Hey, Connection Isn’t Always Easy

re·la·tion·ship [ri-ley-shuhn-ship] noun

1. a connection, association, or involvement.

2. connection between persons by blood or marriage.

3. an emotional or other connection between people.

4. a sexual involvement; affair.

Being a mother, wife, lover, woman, friend… sometimes it’s hard. Maybe it’s just that by definition relationships are hard. Look above. The word connection is used in three of the four explanations of relationship and hey, connection isn’t always easy.

I opened the Bible on a day years ago when life and my relationships were getting the better of me. I was down and looking for some encouragement. I love to open certain books (the Bible being one of my favorites to do this with) to a random page and let where ever my finger falls speak to me. The words on which I land almost always knock me off my feet with the wisdom they hold. A word, passage or an entire page; on this day the message for me was contained in a single word.

“Ephphatha!” (which means, “Be opened!”). Mark 7:34

This single word spoke volumes to my heart [Read more…]

How to Prepare Your Marriage Relationship for Birth

If you’re expecting your first child, you and your partner have probably been on the receiving end of at least one of these phrases:

“You can’t really prepare for what your life will be like once that baby’s born.”

“Enjoy the time you have NOW while you still can!”

And one of the worst, “Your life as you know it will be over!”

Ugh. Seriously, who are people kidding when they utter such words! Isn’t a basic assumption that, indeed, having a baby is life-changing?? Yes, life will change once your first baby is born. It will be wonderful. It will be challenging. You and your partner’s relationship will change, but change is not necessarily a negative thing. I encourage expectant parents to invest time in their relationship now to be better equipped for the upcoming transition.

This may sound over-simplified, but I cannot stress enough the benefit that communication has on your relationship as you’re preparing to enter this new stage of your life together. Talk and talk often! But don’t limit your “baby talk” to [Read more…]

How To Know When To Get Relationship Help

One of my earliest posts for My Mommy Manual was How To Move Past the Nit-Pick.  I have taken my own advice.  There has been a lot of deep breathing, accentuating the positive, and looking toward the long distance.  However, it’s come to a point where I just cannot click and move on.  In fact, there’s been a lot of clicking, but we’re not moving on.  I am stuck with the question of how do I accept another’s shortcomings and still be authentic about what’s not working in our relationship.

My husband and I are at an impasse. We’re not communicating well. We’re not having sex. We can barely have a conversation right now without one of us taking a sassy tone with the other.

I’ve seen other relationships crack under the same pressure. He works too much. I feel over-burdened by having to manage all things related to the house. You know…keeping the house picked up (kids’ toys!), cleaning, laundry (oh the never-ending piles of laundry that need to be washed, folded or simply put away), meal planning and cooking, paying the bills and balancing the checkbook. Then there are our two boys with drop offs and pick-ups, soccer practice, swim class, homework and play dates.  Let’s not forget the trips to the library, Target or whatever other household need there is. I’ve asked Husband to do the dishes after meals that I cook and yes, he has had to put away a load of laundry now and again. He’s complained that he’s doing a lot more around the house and I’m not doing enough. Them are fighting words, Buster Brown.

[Read more…]

How To Add Sparkle to Your Relationship

Sex and the City 2 (c) 2010 HBO Films

Two of my girlfriends and I went to pay homage see Sex and the City 2 for an early birthday celebration.  The movie got me thinking about how I’ve changed and how my relationships have changed.  Sometimes I have a difficult time reconciling my single-dating life with my current life.  It’s like the person I thought I was turned on its axis.  I was a good dater.  Think about Carrie Bradshaw in her hey-day.  Now I’m a stay-at-home mom of two boys who cooks dinner almost every night.

What the hell happened? I wake up in a cold sweat sometimes remembering where I am.  Okay, well, it’s not that bad, but you get the picture. Lately I’ve been wondering, “Would I date my husband?”  Worse yet, would he date me? [Read more…]

How to Prepare Expectant Fathers For Birth – Part 2

So in part 1 of this series, I talked about the importance of first breaking down the communication barriers between men and women. This month, my focus will be on educating and equipping dads for labor and birth.

It’s commonplace for first-time expectant parents in the US to register for some sort of childbirth preparation classes. A mom-to-be might have to twist her partner’s arm to get him to even touch a pregnancy book. But mention a “how-to” childbirth class and often times he’ll more willingly participate. With busy lifestyles, it’s understandable why some men (and women, too) would be more inclined to take an accelerated childbirth prep class (6 weeks worth of information condensed into one, 8-hour session). While these “express” classes may accommodate our hectic schedules, they are doing little to adequately prepare both women and men for birth. So here are some options to consider when researching classes that will meet the needs of expectant fathers: [Read more…]

How Relationships Go the Distance

When we got married, our dear friends and officiants gave us this great little sign that reads, “Kiss slowly, forgive quickly.”  I literally look at this sign every day, but didn’t get the depth of its instruction until reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s latest, Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage.

I’m talking about forgiveness, as in your ‘daily bread’ variety.  People talk about it all the time like it’s the key to everlasting relationships, but I never understood what the big deal was. (Sometimes, I can be a little thick-headed.  I like to think that I’m not, but yeah, I can be.) [Read more…]

How to Move Past the Nit-Pick

It’s amazing to me how many times I’ve asked my husband to pick up his underwear off the floor.  Here we are now three months later and I’m going to have to bring it up again.  Want to know what really fries my twinkies?  It’s when he comes home from soccer sweaty and peels the uniform off and leaves it there with the underwear on top.  C’mon, I’ve seen enough poop already today, don’t ya think?

Are there little things that your husband or S.O. does that can drive you mad?

[Read more…]

Practical Mommy’s Impractical Art Project

Step 9: Sacadas
We’ve spent the semester learning sacadas. The literal translation of the verb sacar is “to take.” So in this move, either the lead or the follow moves into the space that his/her partner just left, creating the illusion that the other is being displaced.

As we execute a series of sacadas in a row, I note the circular energy; the result is two people spinning together, taking turns pivoting and in the axis position. In the last variation, the backward sacada the follow powers the turn. So for a minute, your roles are reversed. The follow supports the lead, as he balances his weight on one foot. [Read more…]

How Do You Model Conflict Management?

Zen Mommy and I were reflecting on this issue, which was inspired by an argument she had with her husband. It’s easy to be dishing out parenting advice when you’re kids are buffing their halos and you are giving yourself a pat on the back for being such a good mom, right? But perfection isn’t what Yogi Parenting is about. Accepting yourself for who you are and realizing the gifts that you are giving your children by being real — this is what Yogi Parenting is about.

[Read more…]

How to Survive Having Your House Painted

We live on a block of several old Victorian houses. Typically we are a DIY couple, capable of small electric and modest plumbing repairs. But last spring we needed a new paint job, new porch railings, new gutters and new balcony spindles. We decided it was best for the house (and marriage) if we contracted this work out.

A Contractor’s Market

There’s a contractor named Frank who’s a regular fixture on our street. He’s a wizard at carpentry, plumbing and painting. His yard sign basically moves from one house to the next, as most old Victorians need work – lots of work. [Read more…]