Joel Leon – The art of conscious co-parenting 

This episode is about co-parenting – the good, the bad, the ugly and the achingly beautiful attempt to raise human beings together. There’s no assumption here about in which way you do this – in or outside of a traditional romantic partnership, in or outside the same home. It’s also not about IS NOT ABOUT 50/50 PARENTING – OR WHO WORKS AND WHO STAYS AT HOME. For me, the more important question is how we do it together. 
 
In a way that keeps everybody – I’ll repeat here – everybody – nourished and supported.
 
I recorded this episode deep into the trenches of the first lock down. Both mine and Josh my husbands offices had closed, we were working from home – both our businesses needed some serious reimagining in order to survive – and we were trying to do all of this while wrestling two children under four in a home without with walls.
 
Normal. Game plan. Out. Of. The Window.
 
Needless to say it wasn’t pretty. But what it did do is shine a very intense light on all of the areas of our co-parenting approach – that maybe hadn’t been working for awhile.
 
In one of my moments looking for answers, and also using my iphone to numb out the noise, I stumbled across an incredible TED talk by a man called Joel Leon. In it he talked about co-parenting as beautiful and hard work. Work that should be consciously created, rather than left to form as a result of whatever we witnessed as children. He had me hooked.
 
After I finished watching, I told Josh I wanted to interview him for the podcast – to which he understandably replied: ‘I’m not really clear what parenting has to do with influence’. 
 
So, for anyone else wondering about that link – here it is.
 
There is no distinction between parenting and leadership. Anything that works in your home – I guarantee you the essence (don’t mistake the essence with the tactics) will work the people you work with or lead – and vice versa. There is also no distinction between co-parenting and negotiation. Our ability to balance two often competing needs and reach a mutually beneficial – respectful outcome – even when the going gets hard. Those tools, they don’t change between the boardroom and the loungeroom.
 
And finally – for many of us – isn’t this the biggest influence job we will ever do? The one we will regret the most if we get it wrong – the one we are most fundamentally, universally and societally responsible for?
 
I know for myself – how I influence and lead myself around the ones I love – is often an exact and sometimes uncomfortable mirror on how I am in the world at large.
 
Curious, collaborative and clear – or distracted, fearful and forcing my own agenda.
 
So – in true stalker style – I did track Joel down and in this conversation we go deep into the worlds of:
 
Radical Honesty – What does it mean? And where should it be used? Clue for anyone that’s ever given this a try… not everywhere…
 
The Beautiful and Hard Work of Co-Parenting – including mutual respect and monitoring ‘how we show up’ 
 
How to get through the killer phrase “I didn’t sign up for this” – anyone heard or said that before? And how to accept the fact that this job wasn’t meant to be a ‘fairytale’
 
How to handle and communicate our own capacity – and do the same for our co-parent
 
And the struggle for relatable/relevant knowledge for co-parents. Why it doesn’t exist and how we can step up and start to lead the charge.
 
We’re living in a world where the old rules of parenting no longer apply – for both genders. We need a new game plan, one that honors and respects the new shapes of our families. That in turn can help equip our children with better tools to build their own families. In whatever form that takes.
 
On that note – sit back, maybe invite in your co-parent – and enjoy my conversation with the amazing Joel Leon.
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