How I am Choosing to be Grateful for Seasonal Relationships

Love yourself enough to know the difference between what you want your family member to give, and when they are giving just want they can.

This stuck with me after hearing Mark Wolynn speak in Calgary, Alberta on family trauma. 

I do not want to live being hurt, or worse bitter, because a relationship is not always close. So I am going to focus on the good moments and be grateful. I am going to love myself and my family enough to no longer focus on the off seasons.

One of the most precious gifts I was given during my pregnancy was reconnecting with my dad. Our relationship goes through seasons it seems. We haven’t been close in years; it seems like there is always more hurt than carefree seasons. Looking back at some pivotal moments though, I can say I am grateful for the role my dad has played in these moments.

Last year in February I was trying to hide my morning sickness from the new job I just started. Sitting in the parking lot after work with my face resting on the cold steering wheel, I was trying to compose myself enough to drive home, without throwing up in the cab. Still getting used to hearing my dad’s voice on the phone, I wasn’t sure how he would react if I told him our news. Or if I was strong enough to handle whatever his reaction would be right then.  But puking mid conversation with your father is an awkward moment and I didn’t have the energy to side step the obvious reason why. I hadn’t been prepared to hear him cry with joy.

Dad called more often after finding out I was expecting his first grandchild. Each conversation was a little less awkward then the one before. He would listen to the new things I was learning from the doctors and the doula. We talked about the differences from when he became a parent and the information available today. I was able to be excited over the new things I was learning, without him shooting me down because they were different then what he had been told to do over thirty years ago. Having someone listen and be just be happy with me was a blessing.

Dad encouraged me to push for a qualified doctor and to push for health care that I was comfortable with. He didn’t patronize me and say my fears of my family’s “curse”, as I loving refer to our medical history, were unfounded. It can be a struggle for people who love you, but have never been through the medical appointments, to fully understand.

I’m learning to accept relationships go through seasons. Even family relationships. But for my daughter’s sake & my own, I’m willing to be grateful for the seasons where love tries to repair, kind words are exchanged, and where for that short time all is wonderful.

Being able to excitedly share each new “hippie” (aka anything that is not your typical parenting thing you’ve see on TV) thing I learned at the classes, without fear of judgement, helped ease some of the emptiness of being on this journey without my mom. Although our relationship isn’t “fixed”, it was nice to enjoy a close season when the opportunity presented itself. 

And the promise of a warm spring has always followed a cold winter.