Relationships or relationshits?
It blows my mind how much more I’m enjoying being a mum, now that I’ve abandoned any thoughts of work on my kiddy-days. I actually LIKE hanging with the little tikes, what do you know? This morning we all danced our butts off to some music (I’m telling you, my kids get my absolute un-selfconscious comedy G-O-L-D), and were pretending to be cats, when Ella clapped her hands and added her direction, little Sofia Coppola in the making that she is:
Her: “Okay mama, Cay can be the baby cat, I’ll be the little cat, and you can be the mummy cat. Okay?”
Me: “Okay. I have to tell you though, I’m feeling a little typecast.”
In other random news, a dear friend of mine (who I’ll keep nameless until she instructs me otherwise – not that it’s a Da Vinci code type deal or anything – though come to think of it she does seem to like wearing hooded garments…) e-mailed me from abroad yesterday telling me of her current relationship woes.
Then she asked me the big question: “what do YOU think makes a good relationship, Jen?” Hmmmm….it did get me thinking. Here’s a little of what I wrote back:
Hmmmm….what makes a good relationship good? That’s a toughie. Let me think – it has been on my mind the last few months as we’ve actually been through a pretty tough time together this year. Just the craziness of touring, etc. plus we’ve both been pretty stressed out (Tim’s on prac this year) saw us almost get to breaking point. But fortunately we’ve worked our asses off on the relationship and turned it around for the better. (Thus far, anyway!)
Okay, I think it’s a combo of having fun together, good conversation, having enough in common that you can share each other’s worlds yet enough that’s different that you can introduce each other to new things (and not just become one entity) but most of all, I think it’s really about commitment. Because inevitably you’re going to hit a bad patch at some stage, and when it seems easier to walk away, it’s the commitment to see it through that helps you hold on.
And I guess, the over-riding philosophy you need for that (which is something I’m still getting my head around) is to focus not on ‘how can YOU be a better partner for me?’ but ‘how can I be a better partner for you?’ You know, when you care enough about someone to really want to find a way to meet their needs better and help them feel loved, rather than the other way around. Basically, I think relationships (parenthood being quite a magnified example) are an enormous exercise in abandoning our default setting of selfishness!!!
I don’t know if that’s even the slightest bit helpful – I hope so! That’s just my take on it, anyway. Just slap me Southside and call me Doctor Phil!
Obviously that’s by no means a definitive answer, more just rambling thoughts. But I am curious – what do you guys think makes a good relationship?