I love my husband. But sometimes he drives me nuts. BONKERS. Sometimes he can crawl right under my skin and pitch a tent there. And if I am being completely honest with you — I do exactly the same thing to him. We are not always on the same page and often fall out of sync with one another. Some days we fail to effectively communicate and can feel a rift forming between us. This doesn’t happen because we are wrong for each other. Or because we have fallen out of love with one another. It isn’t even some indication that we are failing as a couple. This is normal. This is marriage, y’all. When handled properly, healthy amounts of conflict presents a marriage with opportunities to grow, mature, and strengthen. In order for conflict to be proactive and positive — you first need to have some tools in your marriage belt that will help promote healthy conflict resolution. I want to share with you six tools you can use when navigating conflict in your marriage.
With the Lenten season beginning, I wanted to write a post that focuses on this sacred time of the year — specifically with mamas in mind. As you probably know, it is common for Christians to “give-up” something for the 40-day period we know as Lent. There are varying views on what “giving-up” and “taking-up” should look like during Lent. Personally, I believe the things we give-up and/or take-up should serve a primary purpose: to draw us closer to Jesus. That being said, I want to share with you two things us mama’s can give-up and take-up during this season of Lent that will help draw us nearer to Jesus — and also help us to be better mamas!
Your days will no longer be carefree and whimsy will begin to scare you. You will find sprinkles of freedom here and there, but you’ll also realize you no longer yearn to be free like before. You prefer to be home. You will still explore, but you won’t wander as far as you used to. Your adventures will no longer be about you — and that’s okay. You actually like it that way. You will find joy in her curiosity. You will find peace in her smile. Your late nights will look a little different. There will be tears and you will be tired. Some nights you will sit and wonder if the morning will ever come. I promise you it does. The sun always comes out again.
I watched another mom endure the same things I did during my own postpartum recovery. The things that made me feel weak, alone, and worthless. The things no one likes to talk about. The messy things. The gross things. The real things. I watched the mom in this ad over and over again. I admired her strength, her grace, and her perseverance. I yearned so badly to help her, even if it meant simply reassuring her that everything she is going through is normal and that it will soon pass. As I watched this mom again and again, an amazing thing happened — I began to see myself. I was no longer watching a stranger struggle through the woes of postpartum — I was watching me. I was admiring my own strength. My own grace. And my own perseverance. This ad — and the feelings it gave me — have inspired me to share the raw and messy details of my physical recovery with you — especially the things that I was not prepared for after childbirth.
The crumbs stayed in their places all day. The dishes piled up in the sink. The laundry from the wash never made it into the dryer. And the clean laundry sat in the basket for another day. Lunch was nothing special, either. Macaroni does just fine on days like today. Your toys were strewn about the house and I didn’t bother to put them away. To save some time, I’ll just say my to-do list stayed undone. But I didn’t do nothing today.
Let’s face it — motherhood changes us. Whether it’s for better or for worse, bringing a baby into this world alters something (or everything) about us. Trust me, mama — none of us journey through motherhood unscathed. The trap most of us mamas fall into is letting our original self fall to the wayside while we navigate the rough terrain of first-time motherhood. Now, hear me out — being “mama” is a beautiful thing. It is an incredibly special gift bestowed upon us by God. But motherhood is not our be-all and end-all. Balancing your pre-mom-self and new-mom-self will be work. It will take time. But, it is important — no, necessary — for your mental and emotional health. It is essential for you to figure out you in order to be the best mama you can be to your babe(s).
With February just around the corner, I wanted to share some thoughtful Valentine’s Day gift ideas for the guy in your life — whether it’s a boyfriend, a fiancé, or husband. When my husband and I first started dating, I struggled with what to buy him for Valentine’s Day. Not only is my husband incredibly difficult to buy for — and most men are — but it’s hard to find something that says, “I love you,” that isn’t corny or useless (inevitably landing itself in the donation pile by the end of the year.) I aim to find a gift that is practical, personal, and sentimental.