156. Hard Conversation And Communicating Your Needs In The Postpartum Period With Guest Sharon Costanzo From Keep Talking Revolution.
How to feel better about you, your partner and your relationship in the postpartum period with guest Sharon Costanzo from the Keep Talking Revolution.
This podcast is not "medical advice". Please consult with your Healthcare Provider about your specific situation.
Listen to this episode on Apple Podcasts here.
Follow along @breezy__babies on Insta for more tips and tricks.
Read the full transcript here:
Welcome to the Breeze Babies Podcast. This is episode 156 hard conversations and communicating your needs in the postpartum period. Could you use more confidence as a parent, welcome to the happy place for boobs and babies, you're in good hands. Breezy babies is where we ease your transition into parenthood because it's a bumpy road, am I right? I'm your host Bri the IBCLC. And if you'd like to make life as a parent more breezy, you're in the right place. I'm here to deliver small bite sized tips and tricks so you can crush your parenting and lactation goals. I'm honored to be on this journey with you. Let's go. Hey there, my friends. Welcome back to another week of the Breezy Babies Podcast episode. So glad, and happy to be with you be talking to you. I wish I could hear your voice back when talking to me. But unfortunately, this is just how podcasts work. And I feel like I'm talking out into an empty space. But I love hearing from all of you who do listen in and give feedback and requests topics, future topics to listen to, I did not have this specific topic as a recommendation from one of you. But my friend Sharon reached out and asked if she could talk on this and I thought, oh my gosh, this is perfect. I don't know one person who hasn't dealt with that hard postpartum transition, not only getting to know a new baby, but also working out this new relationship between you and your partner. It's quite the transition. Now, while I have learned a lot about hard conversations and communicating needs, especially in the postpartum period, I've, I've come a long way from Baby number one to baby number four, I mean, really like night and day differences. Of of my experience of you know, communicating and helping my my needs be met during that period, I still wouldn't consider myself an expert in the specifics of how to do this, and really how to improve that communication with your partner. But luckily for you today, I do have an expert in this area. Her name is Sharon. And I just want to give a little bit of background because it's kind of fun how Sharon and I met, she actually is also local to Utah, she doesn't live that far away back, she probably lives 1015 minutes from my house. So I didn't know her before we work in very different spaces. She works a lot with relationships, I work very specifically with lactation. And while that has some overlap, not big enough overlap that I knew who she was. But after I had my bad breakup with a with another lactation company that I was consulting for which I I talked a little bit about that in my last podcast episode, Episode 155. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you can go back and listen to that. But after my bad breakup, I was like, Okay, I need some help. I need some accountability, I need a business coach to help me get through this really hard time because I know I'm not going to quit. And I know I'm not going to give up. But I also am feeling like so stuck and so paralyzed and feeling like I don't know how to go on from this fear of, you know, the backlash that was coming from this other company and the whole mental, you know, cascade of thoughts that comes from that. So I did, I reached out to another mom who is also local here in Utah. She does business coaching, she's built her own amazing company where she does writing for other companies. She's built this amazing company, she does business coaching, so I signed up. And we met weekly, we had you know, weekly zoom meetings and then once a month, we also had a professional speaker come in and talk to us and give us tips and tricks on you know, telling a story or you know, taxes or, or whatever it is. And it was a really great group that helped me get back on track and was just exactly what I needed at that time after I did it for probably about a year. The the owner of you know of this coaching business, she decided to stop and just focus on her marketing side and kind of just dissolved it and it was actually the perfect time I was back on track at that point and ready to like hit the ground running. But Sharon was another who signed up for this coaching group as she was also getting her business up and off the ground. So that's how we met out each other. That's how we got to know each other. We even had a barbecue in her backyard with all the ladies in this group, and they just kind of became close friends. And we all just shared this common. This common just wanting to build something and wanting to give something so amazing to the world. And we noticed that when we got all of our families and our husbands together, that they were all incredibly supportive. And we're just like, they're 100% for their wives as we were building businesses. So that's a little bit about how I got to know Sharon, she now has her own business. In fact, she's a relationship and communication coach. And in her bio, she talks about how she specializes in helping women improve the communication in their marriage, so they can come away from important conversations, feeling better about themselves, their partner and their relationship. So she has been doing so much amazing work building her business. In fact, she has her own podcast that I'll tell you about after she introduces herself a little bit, but I thought, How perfect would it be to have this topic and apply it to the postpartum period, because oh my gosh, in the postpartum period, you have the biggest hormonal shift that you ever have in your entire life after your placenta detaches from the uterine wall, you have a giant hormonal shift. And on top of that you're not sleeping through the night, you have a tiny little human who needs you for every little thing. It is such a tricky time. So I asked Sharon, to talk about what she talks about, but really focusing on the postpartum period. She does an excellent job, I can't wait for you to hear what she's going to say. And I'm actually going to turn the time over to Sharon right now. Here she is.
Hi, everyone. My name is Sharon Cosdanzo. I'm here to talk to you a little bit today about expressing your needs in the postpartum period. So this is a topic that's near and dear to my heart, both personally, and in the work I do as a coach. So I'm a relationship Communication Coach, and I help women to have important but often tough conversations, because I believe it's so important for women to feel like they're on the same team, and they're getting the support that they need in their marriages. And that's what I specialize in as a coach. I'm also the host of a podcast called Keep talking revolution. So if you love this episode, go and check out that podcast as well. We talk all about how to improve communication in your marriage, so that you do feel like you're on the same team. So the reason I came on the podcast today was to talk a little bit about how do we communicate our needs and make sure that we're getting our needs met during this postpartum period. I want to first say that struggling with this if you're struggling with this in your marriage, or if you're preparing for this period, and it's not going as smoothly as you'd like. This is very normal. Even the women I talked to who have really strong healthy marriages that are where communication is generally really good will struggle in this postpartum period. Because there is so much stress, and so much need. And so little sleep, everyone's stressed, everyone needs extra support, and nobody's getting any sleep. So first of all, if this is a struggle for you, please know that it's normal. You have not failed, your partner still loves you, even when they aren't showing up for you the way that you would like them to. You are not a failure. My husband and I struggled a lot with this. And we really, you know, we were we had only been married a few years when we had our first baby. And we did we had a lot of communication issues that were easy to ignore. Because we didn't have the stress of a child and lack of sleep to add to everything else. So we were kind of going along, plugging away, not communicating well, but also not having enough stress in our relationship that had become a real problem until the baby's arrived. We had two kids less than 18 months apart. And it really was the low point of our marriage. So please know I relate to this and how much of a struggle it is. And I want to share with you a few things that I learned from my own marriage from getting it wrong many many times. And then finally Figuring out how to communicate better, how to make sure that my needs were being met. And I was feeling supported in my marriage. So again, even the best marriages will face this issue. And if you have communication issues that have been kind of swept under the rug for a long time, this newborn phase is definitely going to bring all of this to the surface for you. So some of the things that felt really hard for me during this period, is I assumed that my husband would see how much needed to be done, and automatically step in and help out more than he was inclined to do. I didn't think I would need to ask for so much, in order for him to notice what needed to be done and do it. That was the first thing that was really hard during this period. The other thing that was really hard for me personally, was I felt like my life had changed a lot. And his didn't really change much at all, he was still have finding time for hobbies, and sports and friends and video games. And I felt like my whole life was consumed. With child care, and laundry, and cleaning and food preparation. I did not feel like I had the freedom and space and time and energy to do the things that made me feel like a whole person. And I felt a lot of resentment during that time period. And I didn't know how to communicate what I needed to my husband in a way that he felt like he could respond to it from a place of generosity and not obligation. So that was our challenge during those early years, with our children. And based off of that, and all of the research and training and everything I've done to learn how to communicate better, these are the three best tips that I have for you. So I'm going to share them really quickly here. And then I'll explain more of what I mean by each one. My first tip is to be clear and direct. My second tip is to expect that your needs will change. And my third tip is to don't is to not take the resistance or the pushback or the lack of follow through personally. So the first tip about being clear and direct. Like I said before, I just assumed that my husband would see how much needed to be done, and step in and do what I thought was his part. And that was not what happened. He wasn't getting up at night, he wasn't, you know, seeing that the baby needed to be changed or seeing how much laundry was piling up. Or seeing how tired I was, when it was time to have some dinner. He didn't notice any of those things and just step in and take them off my plate. And also I wasn't communicating what I expected in a clear way I was dropping cans, I was pointing out that I was tired. I was complaining about how much laundry there was. But I wasn't ever saying, Hey, I'm feeling really tired, and I could use some extra sleep, could you put the baby down? While I get some rest? It really can be that simple. If we're clear and direct with our needs, but there's a lot of you know, a lot of us have not been modeled what that looks like. So it's kind of a new experience for us to be that clear. One of the things that I have learned about my husband and about the men that my clients are married to, is that almost always they want to be successful. And they just need you to tell them what success looks like. And success is not hey, I'm really tired. Success is could you take care of the nighttime routine with the baby so I can get some rest. successes. Not oh my gosh, the kitchen is a mess. I can't believe how much there is to do success is hey, when you are in charge of cleaning up the kitchen, this is what that looks like. To me. It looks like no dishes left in the sink. It looks like the floor being swept. And it looks like the counters being wiped. And as you're talking about your needs and your expectations in this clear, indirect way. It's also really important that you talk to your spouse like they're your partner. And it's not a child that you're giving a list of chores to. So it's Hey, I'd really like to talk about our responsibilities and everything that's going on. This is everything on my plate. I would like some help with these things. What do you think? What do you see needing to be done? And what do you see as your role in accomplishing all of it, you need to treat your partner like a partner, and not a child, if you want this way of communicating to work really well. So again, you're sharing all of this in a way of, hey, I want us to be successful as a couple and as parents, and this is what I see, needing to be done. This is what I need personally,
in order to feel successful. So tip number two, is to expect that your needs are going to change, and to be prepared to adjust. So with this newborn phase, and if you've done any, if this is your first time as a mom, this is this might be new to you. But you've probably read a few things about how much the baby's schedule and routine will change in this first year, your needs are going to change just as much as your baby's schedule and your baby's needs. So when you expect and anticipate that that can help to smooth the shifts and transitions, and be prepared for these things to change. My best tip when I share this with clients, and I help clients kind of figure out how to negotiate these conversations, is to plan to have a conversation every single week. And it can be a short conversation, it can be a 10 or 20 minute conversation about how things are going. What's going well. What does everyone having have going on? And how are we going to share these responsibilities as a team? And then also, you know, if your needs are more emotional and relational? How can you talk about those as well? Are you feeling a little bit disconnected? Do you want to feel closer as a couple? And again, going back to that tip number one about being clear and direct? If you are feeling like you want to be more connected? Or you want to have more of that connected feeling? What does that look like? Does it look like just cuddling on the couch for 20 minutes? Does it look like going out to dinner, finding a sitter so that you can have some time alone. Again, be clear and direct as you're starting to identify these needs. And as they're changing, communicate those in a clear way. And talk about what it looks like to be successful in meeting these needs for yourself and your family, for you as a couple. And as parents, what does that all look like in more clear and concrete terms. So again, expect that your needs will change. prepared to have these kinds of conversations proactively, I recommend on on a weekly basis. And I have a free guide for this, which should be connected should be posted in the show notes of this, which is keep talking revolution.com/partnership-checkup. So again, know it's partnership dash check in one word. So that's not a great sign a great easy little link there. But it's there, and it should be in the show notes as well. So expect that your needs are changing, talk to them on a regular basis, so that you don't build up that resentment over time until you blow up, or until it starts to impact the way you feel about your partner. And not just the way you feel about some of those needs not getting met. The next tip that I have is to not take it personally, when things don't go well from the first from the get go. If there's a little bit of resistance when you bring something up the first time, or if they don't follow through after they've agreed on something. Or if they step up for a little while and fall back into an old pattern. All of this is very normal. And if you can accept that it's normal. And again, expect that you're going to be talking about this on a frequent basis. You're going to have to be clear and direct and you're going to have to have conversations often like on a weekly basis or something. Just be prepared that this resistance is normal. They might not always respond really enthusiastically. But if you can continue to be positive and proactive about how you communicate your needs, and have conversations often, you know, my husband and I have had this happen several times of like, hey, we had agreed that you were going to clean the kitchen up after dinner. And that hasn't been happening quite the way I expected it to. Can we talk about that? Can we figure out is there a better way to handle this, so that we're still feeling like we're on the same page. So be patient, but be persistent and be proactive. And don't take it personally when it doesn't go right the first time. And that will help you to feel more successful in the long term, when we avoid these haunt card conversations, when we start to take it personally and then start to feel resentful, without really communicating that it eats away at our relationship over time. So my last bonus tip is to take your time, if you are like me and my husband, and you're not just addressing the stress of having a newborn baby, but you're also addressing the fact that maybe things weren't as healthy as they should have been before we brought this new baby. And we're bringing to light some of the issues in our relationship, that maybe weren't such a big issue before we had this baby. Take your time. Changing these rate, the relationship dynamics, it doesn't happen all at once. But it will happen if you're patient and persistent and proactive. If you have, you know, kind of good faith in yourself and the health and the possibilities and the the long term success of your relationship, you can be successful. And you can be even more successful when you're able to let your partner help know how they can be successful as well. So again, just to wrap up my tips for today. First of all, before we even add any tips, just know that struggling with these communication issues when you have a new baby at home is very normal, even for the healthiest and strongest couples. But if you can keep this in mind, if you can be clear and direct, if you can anticipate that things will change and communicate early and often throughout these changes. And if you can, you know not take the times when things aren't going well personally, it's going to benefit you. It's going to benefit your relationship. And it's going to benefit you as a as parents and as a couple in the long term. So thanks again, everyone, if you want to check out my podcast again, it's keep talking revolution. I hope to hear from you. You can also reach out to me on Instagram, which is also keep talking revolution. If you have any questions about what I've shared today on the podcast.
There you have it isn't sharing so great. I really truly loved and appreciated all the tips that she gave on as she was a guest here on this podcast episode. If you want a little bit more Sharon in your life, she's at keep talking revolution. She also has a free guide for sharing the load at home that I will link in the show notes. She's on Instagram at keep talking revolution. Like I said she also has her own podcast. Again, her top three tips that she shared today was number one, be clear and direct. Number two, expect that your needs will change and be prepared to adjust. And her tip number three was don't take resistance. Personally, if you would like to book a single session with Sharon, I will have a discount code for $50 off a session with her you can just use code breezy babies, I will have that code in the show notes. And I will also have the link where you can go and meet with Sharon, one on one. And oh, wasn't that just so good. I hope you got a couple little tips and tricks that are helpful for you quick and actionable that you can put into place right away and just know that some of these changes, they take some time. some getting used to like I said I treat my relationship especially in the postpartum period, so much differently than I do now. But we're talking about a 1012 year difference that it took me in fact, me and my husband laughed that when we first had our first baby, we were so much to each other like oh, well you're going to that guy's night out. Well, what am I going to do during that time? Like, oh, we always felt like it had to be even like, Oh, if you if you get time away, then what am I going to do during that time? And when do I get my time? And we just treat it so differently now where we really support each other. We look out for each other and yeah, we still have our hard times especially trying to balance my work and his work that he does. But we have come a long way. And again, it's taken some time we were not like this in the very beginning of our relationship. So just know that you're doing your best and the changes come from just small little changes just one tiny step at a time. And of course, I want to leave you with you are strong, you're smart, you are beautiful. You're a good friend all come back next week for some more fun bye. If you would like more help, check us out at breezy babies.com. It's the happy place for boots and babies, where you can take an online workshop on topics from breastfeeding to baby gas. Learn baby massage, get a pumping plan before returning to work and even get one on one lactation help from our IBCLCs we meet with families both in home and also all over the world via secure video and guess what? These lactation consultations might even be covered by your insurance. Click the link in the show notes or visit breezy babies.com to see if you qualify. Also connect with us at breezy babies on Instagram and YouTube. And last if you love what we do, please leave us a review on Google or Apple podcasts. Bye!
Intro to the episode. 0:00
- Welcome to the Breezy babies podcast.
- Hard conversations and communicating needs in the postpartum period.
Sharon’s background. 2:22
- Sharon is a local mom in utah.
- Sharon's background and background on her.
Sharon’s business coaching business. 3:54
- Getting back on track with business coaching.
- Sharon is a great example of support.
Sharon’s background. 5:45
- Sharon is a relationship and communication coach.
- Sharon's podcast, keep talking revolution.
It’s normal to struggle. 8:17
- Struggling during postpartum is normal.
- Communication issues are normal and even the best marriages face them.
- The three best tips she has for you.
- The first tip is to be clear and direct.
How to be clear and direct with your needs. 13:28
- What success looks like to you.
- Treat your spouse as a partner, not a child.
Expect needs to change and be prepared. 15:40
- Expect that needs are going to change in the first year.
- Have a weekly conversation.
Not take it personally when things don't go well. 18:04
- Be prepared to have these conversations proactively.
- Don't take it personally when things go wrong.
Be patient but persistent and proactive. 20:25
- Don't take it personally the first time.
- Take time changing relationship dynamics.
Sharon’s free guide. 22:38
- Get in touch with Sharon on Instagram.
- Sharon's top three tips for new moms.
- The 1012 year difference in their relationship.
- Check out breezybabies.com for more information.