Losing_Your_Mind_or_Your_Marriage_-_6616_1.25_PM.mp3
Category:parenting, marriage -- posted at: 1:32pm MDT