Giving Grace

Sometimes, we need little reminders to give not just ourselves, but our partners, a little grace when it comes to this parenting thing.
As I’ve said it many times before, I’ll keep saying it. Being a parent is hard. You spend nine months (or less, depending on when you found out you were pregnant) reading every book, article, and blog post – watching every discovery channel special and youtube video from reputable sources – on how your baby is developing from conception to the point they move out and go to college. You try to mentally prepare for every imaginable scenario, so if anything happens, from a cold to a broken bone, you’ll be able to handle it. You strive to know the most about the human body possible, so you can recognize early onset of anything possible, to ensure that nothing will ever happen to your sweet, precious baby for the next 18+ years….

That’s if you’re a mom. I’m sure there’s some father’s out there who read all the pregnancy and child rearing books with their partners too, so they could be just as well prepared. However, mine was in Russia for his study abroad program for college during my pregnancy. And I’m pretty sure he was only worried about teaching our little boy how to hunt and fish once he’s old enough.

So it’s probably more natural than not to feel uneasy when you see your husband pushing the baby a little too high on the swing (for your over-protective preference), or sneaking him french fries because “he’s had a whole pile of blueberries, baby wants a french fry”(yes, that happened). 

It’s also ok to feel angry when you catch your toddler standing on the coffee table while Daddy is playing on his phone.

Feelings are valid, especially when it comes to your child. But it’s important to give not only yourself grace for the little things, but your partner as well. As mothers, we beat ourselves up enough worrying; is my child getting enough exercise? Are his meals perfectly balanced? He only had one nap yesterday, and hasn’t slept today. Is he getting enough rest?

It doesn’t do anyone much good to bless your husband out for giving the baby too many cookies, and allowing him to watch Wrestling, a few minutes over bedtime.

As long as there isn’t any actual abuse taking place, the next time you catch your husband doing maybe the exact opposite of how you would have handled a situation, remember this: Everyone’s parenting style is different. Including your partner’s.  What may seem like a big deal to you, might not be to them (and vise versa). Allow Dad to handle things as he see’s fit. It’s all a learning process, and no one – NO ONE – is absolutely right.

And honestly, I can almost guarantee you that as soon as you leave, Dad and Kids are going to do exactly as they want. Especially if they know it’s something you really don’t like ( like say, letting the baby eat espresso flavored ice cream…yes, that happened too).

You are a good Mom. And your child has a good Dad. As long as the family isn’t in danger, then show your partner – and yourself – some grace when it comes to the small details. It’s worth it in the long run.

giving

Why your husband should be your best friend too

I am a firm believer that your husband should also be your best friend.

A best friend is who you share secrets with. You call them when something exciting/scary happens, and you go to them when you need advice.

I can tell my husband anything. And I tell him everything. He is my biggest supporter, but also my most honest feedback. If something great (or even terrible) happens, it’s not real until I tell him. Activities are automatically more fun when he’s involved, and he is the biggest stress-reliever. That’s not to say occasionally he isn’t the cause of stress, but when I need things put into perspective, my husband is there.

So many qualities that my husband possesses, can also be found in a best friend (if it isn’t a prerequisite).

And realizing that, got me to thinking about this; how do we choose our best friends?

Well, similar interests, sense of humor, goals…all those things fall into what makes a Best Friend-category. Someone who will support and encourage you, falls into that as well. But, they must also be willing to be completely honest, even if it means saving you from yourself.

So, if your husband, (or fiance, or even boyfriend) isn’t doing any of these things, shouldn’t they be?

A best friend wouldn’t discourage your goals and dreams. They wouldn’t tell you things like, “That’s stupid,” unless it actually is a stupid idea. Like building a giant shoe rack that emcompasses the entire closet, knowing good and well that you are the type of person who will not use it and become frustrated when you have to sort 20+ pairs of shoes from the closet floor. This is what I mean by saving you from yourself. (Yes, this happened)

A best friend wouldn’t tell you not to eat those tacos, “Because you’ll gain weight”. They eat tacos with you.  They don’t demand that you not wear makeup, or dress a certain way, or need to know your every move. Best friends don’t suffocate your personal space or try to control you.

Sadly, so many women I know have partners that don’t do what their best friends would. What’s the point of a relationship like that?

My challenge for women everywhere is to replace any statement, or thought, about a subject that their husband or boyfriend might not approve of, and replace “Husband/Boyfriend” with “Best Friend.” If it sounds less than desirable, then maybe it’s time to reevaluate things.

Don’t think I’m secretly planning on breaking people up over this, but honestly; if you found yourself thinking, “Wow, my best friend would never say I’m not allowed to talk to my Mom!” and realized you were talking about your husband…and you find yourself uncomfortable…it might be a red flag. Just saying.

You should never feel afraid to tell your partner anything. Or fear they might be unsupportive. Or angry. Or jealous.

A husband needs to be the same as a best friend-to help you pick yourself up after a fall, to laugh with, to dream. If you can’t spend the rest of your life with your best friend..who can you spend it with?

husbands-bestfriend

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

Don’t Downplay Your Spouse

Ever talk about your partner?

Everyone is a little guilty of this. I know I am. But I really shouldn’t do it. Chatting with girlfriends, your mom, your best friend from high school, just any normal conversation, the topics sometimes lead to your loved one. Continue reading “Don’t Downplay Your Spouse”

World’s Best Husband

What makes the World’s Best Husband?
Well I could brag about mine all day. And usually do. Not because of any particular thing he does or says, but because of all the things he does as a whole.
I remember visiting his Dad once,  and my husband later telling me what he was instructed to do in order to let me know I was appreciated.
“Every once in a while,  buy her some flowers. “
He has never once bought me flowers.  But he knows I’m just not a flower kind of person. They are pretty,  but I’m not the kind of woman who yerns for a bouquet of expensive roses I’ll no doubt forget to water,  and allow to wilt away in a few days.
Ice cream?  Hells yes! Wine? Tequila?! Even better! He knows I can appreciate those things more than expensive flowers.
I craved lime all throughout my pregnancy, and as it got closer to our son’s birth,  I kept dropping hints that margaritas were in order as soon as I were released from the hospital.  I honestly forgotten all about it until the first night our new baby was home.  My sweet husband ran out,  brought back ice cream & Margaritaville mix, and said,  “You’ve done enough.  Relax for a while. “
At Christmas,  after listening to my ranting about society as a collective becoming worse and the world a scarier place,  He didn’t go out and get some over priced jewelry that will sit on my dresser for the majority of its life (because I don’t wear a lot of jewelry) or some other stereotypical Husband gift. He bought me a gun-made sure I could shoot it effectively-and bought my concealed carry permit.
“You need to know how to protect yourself if you’re ever in a situation and I’m mot around. ” And he made sure of that.
He talks to me. We discuss things that are going on in our lives,  and its not just to humor each other.  He takes a genuine interest in what’s going on other than the day to day trivial tasks of a SAHM.
Sometimes I’ll have girlfriends ask,  “how are things going between y’all? ” and they seem surprised,  maybe even disappointed,  that I don’t have a huge bitch list to get off my chest. But we really never fight-our arguments are even stupid and comical-and we have an all around healthy relationship.  And that’s how it’s supposed to be! You aren’t supposed to find yourself bitching about your spouse all the time.
And no, mine doesn’t shower me with flowers & jewelry at every holiday… and I don’t want him to. I want him to keep doing exactly what he’s doing;  paying attention to what I say and putting forth the effort to show that not only does he listen. But he cares.
And that’s why I have the World’s Best Husband.