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#185 - Redefining Your Relationship with Catherine Hennessy
Episode 1859th March 2022 • Happy Mama Movement with Amy Taylor-Kabbaz • Amy Taylor-Kabbaz
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The Happy Mama Movement Podcast is dedicated to providing a balance between the insights from experts, teachers, authours and researchers from around the world around motherhood and Matresence. Within this sphere we also chat to Mamas. Mamas who are living and breathing examples of what it is like in the depths and dedicated to changing paradigms and asking the challenging questions of who they want to be, how can they speak up, how can they forgive themselves? Today, Amy joins with Catherine Hennessy for an everlasting conversation about redefining our relationships. A conversation which will resonate deep into your soul and leave an impression both as you listen and for a long time after.

Listen as Amy and Catherine discuss:

  • Anger, resentment and how they appear, build and wear you down.
  • Investing in ourselves, first and foremost and the ripples that can have onto those around us.
  • Feeling that, as women and mothers, we need to be the strongest leader in transforming the relationship. How it often ‘feels’ like it comes entirely down to us, even though we are in a partnership.
  • The fixation with fixing.
  • Accepting, forgiving and realising that we are not alone in our struggles alongside our partners.

This conversation is powerful, life shifting and offers a space of non-judgmental knowingness, that has a familiar feeling, while also a feeling of fresh and vulnerable growth. To connect with Catherine you can reach out to her at catherine.hennessy@gmail.com.

We are here to spread the whispers of Matrescence together. Find out more and receive your Matrescence map here https://www.amytaylorkabbaz.com/matrescence/

Transcripts

Marker

Welcome to the happy mama movement podcast. I'm Amy Taylor-Kabbaz. I would like to start by acknowledging the Gadigal people of the aura nation on which this podcast is recorded as the traditional custodians of this land. And pay my respects to the elders past, present and emerging. And as this podcast is dedicated to the wisdom and knowledge of motherhood, I would like to acknowledge the mothers of this land, the elders, their wisdom.

They're knowing and my own elders and teachers.

Welcome back Mamas. I want this podcast to always be a balance between the insights from experts and teachers and authors and researchers from around the world around motherhood and matresence. And also Mamas. Living and breathing this every single day, women who are dedicated to look at how they have changed.

Who they want to be? How can I find my voice? How can I speak up? How to forgive myself? And so this is one of those episodes. Today, I am speaking with Catherine Hennessy, a Mama, and a woman who first signed up to my programs and then joined the Mama Rising training. And as you will hear in this conversation, The journey that she's been on is one of the most inspiring I've heard. Because she was struggling, struggling in motherhood,

and in her relationship. Mostly her relationship. Her dedication to her children took away her focus on her relationship and it was in a bad place. And yet her commitment to, instead of focusing on her relationship and instead focusing on herself, Turned things around by no means is Catherine's experience a fix all.

But what it is, is a reminder that all we can do is continuously commit to looking at ourselves. Who are we? What do we want? How do we want to show up? And from there and amazing things happen. Enjoy this conversation. I know you will.

Catherine, welcome to the podcast.

Oh, thanks for having me Amy.

I really wanted to invite you onto the podcast because in the conversations we've had, you're a Mama Rising facilitator. And so we've had a few conversations over the years around your entry into motherhood and your experience with matresence and how it has really transformed on such a big level, your relationship, your marriage.

I want to start by saying, having coached hundreds and hundreds of members over the years. We come into these programs and into these places to look at who we are as mothers. And one of the very first conversations everyone wants to have is yes, but in my relationship. I feel so unseen. Unacknowledged I'm filled with anger and resentment.

I don't know how to change it. We used to be in such a great place and we're not anymore.

mmmmm,

And I know that that was your experience too. In motherhood and the way that you've transformed it is really beautiful to hear. So let's start at the beginning and how motherhood felt to you and what it did to your relationship.

Yeah. Thank you. So, my matresence journey really does mirror my relationship journey. There was the highs of having our first child and sharing all of that together. Um, and then as the family grew, uh, tensions started to certainly become very common. And then we just grow and layer. As the years went by and more children came along and by the time our third child was born, it really was starting to become unmanageable.

And it was things like differences in our parenting styles that just felt really unbearable. Uh, for me because I was so devoted and committing myself to being the best parent and mother I could be. And I'm a researcher by nature, and I was reading all the books and listening to podcasts and really throwing myself into finding the best way to do things.

Be it sleeping, eating also a lot of behavioral issues would emerge with our children. I'd really throw myself into learning what the best information out there is, to respond and resolve the issues. And I just craved being able to share that with my husband and to do it as a team and to be on the same page together.

And I would spend lots of time in the evenings when we were both back from work. Um, sharing what I've learnt or unpacking something that hadn't gone very well and trying to seek resolution and to get to that place where we felt like we were on the same page. And it just felt like this elusive

Yeah.

thing.

We did courses together and online and in-person, we did lots and lots of things to try to bridge that gap and fix all of the problems that I was finding, um, and experiencing. And it just nothing stuck. It felt like we'd have quite cathartic conversations sometimes where it feels like that. Like we got somewhere and we're sharing about our values or our childhood or inherited patterns.

And we went into all this stuff, uh, and sometimes it would be better for a week or two weeks, but then the old patterns would just remerge. I just feel so full of frustration and resentment. And I really felt quite unsupported in that I was working so hard and trying so much, and it just felt like when he had opportunities to, to get on board and, and support what I was doing and learn from what I was learning myself and trying to teach him about that.

Never picked up the mantle and we weren't able, to proceed as a team and then layering that with, three kids. I live away from my family, so I didn't have a lot of the inbuilt support and my husband traveled a lot for work. So there was a lot of times it really felt like it was all on me.

That the buck always stops with me. And the mental load is all on my shoulders and

Yeah.

working. And one of our kids has, um, wasn't that well as a, as a baby and then developed some kind of special needs that I was trying to figure out. And so it was specialist appointments and protocols, and I would try to experiment with things.

Eliminating foods and trying different supplements. Cause he sort of had this full picture of allergies and asthma and then behavioral challenges and delays. And so it was always complicated picture. And so it would be, I'd be going off all organic foods and eliminating foods. And then my husband would give them a milkshake when I was eliminating dairy or take them through drive through McDonald's.

When I just had all this organic food in the fridge. So it just felt like we are poles apart. And I just felt hopeless. Like I am spending all my time and energy here on this family and trying to do this right. And you don't have my back and I can't make any progress with anything because you're not with me. And yeah, it just felt incredibly hopeless.

So for all the women that are listening and they're like, oh my God, you've just described my relationship. I want to pull this apart a little bit because you know, this is such a common experience that we are so invested and we are, so our whole identity becomes so much as the mother. And to not feel like you're a team in that is incredibly hard and incredibly lonely.

But you said that you would do courses together or, you know, in-person or online. Did you feel that you were making him do this with you? Did you feel that there was a level of commitment to try and fix it? Or were you also trying to fix the relationship and the top of fixing the food allergies and the learning difficulties and the reality of organic food cooking, et cetera.

Cause I know I asked this question because I know in the communities that we are both in a lot of the women feel like they're dragging their partner to the table to have these conversations as well.

Um, yeah, it, it, it did feel it like that at times. Um, and he, he was actually trying as well. And sometimes I was aghast that like so surprised when I saw that he was trying as well. Cause I was just thinking, how can we both be trying this hard and not getting anywhere? How is this possible? But he came along.

To like a parenting course that we did in person. And he, he was there, he was invested, he was listening and, but he would pick up and learn different things than I was kind of hoping he would learn. Like I was thinking, yes, we're listening to this. And this is going to change how you show up when our child is having a difficult moment and then he would hear something completely different.

So, and so he was, he was showing up and he was trying and, um, but it was, it did also feel like the responsibility for leading this transformation was on me

Yes.

and, and he was, he was doing his best to sort of appease a little bit or, um, Do what I expected or wanted of him, but it didn't feel like a coming together.

And I think that's really important you've pointed that out. Because of course we're generalising around people's relationships here. But often when, I hear the stories of these women and what's going on in their relationship. I do hear that both partners are doing the best they can. They are both doing what they think they need to do.

mmmm

And as we talk about a lot in Mama Rising you know, this, this rigged system of parenting doesn't help either. It doesn't work for any of us, both the Father and the Mother, or both of the parents are struggling in the way that we're doing it. Both of them. And I love that. You've pointed that out because we do get in our head.

Don't we Catherine, a story that I'm doing this all alone. I'm the one who's leading here. It's me. It's me. It's me. Cause it does feel like that.

Yeah. Sure does.

Maybe in your healing of your relationship, how did you turn that around from feeling so responsible for the parenting side of things and all of it to now be in such a different place?

Yeah. Well, just jumping back to that point. I just want to share, something my husband said that was a bit of a turning point for me . Was that he said, one night when I was saying we need counseling. Like, I can't go on like this. I'm just, you know, this is not okay. Um, and he shared, it's kind of the, one of the times he's really shared from his side.

And he just said, I feel like there's a chasm between us and it's opened up and I have no way to get across it. That was the first time I had really seen his pain, that he was suffering in this and he wasn't just avoiding it. Uh, cause that's what my experience had been of him, that he was just avoiding having these conversations.

But having that insight really stopped me in my tracks of thinking, okay, this is real for both of us and he wants this to be different as much as I want it to be different. Okay. They're both floundering. So then jumping into how things started to change. I had been focusing heavily on trying to fix us.

Um, first it was trying to fix our kids and resolve the challenges that were emerging there. And then it was trying to fix us. And I came across a relationship coach. And when this began working with her. And discovering the things that I could do that didn't actually involve my husband at all. It was quite a remarkable shift, a really big shift in gears.

I wasn't thinking about him at the beginning. And I just started to focus on me. And this is when I also discovered and really got into matresence as well. And it was beginning to first and foremost, take care of myself and just start to establish some foundations for myself. Because, what I began to realise, I just didn't know it at the time, but like, my head was just full of resentment.

Like I would have this running list of things that I needed to raise with my husband of all of the issues and problems and things. My head was full of that stuff, but my body was exhausted and I just had inherited, this pattern of putting myself last and it was so ingrained. I didn't even really see it, but it was things like I didn't eat, um, until everyone else had eaten.

And so I'd often be hungry. Experiencing that as anger or frustration or anxiety, I was hungry and I often gave up my sleep to finish tidying the house and get the lunchboxes ready and get ready for school, work out what was happening for school exercises, find the library, books, you know, all of these things.

I would get all of that done. And then I could think of. Going to bed or heaven forbid having some time to myself. And so I really rejigged my, it was a complete overhaul that this is not working. This is not serving me. And previously I would hear things about self care and, and I'd think I don't need a pedicure.

That's just, you know, I'd go and have a pedicure or go and have dinner with girlfriends. And it really felt like pressing pause on my depletion that just pressing pause on life. And then I come home and just press play again. And I didn't feel any nourishment really. I mean, I super enjoyed the experience, but it didn't change how I felt and starting to realise the cost of that. That it meant I was showing up in my life, exhausted, depleted and resentful.

And. So then discovering, taking on self care as a duty of care to my family. To my marriage. To myself. Really giving myself absolute permission. I've got to explore what makes me happy. What makes me thrive. And I have an obligation to do that because I couldn't give myself permission just doing it for myself wasn't going to

cut it. You know, I, it was, I have to do this for my family because this isn't working, this isn't, this is leading me somewhere. I don't want to be. It's, um, showing up in life in a way that's not serving. And it felt like it took a bit, it took quite a bit because, and that was the brilliant thing about working with a coach because I could share just like, oh, this is everything that's on my plate.

This is everything I'm dealing with this as all my anger, frustration, sadness fear. And she could hold that for me. And then I could sort it through what I could do for myself, how I could reframe something without feeling like I had to suppress anything or push anything down or deny anything. And, and so having that.

matresence

is a huge container.

Like your communities provided that for me to have this beautiful container to be held by other women and not needing it for my husband as much.

Yeah, we talk a lot about that in our communities. Don't we Catherine about making sure that you understand the different roles of support you need. You know, we, we often think we need. That one person who can give us everything. And we often look at our partners to think you need to be my best friend, my colleague, you know, my co-parent my sexual partner, my lover, my all of it.

And actually there are times when we really need the support of other women. There are times when we really need that masculine support, you know, to get really clear on what we need when, but I just have to say. You know what I'm like with words, I have written down self care as a duty of care, that is such a powerful concept.

hmmmm

That is such a powerful concept, that this is a duty of care because if I'm coming to this as a depleted person over and over again, then there is no care for anyone else.

Yeah, absolutely. And we all share that like our family, you know, raising kids, it's often the most important thing we're doing in our hearts and in our heads, it consumes so much energy. And it's so easy to feel like I've got to put myself at the service of that.

Yes.

And, it's not dosen't work.

How did you then, explain this to him, like, was this a revolution to him? Did he suddenly think, oh my God, where did my wife go?

Yeah. Yes.

How much was he aware of this transformation you were experiencing?

It was a lot of it to begin with was unspoken, but there was just this huge, um, there was this huge space. So in the, in the past, I would be

Yeah.

hate to admit it sometimes sort of storming around and he would be working in his study and I would be really frustrated, picking up toys and doing stuff in

Um, it will be.

mean, dishes are now like, ah, why do I have to do all of this? Why is this all on me? And he would be, um, you know, working in his study and, and I would come in and maybe try and start a conversation or share something that I've been thinking about that day, or kind of waiting for him to waiting for time, waiting to have time together and all of a sudden.

I just, my whole orientation just shifted to, I'm just cultivating this relationship with myself. And so at eight o'clock I just set a timeframe like eight o'clock tools down. I need time for myself and it doesn't matter what the state of things are or is. Um, I would just, I'd go upstairs and I'd be taking a bath, reading a book.

Meditating journaling going to sleep really early, like sleep. Oh my goodness. It is, I was, I've always thought of myself as a night owl that just needs that time and that, you know, scrolling or watching something and giving up my sleep because I needed that respite. I needed that escape from how I was feeling and then, but building it in much earlier.

And choosing really positive practices that I observed lifted me up that this is my soul food. This is what works for me. It might be different for everybody, but it's really experimenting with that, then. The self-care that I was having was really filling me up. So he definitely noticed that I was less around.

That,

I was starting to. Really prioritise my sleep and doing things for myself. And the thing that he knows first and foremost is that I got happier, like really quickly.

Yeah. this is what I've heard over and over again. You know, a mama will sign up to do a six week program with us. Yeah, And they've always got this feedback of my partner has noticed the difference. And it's this shifting of awareness, as you said from everyone else first to me first,

yeah.

It really is that profound.

And he, it was, it magnetised him. He was drawn to it. He was like, oh, Hey, can we hang out? Like, can we spend some time together? And I was like, yeah, sure. Sounds good. Let me know. Like if you plan something, um, let me know. And it also. It did mean leaving things and in the mornings I was not as organised.

And so that could have easily in the past, if that had happened, I would have felt frustrated, bad about that. Bad about myself because of that. And then the discomfort of feeling bad about myself would have led me to project it onto my husband. Cause that's my passion that I'm unlearning. And, instead, it just created this space for okay,

some things aren't as tight and organised and I can get to them later and it also created a huge amount of space for him to do things. So he started helping with the lunches, like. Lunchboxes used to be the bane of mine every evening. And I just said, I don't think I can do the lunchboxes anymore because I need that time for myself.

And I was like, yeah, I'll do them. I'll do them in the morning. He's it. And he's happy. He like, it just is such a shock.

Well, the thing is, you've mentioned to him about the lunchboxes. From a place of desire and need. And he seen in you that when you get that space at night, you are so much happier. You are so much less resentful. You are so much present, so much more present rather than lashing out. You need to start doing the lunchboxes.

I can't do this anymore. And that's where this space for yourself first. It's so important because we still end up having the conversations. You know, I think we often think I want my partner to take on more.

I want him to help with the lunch boxes, but we go to that first. You know, we go to that from that place of depletion and anger and that's fair enough. But actually when we then first sit with ourselves and prioritise what we need, we come back to that conversation with such a different energy. Is that what you've found?

Because you've not only done this for yourself, but you've studied a lot and then a lot of work around relationships and how they work. So is that secret sauce here?

Absolutely. Yeah. I think that's, again, getting back to the importance of being surrounded by women, because we, it is totally fair enough that we ask from that place of desperation. It's totally fair enough. I mean, this is impossible. This task that we find ourselves in and the unfortunate thing is it doesn't get us the help often doesn't get us the outcome that we need.

And sometimes I would get the help and it would cost me intimacy would cost me closeness in my relationship. And over time it just got so lonely. Even if I did get that help. And so there is this, I've just seen it time and time again, it's it feels counterintuitive to start with self care when you're drowning with resentment and like he needs to pick up his act because yes, yes.

But coming from a place of, of happiness and not that desperation makes it so much easier to draw. The help in to receive it to my husband. Like one night, I, even after long after there's been quite a transformation in our marriage and so much more emotional safety between us and, but I was depleted, I was tired and I didn't want to do the cleaning up.

And I wanted to be upstairs doing my own thing. And I was kind of wishing my husband was doing it. Because I was tired. I, I didn't reach for the skills that I know help in those situations to guide me through when I was banging around and wishing he was there and he came in, he said, I just can't be in the kitchen when you're doing this.

Like, he actually shared with me like your energy, he didn't say it this way, but my energy was repelling his help, even though that's all I wanted. And, it's like it's so energetic and understanding that feminine of desire and happiness and receiving help and asking vulnerably for help, as opposed to the masculine of like, you need to do this, even though it's it's so, so, so understandable, but it's just this energetic dynamic that is real.

And it's, so it, once you tap into it, it becomes instead of this forcing and pushing. Trying to control an outcome. It just becomes like receiving it, seeing what happens, letting go surrendering and seeing what comes up, how he responds and it just. It reminds me of, um, one of my favorite stories of Aesop’s Fables of the sun and the wind competing to see who can get the man to take his jacket off.

And the, the wind is blowing and blowing and blowing, and it just makes him resist and hold onto that jacket. But he's, you know, for dear life and then the sun comes out and just beams warmth and he just willingly takes it off. And that's been my experience, of like, this is unbelievable. This is magic. Like shifting, having control of my own energies, having like mastery of how I'm, you know, what am I emotions doing?

How am I feeling? What do I want in this moment? And really being able to look after myself in that just creates this incredible power.

It is powerful. This is the thing it is. And as you said, it's magical and you really do get what you want,

Absolutely.

Like it is phenomenal. I've experienced this myself in the shifting and changing of my relationships over the last decade and et cetera. To be in a place that is free of that resentment.

And instead be fully aware of what's going on in my energy. And then having that invitation, that space, you talked beautifully about that emotional safety, this space, where you can be vulnerable and you can be open with your partner. And that only comes. When you are emotionally safe with yourself first. When you stop judging your own resentment, your own anger.

Because another thing I'd love for you to just briefly speak about before we finish is that I know part of the process of that emotional safety that's grown between you and him is that you realised that. That you are only learning how to be a mum as you go that you are just figuring this out as you go.

And if that's what your experience is, and that must be what his experience is too. And that's changed things a lot as well.

Yeah, that's thank you for bringing that up. It's just, it's really been a hugely expensive thing to let go of, of his timing of his journey of his learning. And I started to realise like, you know, my mother-in-law or, or, um, sisters-in-law or friends when you first have a baby everyone's got advice. And it just feels like, just give me space.

I'm doing this my way. And, and then I realised, oh, that's what I need to do for him. Because I'm spending all this additional time. In the early years, I was spending all this energy thinking and researching, and I can influence him if he's receptive, but trying to get him to catch up and be at my pace and my speed and learning what I'm having my breakthroughs and my development. Especially, I was kind of really wanting his parenting to look like mine.

And starting to, to also create space for, there can be two different types and my kids are going to be okay. And just letting go of control of my children's experience of life. And my husband's experience and developmental process of becoming a Dad and working out how he wants to parent and just giving him space to figure that out without judgement.

And without constant feedback. And yet just holding my vision and encouragement of him and honoring him as, as a father and just creating that respect that I also wanted from him, like leading in that. Just has made a huge, huge difference. And it's made a huge difference in my children in like I was wanting to control their experience to make sure that they felt safe, that they felt emotionally held that they didn't feel shame that they didn't have these competition with each other where they didn't need to like really want.

Obviously driven from a beautiful heart of a Mum wanting the best for her kids, but it was also underlying had this, this fear that they might not be okay, that they might not, they might get damaged. Um, and they might not be able to sort through that and getting present to that and letting go of it. And just instead choosing to have faith.

That they'll be okay. And I don't have control over their life experience. I can't control that. I can't control how my husband, parents, all it will do is cost me intimacy with him and they suffer when that happens, too. And instead realising what I do have control over is how I show up what my relationship with them is, what my relationship with him is, how they see me as a partner to him.

And as co-parents, and that, that has so much power. And we'll just share a little story that kind of was quite a watershed for me. Uh, one of our children has some learning difficulties and one night I was breastfeeding, our youngest babe. And my son woke up and was having a complete meltdown. And my husband

went in to, to do, to manage it. And usually I would, even if I was breastfeeding in the middle of the night of the babe I would go in there with him on the boob and try to intervene or oversee or calm it down because it wasn't going well. It was a whole lot of emotional contagion in there. And he was shouting to at the, at our son to calm down, which was just like a complete disaster.

And I just felt so tense sitting there in the dark breastfeeding. And I just, instead of getting up, I just let go. And I just sobbed and just let it all out that this is hard. This is really hard. And. You know, raising like all my fears for my son and how challenging it is. It all just came out and I just started to my heart kind of opened because I just let that fear speak and just be released.

And I was able to then shift and see my husband is in there and he's struggling just like I am struggling. And we are struggling next to each other.

And I was listening to him, struggle with our son and it was going so badly and I just let my grief and the struggle just emerge. And just the fear of is my son going to be okay. And how hard this whole situation is and, and how heavy it felt. And I just sobbed with my baby in the dark, in the chair and from letting go of letting that fear be known and be released out of me and acknowledging it to myself that , I've been carrying this for years

Yes.

and.

I've been carrying it on my own. And in letting it, letting it out and just surrendering to my grief that I had this really difficult problem that I couldn't solve, that I couldn't make better. I can't fix this. And it allowed me to just open my heart to my husband and just see him struggling, just like I have struggled. And,

doing it badly, doing it really badly in that moment, but that he is alongside me. We're doing this together. We're imperfect and he's learning, I'm learning. And he's the other person in this universe that loves my son, our son, like I do. And he's never going to give up. He's never going to walk away.

Even if we show up in perfectly and we do this badly. We're both here and he's next to me. And in that moment, I really shifted into seeing him as my peer, as my equal and as my partner and not as a trainee or somebody that needed to get with the program. Um, and it shifted hugely the energy between us and he felt the space.

And he has shared personally, his reflections on the shift in our marriage, like within three or four months of me really changing how I showed up and learning how to foster intimacy and choosing that for myself more than controlling things or making things perfect or letting go of the self judgment.

And he started to share, we were on our family holiday and he said like, we've got a new marriage. This feels like a completely new relationship that we have. And it really did. And in that time he's also shared with others, reflecting on the journey that I changed. He watched me change and it made space for him to change and all of the changes that I wanted to see that I was

pushing for, and trying to coach him towards like softening to the kids, taking care of himself so that he could get got the sleep and didn't blow up at the kids, taking responsibility for things in the house, really being my partner and sharing the mental load. Like he has risen to the challenge, but it's not one that I set so that sit down, like I stopped pushing and he grew.

Yes, that's it.

It's like, it's so remarkable.

When I think about what the picture was before

Yeah.

and everything felt like it was on me, school, admin childcare, drop-offs pickups, lunchbox. Menu planning, groceries, washing, sorting out the house. Like I sort of saw myself as the CEO of the family. I was running the house and he had the big career and I had my career too, but it was just sort of part time.

And I didn't earn the same amount as him. So my time wasn't as valuable. My sleep wasn't as valuable. My anything was on his valuable because it didn't make the same money as him. Now his career, hasn't suffered a bit it's grown and grown and grown. And he shares the washing. He does the lunchboxes.

He shares the drop-offs. He keeps track of school admin. My son's, childcare, who he was to started to do a drop-off and then started to say, I'm not really sure about. Childcare center, the sun's out. And previously I would have been like, well, I researched everything. I found this Montessori place and it's a little bit of a drive, but it's the best one.

But he said, I'd just get a vibe from the staff and I'm just not completely comfortable. And so with this new program, I was running a trusting his judgment and giving him space. And he's got just as much responsibility in this family. And. Really fostering my respect for him saying, okay. Yeah. See what you think.

She think there's a better place. I'm open to exploring it. And he found one down the road that I disregarded and I dropped my son there. The first day he managed the whole enrollment process. He's the primary contact for our family. He does all of it. It's all in his name. And I dropped my son there the first morning and he

ran to the play area. Didn't cling at all. My husband had just been saying he needs somewhere to run. Like that might be a great place, but it doesn't suit our son. He's so active. He needs bigger place to run and more, more kids to engage with. And he was exactly right as this life lesson for me, that he's, he's got a different perspective and it adds something.

That's right. What a beautiful insight that he has a different perspective and he adds something. And also to let go of this control that you need to be the perfect mother. So he doesn't have to be the perfect father either. Neither of you are going to get this right all the time. I could talk to you for hours.

And I just wanted to say to everyone who's listening, this is what is so spectacular about what we do. Because you've been through this incredible experience of really looking at yourself and then transforming your relationship. And now have studied Mama Rising as well as other relationship tools and skills, and are now able to step in and do this work with other women and couples.

And I love that so much because. We don't need more experts. We don't need more research. We don't need that very masculine. There's an answer out there and I have to find it and I have to fix this. We just need a space where someone who has been through it as well can hold the space for us as we explore.

Why do I feel the way I do? Why am I so struggling with control? Why is there so much resentment? Because then with that space, like you found with that coach. In that space, you find these answers and you open up all these doors. I just love how this works. No one knows your relationship better than you, but if you have a place where you can unload all of that and reflect on it and move through it and focus on yourself, then this is the magic that happens.

Absolutely. Yes. And I did do all the research and listen to all the experts. And it's beautiful what they offer But it hasn't been until I was trusted as the expert in my own life and my own marriage. And given this safe space to experiment and explore and try something new. And it's so much,

having that support moment to moment. It really does. I mean, so much of the research it's in the head, it's theory. But a lot of this stuff is in the body. It's in your nervous system. It's, I've been like, I have this fear response that I am learning to overcome. And so it's, it's like, as you're learning to rewire yourself and these dynamics that have emerged in your relationship that aren't serving me anymore, like changing that dance is like, Change my nervous system to do that.

It's not that easy to go from head to heart. And so having that safe space with other women and someone who's done it before understands the gripping fear of letting go of something when you're really afraid or how scary it can be to be vulnerable, even with your husband. You've shed had children with its can be scary to deep deepen in that vulnerability or to receive something from him.

So yeah, the the joy of having a, a village, having a community, having women who are going through it together, cause it never ends and can call you on something that might've worked for them. In this safe, safe way is just a gift. I think it's a definitely a new model that I have found to be profoundly transforming.

Wow, Catherine. So much of what you've said has resonated so deeply with me. A couple of times I was in tears here, trying not to sniff into the microphone. Your story is going to resonate, far and wide. Thank you for your vulnerability and your honesty. Thank you for sharing with us, the phenomenal transformation you've been through and the commitment you've shown to yourself and to your family.

I really appreciate it.

Oh, thank you, Amy. What a privilege. Thank you for that beautiful acknowledgement.

As I said, right at the beginning of this conversation, this was an important podcast interview for me to share with all of you. I always wanted. This place, this podcast, it would be a place where we not only talk big, ideal goals, women who've researched and understood and are at the answers, but also constant reminders of what it looks like to work this out, to be in the messy middle.

To be right in the center of figuring out how do I be a Mum and a Partner and a Wife? How do I balance this crazy juggle? I hope you found both inspiration and reassurance in this conversation. Clicking the show notes to follow Catherine, and as always, please leave a review. Let's have these conversations with each other, that's what we're here for.

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