Mommy's Time Out Magazine November 2018 - Page 18

Increase the Peace: A Couples’ Communication Course

By Sarah Workman Checcone, Esq.

Ah parenthood… what bliss! We are so fortunate to have so many options for new parents to be able to choose how they want to care for their new baby. Images of “New Baby Nirvana” are so pervasive in our culture that as parents-to-be we focus on being prepared to care for our baby but are we prepared to care for our partners, ourselves, and our relationships? What happens when partners are trying to soothe their little one every 30 minutes all through the night on barely any sleep, with only peanut butter in the kitchen, and a showering nowhere in sight? Might communication break down? Let’s at least say there’s a chance.

The first year post-birth is the boot camp of new parenthood. Sleepless nights, changes in finances, flexibility, intimacy and simply a realization of the responsibility and permanence of becoming a parent are all factors that can trigger high-stress behaviors. When the nights are long, and the time to reconnect is short, communication even between the most stable couples can become strained, and the foundation rocked.

As the facilitator of the Postpartum Adjustment Mothers Support Group at the Women and Children’s Center at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, a mother of four and Alternative Dispute Resolution professional myself, I am honored to spend time listening to and supporting strong mamas working hard to adjust to life as a family, yet struggling to effectively communicate with their partners and feeling even more stressed as a result. I have learned there’s much more to prenatal care than the essentials our dedicated practitioners give. We need to educate ourselves not just on our baby’s eating and sleeping, but on our social and emotional support needs too. Thus, I created Increase the Peace: A Couples’ Communication Course.

Increase in the Peace isn’t just for new parents – it’s for any couple that has found themselves getting into ruts and routines, often becoming self-righteous and rigid about our ways of seeing things. Living and loving with someone day in and day out for months and years can bring all sorts of challenges and areas for growth to the surface. It’s perfectly normal, yet surprisingly difficult to manage in our society. The truth is that conflict is an opportunity to understand someone better, grow closer and continue to lay foundation for healthier, closer relationships.

Increase the Peace is a one-day class that is structure in three parts. In the first part, “Getting to Know You,” participants complete a guided self-assessment to discover their Myers-Briggs Personality Type® and Temperament so we can better understand normal differences in personalities. In the second part, “I Gotta Be Me,” we break into groups to work as couples and individually, through activities to learn more about how people with certain personality types operate, and how to solve problems common to certain type pairings. In the third and last part, “How ‘bout Us?” we acknowledge that conflict and hurts happen in intimate relationships, learn our Love Languages® and how to heal and forgive hurts of the past through the art of forgiveness.

We also discuss and role-play (not everyone has to role play – don’t worry) a couple of simple communication strategies, and how to help someone solve a problem without taking over or assuming responsibility for the issue.

There’s no more powerful investment you can make in the wellness of yourself and your family than to learn more about how to communicate with and support each other in times of stress and conflict. Increase the Peace will teach you so much about who you and your partner are in a fun and interactive format you simply won’t find anywhere else. Do not miss out on this opportunity to build yourself, your relationship and your family stronger. Increase the Peace – A Couples’ Communication Course will be held on Saturday, November 17.

For more information or to register visit www.LakewoodRanchMedcialCenter.com or email LakewoodWomenCenterDelivers@lwrmc.com.