Making A Marriage


The following is a guest post by Brittany Dyer on the topic of Marriage. Marriage, including making one work, means something different to us all. I love her take on the subject, and I hope you do too! Don’t forget to check out her website, Follow The Dyers

My husband and I have been married for 9 years this month. We have 2 beautiful children, ages 2 and 3. Yes, crazy, I know! My background is counseling, but I am currently a stay-at-home mama and pastor’s wife, originally from Tennessee, currently residing in Bangkok Thailand. We love this crazy journey and crazy marriage God has given us.

My husband and I have decided to make marriage a priority. First is God, then comes our marriage. We even place our marriage above our children. With children, this concept is a challenge, however, especially with littles because they are always wanting attention, but we know if we have a solid marriage, then our children will feel more loved and have a good example of what marriage and stability looks like. If my “wife cup” is full, then I will be better able to love my children. Therefore, marriage is our #2 priority in our lives right behind our relationship with God.

How do we keep our marriage solid? Well, we access our needs. We determine what we need from the other partner to feel loved. Despite what some people seem to believe, people evolve, and, therefore, so does marriage. I believe it is a good idea to access your marital needs about once a year to make sure your needs are being met in appropriate ways. This list should not be exhaustive and long, but maybe list the top 3 things each of you needs in your marriage and work toward meeting those few needs well. For example, my Love Language is physical touch, so I need affection from my husband. That need would be discussed when we talk about our marital needs. Let’s be real ladies, our husbands need sex, so be prepared for that one to be on his list! Not only does sex help men feel loved like affection does for women, but they are biologically created for and need sex. Commit to each other to work on these top 3 needs in your marriage, no matter what it is the other person needs.

We try to compliment each other often. Providing compliments builds up the other person’s confidence and self-esteem. It also allows them to feel loved, so make sure you are investing in your marriage by complimenting your spouse!

We talk about our issues. This concept is not always easy, but we try to come to a compromise on issues we fight about, and sometimes getting it off one’s chest can just make you feel better. By talking about a problem, we can usually come to some sort of a conclusion to move on and not continue to be upset about it in the future. This idea is not always foolproof, but we try!

We do not use the past against each other. We do not bring up arguments in the past in order to hurt one another. We do not bring up things in each other’s past that will cut each other deeply. We give each other grace, and we move on after an argument is resolved, and our marriage remains much happier because of it!

We remember the good times. We remember that trip to Florida we went on when we were dating to watch the UT/Florida Game, where I traveled and slept in a hotel room with 3 other guys and never told my family about it. We remember leaving our wedding and driving 1 ½ hours and all the craziness that went along with that drive (think lubricant all over the entire car-thanks to my husband’s buddies!). We remember the good times often and try not to get so caught up in the negative moments of life.

My husband and I keep our marriage exciting by allowing it to be adventurous. We invest in our marriage by going on dates, vacation and doing spontaneous things, even with our children in tow. In addition to the spontaneous things we do, we also have traditions that make life more fun because of the things we look forward to doing. Excitement and adventure keep marriage fun!

We try to forget expectations others place on us. The world places some pretty harsh expectations on marriages. Fairy tales, television sitcoms and romantic comedies all place this ideal man or ideal woman in our head that are completely unrealistic. It is important to realize these are television shows and movies for a reason-they are NOT real life! We have to accept our husbands for who they are and leave the expectations in the movies! Otherwise, we place unrealistic standards and expectations on our husbands that will always leave them falling short to achieve, and we will always be disappointed.

For all of the reasons, I remain secure in my marriage. We can overcome any difficulty in our marriage with the information given above. Enjoy and happy marriages!

Brittany is a pastor’s wife, living in Bangkok, Thailand. She is a former counselor, and now a SAHM to two wonderful children. You can read her blog, about Christianity and Parenting, at her site, Follow The Dyers.

Brittany talks about making her marriage a priority, how to keep things interesting, and overcoming unrealistic expectations

Open Letter To That New Mom

Dear New Mother,
First, congratulations on your bundle of joy! Right now, they may not seem very joyful, but trust me, they are.

They may seem like screaming, inconsolable terrors from the depths of insanity. You might feel like nothing you do is right. You probably feel overwhelmed, exhausted, and as if you’ve bitten off way more than you can chew.

It’s ok. Almost every mother feels like this-a lot! This won’t be the last time you feel this way either.

You may even feel lonely and afraid as you adjust to the new weight of the unimaginable responsibility of caring for another tiny, helpless human being. This is ok too. 

Just know that you aren’t alone.

It does get easier…but then it becomes hard again. Just like Life itself. But what you are doing is a Great thing, And believe me, it is worth it. Even at 4am, running on 3 hours of sleep in the last two days, overwhelmed by teething and fevers and God knows what else that could possibly be wrong….it is worth it.

Your baby will look at you and smile. Snuggle up and coo so softly. Laugh at your presence. And all the anger, frustration, stress will (maybe even just temporarily) melt away. And you’ll see.

Don’t let the difficulties get the best of you. I know this is hard. I know this seems impossible sometimes. But we all have times like this.

Don’t let the stories of those “perfect mommies” make you feel like you’re failing somehow. Trust me, that seemingly “perfect” parent who’s child goes to sleep (and sleeps forever), eats all their veggies, hits milestones early, and is portrayed as the picture perfect baby-does something that makes that Fake Untouchable Parent cringe and want to pull their hair out. They just aren’t going to tell you about it. *wink*

But all the messes, meltdowns, and missed opportunities you gave up for your child, are all worth it in the end. They really are. And don’t for one second think that you are the first one to spend the day with dried puke (or pee..or even poop) on their clothes, too spent to think about changing, walking throughout the house with a squalling child just begging for a break. We’ve all done it. And anyone who isn’t sympathetic to that is not only untrue to themselves, but not worth wasting any energy on thinking about.

Find mothers who keep it real to form your tribe. It’ll help you keep your sanity, and you might even learn some things along the way.

Keep trekking. The Journey is long, but oh so worth it.

Sincerely,
Another Mom.

An open letter to all New Moms, from a New Mom

 

Learning to Love Myself

People are made in all different shapes and sizes. Diversity is not only a very beautiful thing, but a very common and normal part of life.

I think it’s awesome that we live in a world where everyone looks different, and unique. It could be much worse-we could live within an episode of Star Trek where everyone looks exactly the same, and it’s boring and bland…

I’ve written about the “unwritten mom-wardrobe code” and  body shaming before, but today I’m going to focus on why I’ve stopped putting myself down for my looks, and my plan to learn to love myself.

I’ve been my size pretty much my whole (nearly 30 years) life. Except for pregnancy, and I naturally lost all the baby weight. I’m not a work-out fiend. I wish I were, and I get excited about trying a new ab challenge every once in a while, but it’s always the same; I put it off until tomorrow, and then before I know it, it’s taco tuesday and I’ll start that 30 day challenge next month. I’m lazy. No shame.

Do I wish I had bigger breasts and a bigger butt? Of course. Who doesn’t want their body to look better? I don’t think anyone is completely happy with their looks. We all want nicer bodies, hair, nails, whatever. I honestly hate being skinny. Whoever made up “thin privilege” has never went to the mall with me. I’m lucky if I find anything I like in my size. Although, I think that’s a universal woman problem, regardless of size…

And it does really upset me when I hear stories of people who have felt such pressure by peers, or celebrities they admire, that they began to hate their bodies. It’s a terrible thing to know that somewhere, there’s a 15 year old girl starving herself to look like the model on the cover of Cosmopolitan. There’s a 16 year old somewhere who thinks she needs breast implants and butt injections in order to feel beautiful. And it kills me to know that even a few people I personally know went to extreme lengths to look as skinny as I do (but really I was sitting on the couch eating nachos and not exercising).

When I receive those comments that, “Not all of us look like you!”, I used to explain that it’s always been very hard for me to gain weight. I have health problems that seem like a blessing in disguise to some. But my weight isn’t something I can, unfortunately, control.

But since I can’t control it, I’m not going to downplay myself to put anyone else at ease. I used to say “Oh, I got that dress in a size (3 sizes bigger) because it didn’t fit,” just to make a friend feel better. I’m not going to admit to working out like crazy four times a week, when I know that I spent that time vegging out on the couch once the baby was asleep. I’m not gong to agree with someone’s assumption that I just “Don’t eat a lot” when most days, my plate is bigger than my 250+ pound husband.

I don’t feel like lying is helping the issues that someone else has with their appearance.

We need to teach people, young and old, that health is all that matters. Not striving to be like the cover of a magazine, or comparing yourself to someone you know-but to just try to be healthy. And don’t look to your peers and the beautiful people on TV to be your comparison. Motivation is one thing, but when it becomes dangerous to your own self image, it needs to stop. And by lying, you can inadvertently create an image that may cause someone trying to replicate what they think is real, to spiral out of control.  

Not to mention, it just isn’t fair to me. If I can wear something, I’m going to. If I don’t feel like going to the gym, I won’t. It’s not up to me to be a spokesperson for my type, or to encourage anyone else to strive to be like me. I’m just myself.

And with that in mind, I’m going to learn to love myself. Other’s might not like me, but that doesn’t mean I don’t need to. I need to learn to love my body (and hair, and personality). Every woman needs to learn to love themselves. Because no matter who you are, someone somewhere is envious of you. Differences are what makes us all unique. And the fact that someone is envious of a quality about you that they wish they had, that needs to be motivation enough to love yourself. And at the end of the day, if all you receive are haters, jealous because of the qualities you have and they lack-then if no one else is going to love you, you really need to love yourself.

So embrace what you have-because I’ll bet you anything that whatever it is, someone else wishes they had it. And the only opinion that matters of how you look, is yours. I will no longer make up excuses, or put myself down for how I look, to appease others. I only need to appease myself.

 Finding the qualities within yourself, and about yourself, and becoming happy with them instead of changing to appease others

 

3 Reasons Self-Care Is Crucial For Moms

We have an awesome guest post, written by Lisa Benavidez, on the importance of Self-Care as a Mother. If you don’t take care of yourself, it really is hard to care for others. I really enjoyed this, as I hope you all will too. Don’t forget to check out her blog!

It’s 8 pm, you’re getting your kids ready for bed and preparing for tomorrow. You’re exhausted, glad the day is over, and trying to decide between enjoying some quiet time or going to sleep.

I get it. I’m a mom too!

We go and go all day for our family. From cooking to cleaning to driving around from soccer to ballet. Some of us work or have a business too. We are supermoms, there is no doubt.

But being supermom doesn’t mean you have to do it all, all the time. Being a real supermom means you know that you are an important part of your family and they really do need you. And part of your role is making sure YOU are taken care of so that you can take care of your family. Right?

You hear the airline video tell you to put on your oxygen mask FIRST before helping others. As a mom we might think “No way! I have to make sure my kids are ok first!” But really, this is so important. If something happens to you, who will be able to care for them?

And I know what it feels like to put your oxygen mask on last. A few years ago I got rheumatoid arthritis and started a whole new journey. I had to take a break from parenting because I physically could not do things. I quickly had to learn that my health was important. I had to take care of myself if I wanted to start taking care of my kids again.  You can read more about my story here.

What I want to share with you is how important self-care is especially for moms! Here are 3 reason why it’s crucial for moms to take care of themselves.

1. YOU CAN’T SERVE FROM AN EMPTY CUP. If you are not at your best, how are you giving your best to your family? Stop half-assing (sorry for the language!), and take care of yourself so you can be 100% for the people you love!

2. CHANGE YOUR MINDSET.  Self-care is NOT selfish! Taking care of YOU is taking care of your family. You are part of your family. And to be a little harsh, if you don’t take care of yourself, who will? Flip the language mama…it’s ok to make sure you are taken care of!

3. MONKEY SEE, MONKEY DO. Your kids are watching you. If you take the time to show you’re important and deserve to be happy and fulfilled, they learn to do the same. Teach them to love and care for themselves too!

And a bonus reason is that when you are taking care of yourself, you are a happier mom. When you are a happy mom your family feeds off that energy and is happier too!

So what will you do today to start taking better care of YOU?img_7885

Lisa Benavidez is a wife, mom of 3 girls, coffee fanatic, lover of life and a Happiness Coach for moms! She helps busy moms who struggle with finding the time to enjoy life and feel like they’re losing themselves in the process, to instead create balance and ditch the mom guilt by implementing clear boundaries and changing their mindset, so that they can finally step into the best version of themselves and live their dream life!

3 Reasons Self-Care Is Crucial For Mothers, and how you can take steps towards taking care of yourself, in order to care for your children

Dirty Laundry – To Air or Not To Air?

Should We Be Airing Our Dirty Laundry?

Social media has become a major factor of most people’s day to day life. We share our triumphs and defeats, our successes and failures.

But how much info is too much info? Especially when it comes to personal drama? Continue reading “Dirty Laundry – To Air or Not To Air?”