How to Deal with Family Issues That Arise
When you’re young, you tend to assume that when you’re an adult, your problems will vanish overnight. Once you leave home and get a job and a home, maybe a partner and some kids, all the issues in your life will dematerialize. The truth is that over time, more problems may appear. It’s just that these ones are different. Here are some tips on how to deal with family issues that arise as you go through adult life.
It’s true that with age, some of your problems will fade. For example, you’ll completely forget about getting a bad grade for a paper you worked hard on. You’ll lose that devastating feeling of your crush not liking you back.
Believe me, it will be great to be able to have a little more control over your life and what you do with it.
Many people think that once you get married and find a long term partner, that’s it. Your worries are over, your love life is settled, and you won’t ever have to go through the agonies of falling in and out of love again.
The thing is, is that love is a fluid thing that ebbs and flows over life.
Your marriage will have tougher times. Just as you will have so many amazing moments too. It’s important to keep in mind that once you are married, it’s a relationship that you continue to work on for life.
Check In With Each other
First of all, keep checking in with each other. Even if you talked about what you wanted from your lives before you got married, these things can change over time.
If you decided not to have kids, it’s good to talk about it if something changes. Maybe one of you or both of you have decided that your life will be incomplete without a baby. It’s important that you talk about it.
Maybe your partner will be open to the idea, or maybe it will be time to make some tough decisions.
As you get older, goals change and reality starts to bite. The person you stood beside on the altar when you got married won’t be the same person that you wake up with ten years later.
Remember that, and keep talking to each other. Most importantly, continue growing together. The more communication there is, the more you grow together towards the same goals and dreams.
Also, the more connected you are, you will discover how to deal with family issues that arise.
Make Time for Each Other
You also need to make time for each other. Don’t let your relationship stagnate. When you have kids, it’s easy to fall into the roles of mom and dad even with each other. You need to make sure that you keep talking about topics other than your children.
It may be tough to leave your little ones with a babysitter, but date night is important to maintain your relationship with your partner. Get dressed up and go do something that you’ve both always enjoyed together. Make sure that you keep listening to each other and focusing on making each other happy.
It’s important to realize that you were together before kids for a reason. You were compatible as individuals, not just as parents. So, enjoy each other and don’t feel guilty about it.
We all think that our parents are absolutely invulnerable. As time goes on, it becomes increasingly more clear that this isn’t the case. In truth, this can be heartbreaking. Watching your mother and father get more frail and fragile is difficult for even the strongest people to stomach.
It can be particularly difficult when your own life is busy. When you’re focusing on getting that promotion and finding the perfect middle school for your child. It’s hard to find time to think about mom and dad and how they’re finding retirement. Or if they’re going to the doctor enough, and how healthy they really are.
Help Out However You Can
Taking over a somewhat more parental role with your own parents can be difficult and upsetting. Many parents are not particularly receptive to it. There are ways that you can look out for them that aren’t patronizing.
When you go over for dinner, offer to cook for them yourself, or to order takeout. That way, they don’t need to worry about producing a spectacular meal.
Take a look at how maintained their home is. If your mom or dad loves to garden but they’re having problems with the unwieldy lawnmower, you could always suggest hiring someone to do the heavy lifting. You can even arrange a day out of the week where you can come and do it yourself.
That way they can focus on growing beautiful roses and the best parts about gardening.
You could also suggest that they get a weekly cleaner so that they can focus their time and energy on enjoying their retirement. One thing that I always keep in mind is maintaining their dignity.
Just because they need a little extra help, don’t forget that they are your parents who are still capable of a lot. Taking a more parental role does not mean treating them like children, be respectful and maintain their dignity at all times.
Remember, even they can help you find out how to deal with family issues arise, they’ve been through it all.
Heaven forbid, one of your parents passes away or becomes sick, you will have a lot to deal with. Your own grief is something that will be difficult to bear. It’s important to remember that given time, it will become easier. You will be able to remember the person you’ve lost with a smile instead of with tears.
You never stop carrying the weight of grief but it becomes a lot easier to manage after time passes. Aside from your own feelings, you may worry about the parent who is left.
It’s important to encourage them to get out and socialize. Look for a local senior community center where they can meet like-minded people, talk, play games, and spend time together.
There are also a lot of local classes for seniors that they could take part in. From swimming to Shakespeare to cooking. Don’t drag them out, but be gentle and encouraging. Offer rides, and give them that most valuable gift of all: your time and your company.
I can’t express that more. Time is so precious and hold off the things that can wait, enjoy your parents as much as you can.
There is probably no harder job out there than motherhood. When you go on social media, you see people posing with their babies. Maybe they’ve apparently lost every ounce of baby weight directly out of birth. Or they’ve been blessed with a baby who immediately sleeps through the night and starts walking and talking prodigiously early.
You need to remember that parenthood is not about comparisons.
Unless your child has significant extra needs, they will learn to walk and talk and will meet the same milestones like the other kids, so it’s important not to stress out too much.
It’s also good to remember that you don’t see the work that others put in to just merely judge them by a picture. Keep in mind that, social media is a highlight reel for most.
In fact, all parents are trying to figure things out and how to deal with family issues that arise too.
There is no handbook for parenting.
Find a Balance
Finding that balance between being a helicopter parent and being too hands-off is difficult. Remember to encourage your kids to play alone. Creative play is an excellent way to encourage creativity. A stack of paper and box of crayons is likely to keep them occupied for hours in a way that a lot of other toys may not.
One of the most important things to remember about parenthood is the importance of leaving the house. When confronted with the idea of wrestling a baby into a snowsuit, it’s easy to choose to stay at home.
It’s important to face your fears, get out into the community, and to make fellow mom friends who understand exactly what you’re going through.
With adult friendships, it’s easy to assume that there won’t be any problems. Any issues with friends should be left in the schoolyard. You’re going to be like the Sex and the City girls, or maybe Rachel, Monica and Phoebe in Friends. Except, wait. Even those famous friendships had some hiccups along the way.
When life changes, sometimes friendships find it hard to catch up. If your best friend gets married and has babies and you’re working a job with long hours, surviving on takeout, and living with roommates, you may feel distanced from each other.
You may feel like you no longer have much in common.
If that’s the case, it’s important for you to decide what the basis of your friendship actually is.
If it was because of shared interest. Like running, or a class, or a job where you no longer work, then there is a chance that your friendship might drift now you no longer have that in common.
That’s okay, you can move away from each other without resentment and with love, and maybe one day find your way back together.
Lean on Each Other
If you’re friends because you make each other laugh like crazy. Or nobody has a kind heart like them or they’re great at encouraging your creative spirit, it’s important to work on the friendship. Even if you have different lifestyles, remember to meet them halfway.
Your childless friend may want to hear about your parenting lifestyle for a little while but they don’t want to see all eight hundred pictures of your baby that you have on your phone.
Having a child may take over your life, but you need to remain interested in everything else too. Ask questions, remain open to the world around you. It will be good for you both as a person and as a mother.
It’s also important to remember that you don’t know the story behind someone else’s parenthood or lack thereof. They may have painful reasons for not having kids. You don’t want to exacerbate that pain by constantly talking about your own.
If your friends have children or don’t, lean on them and on each other. You guys can both help each other to discover how to deal with family issues that arise in both of your lives.
You May Also Like:
- What to Do When Teen Siblings Don’t Get Along
- How to Prepare for Grandchildren
- Happy Father’s Day
- Happy Mother’s Day
As it turns out, adult life is every bit as complicated as life was when you were young! With sensitivity and good communication skills, you’ll be able to tackle your problems with no issues at all.
Just be open-minded and approach everything with patience and kindness.
Do you have any tips on how to deal with family issues?
Let me know, til then–cheers m’deres!
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Nancy Polanco is a freelance journalist, lifestyle content creator, and editor of Whispered Inspirations. She is a proud Mom to Gabby and Michaela, and wife to Darasak. Having worked as part of a health care team for almost a decade, Nancy is happy to be back to her passion. She is a contributor to the Huffington Post, TODAY’s Parents, and an Oprah Magazine Brand Ambassador.