Written by: AsaRead More
We find ourselves droning on every single day, telling our kids the same things. Often, we are inside our heads thinking “This is such good advice, how come they aren’t listening”? The truth is that WE are not even listening. These are the things we tell our children, that TRUTHFULLY we as their parents, adults, need to be living out better ourselves.
Treat Each Other the Way YOU Want to be Treated!
The Golden Rule, seems so easy right? Except it’s not. If I’m being honest, I’m really selfish. I want back massages, and coffee in bed. I want free time to focus on me and what I want, away from the kids and obligation. I want good gifts, not cheap ones. I want people to speak kindly to me, and tell me that I’m doing a good job. But am I doing that for those around me? Am I really looking at my wife, kids, coworkers and friends and treating them how I want to be treated? The world would be such a different place if even a few of us actually lived this.
Slow down, speak clearly, I can’t understand you!
Kids babble, and get so excited words start to get jumbled. They so often get frustrated because they’re so worked up, they can’t communicate simple things. Isn’t that true for us too? Especially when I’m mad. Don’t I just spout off statements and remarks without really pausing to think about what I’m communicating? I can’t count the number of times I have irrationally spoken without clarity and caused more harm than good. Or been frustrated that there was a miscommunication. Truthfully, I should be slower to speak, quicker to listen.
Did you remember to wash your pits?
Teaching the kids to bathe properly is frustrating, but liberating. We are nearly at the point of independent showers and baths. GAME CHANGER! But this is both practical, and metaphorical for us. We can have some things hiding inside of us that really stink. We need to wash clean those pits, those stinky parts. Because no manner or perfume can cover up the smell.
Calm Down and Focus on the Problem
Every single day, multiple times a day, my kids lose their proverbial ISH over THE dumbest things. Recently my daughter went into a screaming temper tantrum because she couldn’t buckle her seat belt. She belligerently screamed, cried and flailed about. Once I got her quiet, I said “Calm down and focus on the problem.” Low and behold, with a level calm head she got her seat belt on. But how often do I fly into anxiety and stress, even anger and rage when stuff doesn’t go my way? I let the circumstance of the moment overwhelm me. If I could just remember, calm down, focus on the problem, how would MY life change? What can I do right now to fix this? What do I need help with? What do I need to let go of?
What did you learn?
Kids make mistakes. It’s what they’re really good at. They drop things, spill things, mess up on their homework, back talk their parents, hit each other, you name it. Every time they mess up we ask them “What did you learn?” This allows them to see what went wrong, and how next time they can do it different. If we don’t stop and look at our mistakes, really examine what it is that steered us in the wrong direction, we won’t learn how to avoid it next time. Mistakes happen, but we need to learn from them!
Would you like to try that again?
Do overs. We all need them. We all need to extend the same grace to those around us. And allow ourselves the chance for a do over. Accept that you aren’t perfect, it’s ok.
Enough Screens, GO PLAY!
Do iPads come in handy? Of course they do. How often have I been in mid meltdown when I’ve yelled, “YES! Fine! You can get your iPad!!” [I don’t truthfully want to admit how many times, so hush.] I’m also the first to admit that technology isn’t the root of all evil, nor does it have to be bad at all. Both of our kids use a LOT of educational apps and have excelled in reading because of that. But it literally drives me insane sometimes that it’s the #1 consistent thing that they want to do. Pierson is in a phase where he will play basketball, and he’ll play for quite a long time which is GREAT. But then he’ll say, “Can I do my iPad?” instead of playing with the gazillion toys that he has. “I don’t have anything to do,” Reese will say. Or, “I’m bored.” As their mom who has actively been a part of making sure that they have PLENTY to do, there is zero reason whatsoever for either child to be bored. Ever. The screen is the first thing they gravitate towards, but isn’t it the same for us? Perhaps even for you? We were just talking about how we want to get a REAL alarm clock for our bedroom again and charge our phones elsewhere. For so long, they have been what we look at last before we fall asleep. Moderation would be better.
Love, (mostly Asa) ;)
Aahh the Newlywed stage. Have people ever told you, “Your first year will be the hardest!” When Asa and I got engaged, it was mind blowing just how many outright negative comments we received. The one common thread everyone said we would fight over, was money. They also said that we would be having sex, all the time. Guess right, they were WRONG.
Whenever we have friends in our life get married we alway ask them these questions:
-What is the best part about being married?
-What is the one thing you can’t believe nobody told you about?
-What is the hardest part about being married?
About 99% of the time we get these answers: “The best part is learning to do life together, making our home, nesting essentially. The part nobody warned us about is how fiercely independent we’ve been for so many years and how hard that would be to shake off as we become dependent on each other. And the hardest part is sex. Expectations were weird, physically it’s not what we expected… and not to say it’s “bad”, (though sometimes it is) it’s certainly not the movies either.
Truthfully this is the reality for so many newlyweds, regardless we’ve found of age or how long they’ve been together. Of course unpacking and arranging furniture is fun. Cuddling with your spouse, having morning coffee, sneaking into each others’ shower are all just awesome fun things. It’s LIFE. This is why we chose to get married, to do life with each other.
The trouble comes that we seem to not realize that sharing our life, really means SHARING OUR LIVES. We share finances and we share time. We share spaces and objects. Learning that I have to communicate my schedule, my desires for OUR money, and being upfront about my expectations is challenging. Somehow though we forget in the engagement stage of the relationship that we are independent people agreeing to intertwine everything in life.
And then yes, there is sex. Your predisposed notion is PROBABLY: “It’s going to be magical, it’s going to be often, and I’m going to be really good at it.” But the truth is, unless you are both quite versed in sex prior to your wedding night, (we weren’t), its going to be awkward. It might even be hard. Yes, it will definitely be fun. But you don’t necessarily think about prior to the marriage, that you will have to find a way to be as sexy as you can, and care as little as possible about the outcome. That’s difficult, right? Things just aren’t the movies, where everything has perfect candle lit angles, and its all extremely satisfying. But you know what it is? It is intimate, it is fun, it does feel good, and it will get better. Practice makes perfect. Stick with it slugger.
We recently saw this quote that resonated well:
“The devil will do anything to get you in bed before your marriage and everything after your wedding night to keep you out of it.”
Believe it or not, this is 1000% TRUE.
Our first year of marriage, we didn’t stress about money. We were poor. Plain and simple! We budgeted extremely well and looked forward to our Thursday night cheap Chinese takeout and Grey’s Anatomy. We didn’t overspend or even want to spend. We had each other, and we lived in the heart of the city of Old Louisville. We had our dogs, our love, and Chinese…what more could we ask for?
But the truth is, as the years went on, we quickly discovered that we didn’t have it all together. Our love, as strong as it was, wasn’t solely butterflies and roses. We struggled finding the time to pursue one another, to learn what the other needed: physically, emotionally, spiritually, and intimately. The newly wed stage is magical for all the right reasons, but it’s just a phase. What we hope and pray you are creating is a healthy foundation of LOVE for all of the phases still yet to come. Each phase is beautifully tough. No phase is perfect, but ALL phases you get to face together.