The Pressures of Environment
Can you remember what life was like before the Corona Virus changed our entire family life structure? Perhaps like so many, you find yourself pining for an idyllic picture of community and harmony. What we may be forgetting is that even before we were given shelter-in-place orders and found ourselves surrounded only with immediate members of our household, we often found ourselves isolated in small family units with limited social and community support to make us feel connected and truly seen by others.
Two podcasts that explore the challenges inherent in partnership and parenting in our modern world inspired this piece. “Don’t Go There” with Dr. Brenda Gesell on the topic of "Am I a Good Enough Mom? and “Armchair Expert” with Dax Shephard featuring Esther Perel.
Even with family and friends around us it can be hard to be fully open and honest because of competitiveness, judgment, or intertwined egos. For example, it may be hard to tell your mom that you are sad because she interprets your sadness as a message that she was not a good parent to you growing up.
At gatherings and on social media, we often feel pressured to “put on a happy face” and only show the positive side of relationships and parenting. Building a community of people in our lives with whom we can be authentic and vulnerable can be challenging and may not come to fruition on the timetable that is deeply needed.
Having a Professional in Your Corner
Having a relationship with a therapist can support your intention to be the best romantic partner and best parent that you can possibly be. A therapist in your corner can provide a safe partner with whom you can share your values, deeply held beliefs about yourself, hopes for your intimate relationships, and places of strength and competence. A therapist is also someone with whom you can openly acknowledging your fears, the challenging lessons you learned from your past, and your emotional vulnerabilities.
Claiming the benefit of our modern world that is professional therapy, is a meaningful declaration to yourself that you are striving to be the best romantic partner, parent, and ultimately person, that you can be.