Tag Archives: parenting

Mother and Lover: Finding Sensuality After Children

Two years of marriage and two children under two. You can imagine this has thrown a slight hic up in my husband’s and my sex life. We are parents, which is fantastic, but before that we were lovers. It is easy for my husband to bounce between these two roles however, for me it is considerably more difficult.  I love that women have so many roles in life, but it is harder to act them out than to speak of them. At the end of the day I face the “touched out” syndrome where I feel like a dirty dishrag. I have been nursing, cleaning nasty messes, and changing diapers. All this is explains why I would probably not be in the mood, but it wouldn’t change my husband’s needs.

Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli- some inspiration to channel your inner Venus (Picture is from uffizi.org)

We attended a marriage conference earlier this year where we wrote down our top three needs in marriage. I wrote down stuff like conversation, affection, and spending time together. When I looked over at my husband’s top three needs they all said the same thing- sex, sex, and more sex.

My husband is the most giving and kind man I know. So you can imagine I felt a stab of guilt at this list. Here I was, my needs being met whilst his needs, his only need that makes him feel loved and cared for, was being extremely neglected. Now that I am no longer pregnant, it is time to focus more on one another. These thoughts below have been my game plan to feel more sensual and take care of my husband (and myself.)

1. The kids are in bed by 8:30 p.m. (It may be a totally different time for your family since everyone has a different work schedule) This out of everything we’ve done has been the most helpful. There is an end in sight for my mommy shift and to put on the hat of lover and wife. I know these roles are blended, but each one can only get so much attention that way. It helps to have that complete mental shift.

2. No screens after kids are in bed. This means television, smart phones, laptops ect. These devices can sneak into the bedroom and totally consume your love time! What is so important on facebook or pinterest that we must be browsing after lights out? The answer- nothing. If you need to unwind try to snuggle with your hubby, do some light stretching together, or even read to one another. Whatever is inspiring to physical or verbal communication.

3. Love yourself. That is right. I will only allow myself to be loved as much as I love myself. What woman is ready to be physically adored if she doesn’t adore herself physically? It may sound silly, but when I invest in my appearance it makes me feel better about me. If you can’t buy new clothes, get your hair done, or a massage try to do a small thing. Like a sexy bubble bath. What makes the bubble bath sexy? You! See, don’t you feel good already.

George Marks “Woman Taking Bubble Bath” from Art.com

4. Have a sex game plan. Wow, planning sex, isn’t that not sexy? Not according to “A Sex Starved Marriage” Couples who plan on having sex actually have more sex and feel more in-tuned to one another. My husband and I plan on how many times we have sex during the week and how many times each of us have to be the initiator. This may sound boring, but it makes us have a lot more sex because mentally we already have in planned! Sure spontaneity is encouraged, but when you go from none to some- I can tell you which is preferred.

5. Just do it! I recently watched a fantastic TED talk on the power of body language. The woman speaking mentioned that she would carry herself confidently even if she didn’t feel confidant, and strangely, it often made her a more confidant person. Instead of, “fake it until you make it.” Her motto was “fake it until you become it.” You may not feel like a sex goddess oozing sensuality and pleasure, as I often don’t, but that doesn’t mean you can’t become one! Try to think of yourself in a different light, channel whoever you need to, but tell yourself that you are the sexiest woman alive and you are glamorous no matter size, shape, or style. You got it going on. And before you know it, it won’t be fake anymore. You will be the sexiest woman alive and you will not be just trying to fake a wonderful love life- you will be enjoying your wonderful love life.

These are my not so dirty sex secrets and I hope that today you treat yourself to some sensuality as well as your spouse. Please share your secrets in the comment area to inspire myself, and others for a better love life!

*And though it is commonly thought that women are the only ones who struggle in having a strong sex life it is extremely common in men, but not as talked about. Check out my two favorite books on marriage and sex, “His Needs and Her Needs” and previously mentioned, “A Sex Starved Marriage.”

Click here for “His Needs Her Needs” (you can also find it on Walmart.com) Best book on marriage I’ve found.

Click here for “A Sex Starved Marriage: Boosting your Marriage Libido: A Couple’s Guide” It is very informative and helpful!

Read this!

Read this!

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Fairy Tales and Faith

Imaginations run through the woods and over brook. The breath of the wind races along beside us the grass tickling the bottom of our sprinting feet. The pulse of Mother Nature’s heart pounds in time with ours as we suckle the outdoors, nurtured by the awe and splendor of her curved and creviced body.

After reading a yarn every place I look seems to have creeping creatures. The bugs are fairies in disguise, the sounds of crickets a symphony of pleasure and the song of summer. The words in a book give life and new meaning to the events that course through the mundane day-to-day. In the darkest times I have felt comforted and uplifted by words. Stories hold a power over the reader that extends beyond time and space.

Eowyn admiring part of my fairy and fairy tales collection.

Eowyn admiring part of my fairy and fairy tales collection.

We read to know we are not alone.”        -C.S. Lewis.

If you would like to help a child to develop into a caring, well-rounded, and independent person, read to them and to themselves. In a book a person will wear the lenses of countless viewpoints, find characters that struggle as they do, hope in the darkness, and the ability to overcome when all is counted for loss. A book is a portal to other countries, cultures, and planets. Fairy tales are hope’s food for young and old.

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” -Albert Einstein 

Why fairy tales; not science, geography, and memoirs? There is nothing wrong with these and they should be put into practice as well. But, when they are young, when they are just beginning to peak at paper pages and are curious of the magic spells that lie in their grasp- it should be fairy tales. A fairy tale is a truth for the soul, not just mind. It rings true with every people group; we all have them, whether they be in the form of legends, myths, superstitions, or rhymes.

The purpose of such a tale is to stretch the possibilities of reality; to go beyond what we understand and see. To those landscapes of the mind plentiful with magic, unforeseen danger, but also endless wonder. Just as faith fuels our belief so fairy tales begin a child’s process of belief. Their capacity to believe in the unseen is astonishing- from the little funny gnomes who live in their walls (who are constantly taking their socks), to the monster lurking with a slobbery mouth under the bed or closet. A child’s heart longs to be a part of a world that is hidden within the one they live in. This seems to mirror the concept of a fairy tale that mirrors a spiritual truth. We all long for a world beyond our own.

Jesus used parables to connect with people. God inspired humans to write a holy book to connect Him to the entire world. People need stories! To inspire, relate, learn, build faith and put to place those complicated emotions. It is universal and entirely too important to skip out on.

“Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God,” (Romans 10:17 NKJ)

In these ways- faith, imagination, belief-  make fairy tales instrumental in sharing Christianity. When you read the bible to your little ones, don’t read word for word, but as they were handed down, in the form of a story. Describe David, the young Sheppard, watching his fluffy flock of sheep when along came a humongous hungry bear. David knew his job was to protect his sheep, so bravely he put a stone in his trusty slingshot, swung it above his head, and released it- “WHAP” it hit the bear in the head. The bear lay still, never to hunger again…” The bible is called the living word, why not put a little life into it when you speak it to your kids?

Remember, fairy Tales teach us to dream. (Dream big mama for your family, wellness, finances, and spirituality.)

Happy Mothering!

Further Reading:

Indulge in this fantastically fantastic essay “On Fairy Stories” by J.R.R. Tolkien, creator of “The Hobbit” and “Lord of the Rings” a series that inspired my daughter’s name, Eowyn.

http://public.callutheran.edu/~brint/Arts/Tolkien.pdf

Check out “Fairy Tales” by George MacDonald to enjoy a break from the typical Grimm Fairy Tales

http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Fairy-Tales-Penguin-Classics/dp/0140437371/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1374686396&sr=8-1&keywords=fairy+tale+George+MacDonald+penguin

Sources:

New King James Version of the Bible- verse located in Romans 10:17

http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/fairy-tales

http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/305767-we-read-to-know-we-are-not-alone

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Being Fired: Keeping Things in Perspective

I have never been fired- until yesterday.

Recently, I picked up a job as an independent contractor performing dispatch. It was really great. Our friend ran most of the business, I got to stay at home answer the phone, and put in orders. Super easy and since I’m a stay at home mom, no need for daycare. The work was just to make some extra spending money $50-100 a week. Still, to a mom who is very spend-thrifty it seemed to have endless possibilities.

I was shocked when I received a call from my friend’s son, he is very sweet, informing me that his dad was thinking of firing me. His dad was not in the car and didn’t realize his worried son even called. I laughed and told him he was being very kind to think of me, but not to be concerned about it. I quickly went through a list in my head of reasons why I would be fired. Perhaps the company was too small to consistently pay me, or maybe I wasn’t doing a very good job? (I was only trained in 30 minutes.) Surprisingly, when I called my friend, he said, “Yes,” they were going to let me go. But, not for reasons I would have thought. Some clients had complained about the children in the background.

Eowyn, Baby Dee, and Me

After being fired I found myself disheartened, but also bemused by the reasoning. Children have always been a way of life for me. My mother owns 51% of the successful company my parents share together. My mother has five- now grown- children.  When we were younger she was taking a million calls from people and running the business. She did it at home-with five kids (sometimes 6.) I didn’t really think of children as an annoyance or hindrance, but a way of life. She made business and kids somehow work. (Of course she would get frustrated on occasion.)

This being said, I do not blame the business or my friend for letting me go. I honestly understand why they would need someone more professional and available to catch every single call perfectly.

It would appear my children were a drawback in this ares. I do think, however, that children should not be looked as a hindrance to your dreams- financially, spiritually, or physically. It would be easy for me to get upset with my children, not just in this matter, but in others as well. Many parents know what it is like to be denied something or for plans not to work the way we wish because of our kids. I have found myself occasionally thinking about being a journalist, whisking myself away to Europe, or owning a beautiful house and being a little disgruntled with my children. Which is ridiculous! All these dreams and more are still possible whether I have kids or not. In fact, the greatest thing I will ever accomplish in my life is them. If you have had to delay plans or change them because of your kids I encourage you to not grow in bitterness. Children are a blessing of God and when you feel that way, confess it! My children are a blessing to me. I can even say my kids have opened more doors for me than they could possibly ever close. Sometimes I just need the reminder.

Happy Mothering!

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Save a Life: 3 Ways to Remember Your Baby In the Car

We all want our children to be safe. Safety is sadly often inspired by horror stories about why we do the things we do- cover light sockets, throw away plastic wrappers, no sharp corners. As a parent those stories keep you awake and your heart pounding through the morning news.  My motivation for sharing these particle important tips is to prevent devastation in other’s lives, not create fear. I do not want any person to experience a loss just because they were not informed.

“My people parish from a lack of knowledge.” Hosea 4:6

Most of us know to have our infant buckled, rear facing, and the car clean enough to where nothing can fall on them. Before driving off we mentally check off all the things we need to do or don’t want to forget. There is one thing, the most important thing that we must never forget. The baby. How could that possibly happen? All of us have heard stories of mothers forgetting their babies in the car as they run of to the groceries, work, or into their home. Some people scoff and wonder how anyone could be so idiotic. I don’t wonder. I know exactly how.

Eowyn asleep on a road trip

Eowyn asleep on a road trip

If you have a baby and are up all hours of the night you are often sleep deprived. You can barely keep it together. If you are a working parent you have so many things on your mind and the baby!

I didn’t have children when I was sleep deprived, but if I had it could have cost both of our lives. When I was a high schooler I was working over 20 hours a week and attending a private school (after being in public all my life.) The adjustment to the workload and evening job left me exhausted.  I was also going through a very emotionally exhausting time as well. (Which as a parent most people can relate being emotionally drained too.) I drove home at night on country roads. Out in the middle of nowhere was a dinky four-way stop light. I ran it, not just one night, but for several nights.  Some nights I pulled into the drive and could not for the life of me remember anything about how I got there. I’m so grateful and lucky that I never got hit or hurt someone else.

Routine can trap us as well. Let’s say you are driving to work but first need to drop of your kiddo at the day care or sitters, your child falls asleep and doesn’t make any noise. You may drive past the daycare and into work without even making the connection. When you think of it in these terms it is much easier to understand how this could happen.

Here are helpful suggestions to avoid this:

1. The best thing to do when going out (especially if you are going to work and need to drop them off first) is put your purse or lunch in the back seat next to your child. You will have to look back to get your things and will notice if your baby is still in the back seat!

2. Mirrors. Many companies now make mirrors that allow you to glance back and see your child.  This is ingenious as you can also see their expression. Just make sure to look at the road instead of getting wrapped up in how cute your baby is. This should be helpful since you will end up being in the habit of glancing into that mirror to see your baby. You can buy the car mirrors at a local Wal-Mart or Target.

3. Have an alarm on your cell phone go off around the time you drop them off in the morning. Have it read, Check your baby’s car seat or baby dropped off? A small thing, but it could make a huge difference.

Please feel free to add other suggestions and tips for remembering babies in the car. I encourage everyone to repost and share with others. It is summer and way too hot for any child to be forgotten inside a car.

Happy Mothering!

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Why I Don’t Call My Children’s Privates by Fake Names

I’ve laughed with other girls as we discussed the names we called our privates growing up: the tink, cookie jar, nucker, pee pee- the list goes on. Those areas of the body were shrouded with mystery when they were hesitantly discussed. My mother would answer questions and give us plenty of reading material. Still, I felt strange about these areas. If I had to discuss my own body I would have felt humiliated and very confused about how. Luckily, being a reader and being supplied with the correct books, I was able to identify that I had a urethra, vagina, and anus. Sadly, there are girls who become adults who are not aware what area does what: Do I urinate from my vagina? Where do I menstruate? Where do I have sex?

What God says about our bodies

The importance of calling privates by the proper name is instrumental to how a person will view their body and perhaps their own sexuality. It may sound silly, but not sillier than telling your child their arm is called a body noodle, or their face the expression platform. Calling things by their proper name isn’t just for the sake of being politically correct. It has much to do with knowledge being power. Knowledge gives a child confidence. For example- If they are lost they are taught to look for a woman with children, or a cop- you establish early that cops are mommy and daddy’s friends. This gives your child a safety net.

When your child’s arm hurts they are able to express that, “My arm is hurt.” This should be the same with their privates, “My penis hurts.” See how giving something the correct name gives them ownership? That is their penis. That is their vagina. (I typically call it the vulva since calling everything the vagina isn’t accurate either.) This ownership means they don’t have to be embarrassed or ashamed. Our gender is a huge part of our identity and not something to be embarrassed of. These parts aren’t “unspeakable.” They are a part of their body and as such if they are hurt or someone is making them uncomfortable, they are able to express that.

Telling your child about their body is a process. Many think, the talk is a one-time deal; it isn’t and shouldn’t be. As your child grows so should the discussions. The start should be the correct names for their body parts, or at least saying they are private. Eventually you tell them how their body is theirs; as such no one should be touching their privates. Also, if someone is making them uncomfortable they can talk to you no matter what!

I have known too many children, friends, and family members who have been hurt by predators to not take the safety of children seriously. I don’t teach my children out of fear, but as a preventive measure- not just against predators, but shame as well. I find it sad that too many people think talking about the body or sex to their children is vulgar. Someone is going to tell them and that information will most likely be incorrect and harmful. Most children have an idea of what sex is by the age of five whether you choose to talk or not. Take the initiative. Be the parent. How you discuss or don’t discuss something will dictate how a child will perceive that part of their life even as adults.

Happy Mothering!

The picture is from the store UnchainedBracelets on etsy.com You can actually buy this print! Click on the Link below.

http://www.etsy.com/listing/154933360/psalm-13914-i-am-fearfully-wonderfully?ref=exp_listing

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Hesitate to Vaccinate?

In recent years the safety of vaccinations for young children has been repeatedly questioned. Can multiple shots, on such a young child- often a baby, create side effects perhaps worse than what is trying to be prevented?

Some parents do not vaccinate due to views on the health effects a vaccination may have on their child. There has been continuous suspicion of some vaccinations being linked to autism, and even SIDS, however, I cannot find reliable sources to agree or disagree with such statements. For a small group, vaccinations are against their religious views.

My four siblings and I weren’t vaccinated until we reached school, due to the urgings of a school nurse. My mother’s reason had primarily to do with faith and the counter argument from the nurse was, “Don’t you have to believe, in faith, for your children’s health whether they are vaccinated or not?” Which to me is a good point for that argument. I urge you, however,  to seek your own couscous on that matter. (You are free to refuse immunizations due to religious purposes, except in the states West Virginia and Mississippi.)

Personally, I fall into that first category. Does it negatively affect the health of my child? I have nothing against vaccinations in general, just an uneasiness on the timing in which we do them.

My daughter, Eowyn after her first set of shots.

Dr. Sears, almost the only Dr to speak on delaying immunizations, is not against vaccines but the lack of research that has been performed on infants for the side effects of the vaccines. Some of these vaccinations contain Mercury. A pregnant woman is advised to stay away from fish and other foods that may contain trace amounts of Mercury. Magically when the child is born, you can inject trace amounts of Mercury into the baby’s body, and it is considered safe?

In high amounts Mercury is a neurotoxin and can have adverse effects on our nervous system. What is a high amount for an infant? This study has not been performed and is the main reason I do not like the multiple vaccinations given so early to a child. (Not to mention the aluminum and animal tissue in some of the vaccinations as well!)

I must stress though that I am not an expert.

Every Child By Two, a group that believes strongly for early vaccinations states on their website, “Polio, for example, paralyzed millions of children worldwide before the vaccine was created. In the U.S. and the world, measles infects nearly 23 million people each year. In 2005, measles killed about 345,000 people (311,000 of which were children under the age of five).”*

A valid point, and though I may have my concerns on vaccinations and believe there could be massive improvements, I do not wish to do completely without them. With my first-born, Eowyn, I was so uneasy about the vaccinations that I waited until she was over 3 months to begin giving her vaccinations. I didn’t research the matter as much as I wished I had. For my son, I will be spreading them further part and asking my doctor for as many Mercury free options as possible. Starting with what I think to be very important, such as the preventative for the whooping cough. If you feel spacing out the vaccinations is what you should do, I would suggest Dr. Sears book, “The Vaccine Book: Making the Right Decision for Your Child.” He has perhaps one of the most unbiased view points on the matter.

I truly believe it is up to parents to research the matter for themselves. Weigh the risks, do the research. You are the parent and ultimately no one- not a Doctor, Preacher, or Family member can care more for yourself and your baby than you!

Happy Mothering!

Link for Dr. Sear’s Book on Vaccines:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0316180521/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0316180521&linkCode=as2&tag=askdcom0c-20

Sources:

http://www.mercuryanswers.org/health.htm

* http://www.vaccinateyourbaby.org/why/index.cfm

http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/SafetyAvailability/VaccineSafety/UCM096228

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