Through fostering radiant relationships during parenthood, you can nurture deeper connections with yourself and others while enjoying your life with more love and support.
Has the quality of your relationships taken a hit since becoming a parent?
Do you miss hanging out with your friends or the date nights with your partner when you first started going out?
How about the relationship with your children or most importantly the relationship with yourself?
The truth is, the overall quality of your life comes down to the quality of your relationships.
And a relationship doesn’t have to be romantic to be called one. Becoming a parent affects every single one of your relationships.
It happens for a simple reason. As a parent, you prioritize differently.
It’s not that you no longer love your partner or that you don’t enjoy spending time with your friends. It’s because you have more things to do and less time to do them.
So making sure all your relationships get what they truly deserve becomes a real challenge.
And if not handled right, it can really decrease your level of life satisfaction and lead you to feel lonely in your journey.
The Harvard Study of Adult Development found out that having high-quality close relationships, more than money or fame, is what keeps people happy throughout their lives.
If that’s not enough how about some additional benefits?
Well… it’s having those relationships that can protect people from life’s discontents, help to delay mental and physical decline, and are better predictors of long and happy lives than social class, IQ, or even genes.
Wow! I remember first reading that and feeling shocked.
I was shocked not because it was hard to believe. But because I had missed out on such simple fact throughout my life especially after becoming a parent.
Low-quality relationships leading to unsatisfied living
You see, when I first became a parent I had not heard about that 80-year-old Harvard study yet. And as a result, I hadn’t been nurturing my relationships as much as they deserved.
I was blaming not having enough time for how I was feeling whereas in reality I just wasn’t doing my part.
All my crazy expectations were there though. I wanted my wife to give me attention even though we had a newborn baby and I wanted my little daughter show me more affection when she wasn’t even able to crawl yet.
I feel ashamed to admit that having that kind of crazy expectations not only didn’t help but also hurt the quality of all my relationships.
My romantic relationship with my wife took a big hit, I learned about low libido, and how becoming a father is linked to reduced testosterone in men.
All red alarming stuff that I wish I didn’t have to learn the hard way.
And when it came to my relationship with my daughter, the more I tried the more she resisted.
Lastly, the relationship with myself took the biggest hit when I started to lose the type of self-love I used to experience.
Living my day-to-day life as a new parent and feeling like that in my relationships drove me to some very dark places I didn’t know existed.
I was stuck in a loop and my ego was too big to let me take ownership and realize how it all had to do with me and not others.
So one day I had my tipping point. I told myself no more waiting. I realized if I keep on waiting I may never feel the type of happiness I was hoping to have. I needed to make a change.
Relationships as the cornerstones of your life as a parent
Reading that Harvard study forced me to come up with a solution to get myself out of that situation. I didn’t want to lose on the secret to a long and happy life.
I began to write a list of every single type of relationship I had and who was on the other side of each relationship. It was my wife, my daughter, my friends, my clients, my parents, and myself.
Then I wondered out of that list, what were the three most important relationships?
I wanted to foster radiant relationships in all areas of my life but I knew if I focus on the three most important ones I should be able to feel a significant improvement.
So I chose myself, my wife, and my daughter. You know why? Because those three relationships are the cornerstones of your life.
If your relationships with those three entities are not doing well, guess what, you won’t be doing well either.
The truth is, the majority of your waking hours are spent with yourself, your partner, and your children. Not with your friends or family.
That means if you want to get a real boost in your level of happiness and overall life satisfaction, then improving those three relationships will yield the best results.
And the quickest way to turn your regular relationships into radiant relationships is by radiating more of your own love and light into them.
The 3 types of radiant relationships
Relationships are like a two-way street but you can only control the car that you’re driving in.
So let’s explore what these important relationships are like and how you can nurture them with more effort from your part so you can enjoy a life full of love and support.
This one is the most important of all the three and for a good reason. If you don’t have a great relationship with yourself, how can you have great relationships with others?
It’s only when you get to see the good in yourself that you can begin to see the good in others.
Self-love is not necessarily selfish. It means that you appreciate who you are as a person and believe that you’re worthy of love.
So how do you improve your relationship with yourself?
The simple answer is spending more time with yourself. When you’re alone something interesting happens. Especially if you don’t have your phone next to you.
It’s through this alone time that you get to know yourself more. Whether it’s by meditating, walking in the park, or going for a run. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that you spend time with yourself.
Pay attention to what makes you feel good and repeat those activities as much as you can.
Make a list of the characteristics of yourself that you admire, and feel grateful for what you already have.
Look for the areas of your life where you feel a sense of uniqueness. Is there something that you only know how to do or is there something you only believe that most people don’t?
Great! Those are the kind of stuff you want to double down on. Go deep on those areas where you feel a sense of originality.
So spend time creating, meditating, loving, and playing. These activities clear your mind and leave you in peace, which only leads to an improvement in the quality of your most important relationship.
If you happen to be in a romantic relationship with a partner then it’s time to reignite the romance. Do you know why?
Because the key to being a successful parent is hidden inside your romantic relationship.
So how do you improve the relationship with your partner?
Well… let’s look at the three key pillars of growth, connection, and intimacy.
Growth is the result of the challenges you experience together. The more struggle the more growth. It’s by going through the shared pain that you get closer to each other.
Becoming parents is a major challenge that you get to experience with your partner. So embrace the challenges and focus on how much growth you’ll be having together.
Connection is that sense of belonging to each other. The ability to finish each other’s sentences or even communicating without using words.
The advantage of having a relationship is that your partner can act as a mirror that allows you to also connect with yourself.
Parenthood may feel it’s dissolving that connection but it can also become an opportunity to connect even deeper now that you are both responsible for raising a child.
So focus on your shared areas of interest. Look for places where you both have uncommon commonalities and embrace each other’s uniqueness.
Intimacy is not only about bedroom action. Sure, sexual desires are a big part of the human experience but to enjoy a great level of intimacy you can think beyond that.
So how do you do that after becoming a parent?
The answer is in the little things. Rather than waiting for the perfect moment, take a moment and make it perfect.
Don’t wait for your partner to do all the initiation. Take the first step. Write that card, get those flowers, send that message, etc.
This one for most people is the newest relationship to foster. Because you’d normally start with yourself, then you add your partner, and finally, you have a child which starts a whole new type of relationship.
And just like the other ones, this one also doesn’t come with a manual. You have to figure it all out on your own.
Plus every child is so different that even if you have more than one or if you ask other people, it doesn’t guarantee success with every single one of them.
Then on top of that, the gender of the child also may demand special attention.
Basically, it’s a complex relationship to figure out because it’s not between an adult and another adult. It’s between an adult and a child.
But the good news is when in doubt, love is the answer. This relationship with your child needs as much love as it can receive especially during early childhood development.
The more love you can provide for your child, the more love you’ll get in return. And the more love you get out, the more love you’ll put back in. It’s the closest thing to unconditional love.
Now, loving your children doesn’t mean you should tie your happiness to them or become dangerously attached. It’s good to remember that your children don’t come from you but they come through you.
They come through you to awaken you and to remind you of your own inner child that you might have been forgetting about.
Your children are here to make their own decisions, express their own personalities, and shine their own light.
So as a parent, love them as they are and accept them for who they are so you can enjoy a radiant relationship with them for years to come.
So what’s the conclusion?
To enjoy a great life you can’t miss on fostering radiant relationships. And it’s true because the amount of love and support you have in your life can be traced back to your relationships.
It’s important that you know how to prioritize when it comes to your relationships so you can put your focus on the ones that give you the most results.
Fostering radiant relationships is not an easy task but it’s the type of task that’s worth striving for.
No one has ever gotten to the end of their life and complained about wasting time on the relations they’ve had with their loved ones.
The quality of your relationships is a crucial element that enables you to connect deeply with yourself as well as others such as your partner and children or even your own parents.
The longest research on human happiness has proven that your overall life satisfaction and level of contentment heavily depends on the quality of your relationships.
As a parent, you might forget the importance of nurturing your relationships. When you do that you end up feeling lonely in your journey of parenthood which can only lead to resentment and disappointment.
After learning the three types of radiant relationships you will be able to foster deeper connections so you can enjoy your life with love and support.
So what’s one thing you plan on doing to foster radiant relationships during parenthood? Let me know by commenting below.