Just about every time someone contacts me for mediation, their first question is “how much will it cost?”.
Today, I was looking over my website and the page all about ‘how much it costs’. The header image is of a little girl looking up at her mum. And it struck me – how much DOES it cost?
Sure, you need to find the time. Or do you need to INVEST the time? And what are you investing IN? What do you GET from an investment in mediation?
You’re investing in the relationship you have with your child. It might be more time together, a deeper connection, happier moments.
You’re investing in the co-parenting relationship you have with your kids other parent. If your children know you and your ex-partner are on the ‘same page’ when it comes to parenting – they’re less likely to try to pull the wool over your eyes. When kids know Mum and Dad talk to each other about what’s going on, they feel the stability.
When children don’t have to worry about who they’re going to sit with or what one parent is going to say because they said hello to their other parent at a school or sports event, they’re spending their time thinking about other things – like scoring the winning goal or giving their shiniest performance. You’re investing in your children and their ability to live the life of a kid.
When children are able to talk on the phone to Dad without being interrogated or interrupted by Mum, they relax into a routine of regular communication with BOTH parents when they’re in each home. You’re investing in the free-flow of communication between your children and each parent.
When kids know they’re allowed to talk about their Mum when at Dad’s and call her Mum, they learn how to be themselves and NOT how to please others. They learn that they’re valuable and worthwhile and not just here to make a parent happy. You’re investing in your children’s self esteem and self worth.
You’re investing in higher work productivity. When you’re spending work hours replying to aggravating email or taking time out to meet with lawyers, you’re reducing your contribution to your workplace. When you’re anxious and worried, you struggle to focus on the task at hand and your performance flails. Going to mediation is an investment in your career.
When you’re lying awake in bed at night, unable to sleep because you’re worried about your children, or when you will see your children, or how you can reply to the most recent communication from your ex, you’re losing sleep. Resolving these issues at mediation means you’re investing in a better functioning ‘you’.
When your time at home is spent talking to your partner about the latest disagreement with your ex, you’re reducing the quality of the time you spend with your new partner and other children. Mediation is an investment in your quality of life and other family relationships.
There’s a statistic floating around social media that a number of men each week commit suicide from issues directly related to family breakdown. You’re not just investing in a relationship with your children but also your own mental health. You’re making a commitment to yourself that says you are important and your feelings are valued by YOU!
Some people flail around, looking for solutions, missing time with their children. Every weekend they argue about when they can see their kids next, bargaining and negotiating just to spend time with their children. Going to mediation leaves you free to invest that time in any number of other pursuits – extra hours at work, dating, sport, sleep.
Families who have arrangements in place sometime struggle with those agreements. They argue about school clothes, nappies, formula, flexibility, changeover time and location. They are in constantly heightened states, waiting for their phone to ping the newest onslaught of abuse or denigration. Their cortisol levels are peaking with extra stress and it’s taking a toll on their body. They sleep poorly, carry extra weight around their waist, over eat, defer to alcohol or maybe even drugs. Investing in mediation is an investment in your health.
Coming to mediation does require an investment. Money is a scarce commodity these days. It seems that everything we earn is spent before it hits our bank account. But some things don’t have a monetary cost. How much are you prepared to sacrifice before you invest? Choosing to mediate can be scary. It’s unknown territory, and you need a bit of faith that things CAN be different. You CAN choose how your life and that of your children, will be in the future. Choose to mediate sooner rather than later. Invest in your children and yourself.