By Ruth Purple
Perhaps every woman dreams of having a wonderful husband, adorable children, and white picket fence house in the suburbs. A life so ideal and simple, but is it really that simple?
When a woman marries, and decides to have children, it is anything but simple. Marriage is far from easy. It is a constant struggle of give and take, of compromising. Likewise, in having children, you need to be brave and wise enough to guide your children, because their life and their future depends on your sanity. So, where do you put yourself?
It has been commonly said, that when a woman made a decision to give herself in marriage and have children, she put herself last.
I am sorry, but I have to disagree with this one. When it comes to prioritizing between marriage, children, and yourself, I strongly believe that you should prioritize yourself first, then your marriage and then your kids. This may sound selfish, but it is not. Hear me out.
Half of your union depends on you. In the first place, your husband decided to be with you for the rest of his life and made you the mother of your kids, because of “you!” So, why would you put yourself the least? You are important. Knowing this fact, you should take time to heed your needs and prioritize your growth.
Give time to nurture your soul and your spirit. Also, keep the balance within you. Your kid’s welfare depends on your emotional and mental stability. You need to have a sound mind and spirit to make wise decisions. You are their nurturer. How can you nurture, if you yourself needs nurturing? Therefore, if you love your husband, respect your union, and adore your kids, prioritize yourself.
Now you know why you need to keep yourself a top priority, what about when you are torn between your marriage and children? Who should come first? Experts have agreed that if you put your precious little ones first over your union, you are hurting them more than your union. Look at it this way, let the house be the metaphor of your kids and the foundation of that house is your marriage. If the foundation is weak, and breaks into pieces, the whole house will crumble into pieces, too. Therefore, it is safe to say that if there is instability in the foundation, there is turbulence in the house. Keeping the foundation strong, stable, and peaceful secures your children’s long-term well-being. It is unquestionable of how great the impact of divorce is to a child. Its memories always leave a lasting, and sometimes permanent fracture in the kid’s well-being. A strong marriage protects your kid’s well-being during their development into adulthood and helps them prepare for an equallystrong and stable relationship.
Let us be clear though, children’s basic and essential needs should come first. Nobody here is advocating neglecting children’s physical or emotional needs. That being said, the marriage should be prioritized over the kids. Parents sometimes go way overboard in meeting their kid’s needs. They should keep in mind that a child can thrive without piano lessons three or four times a week, but they cannot fully thrive when the family is shaky.
Ruth Purple, is a Relationship and Dating Expert. Conquer Infidelity and Experience a Happier Love Life through her New eBook. Visit her website atRelazine.com.
Source: Black Love & Marriage
Miss the days when you and your spouse were dating? When you could decide at the spur-of-the-moment to spend Friday night enjoying dinner and a movie? Well, what’s stopping you?
“Children,” you grumble. Going out for a date now entails planning a week in advance, so that you can find a babysitter and figure out how long you’ll need her to stay. Throw in her roughly ten dollars an hour fee on top of that twelve dollar per person flick and twenty-five buck a plate meal, and you have a daunting financial issue. As a result, more and more parents are choosing to just stay home and save the money and effort. There’s nothing wrong with this decision…so long as you still have your date night!
Forget the extended planning, hunting down and retaining the sitter, and concentrate on arranging an evening of togetherness. After all, isn’t that the whole point? But don’t forget to make this night special, different from every other night of the week.
Here are a few tips on how to accomplish this:
- A bottle of wine. Take a trip to the liquor store and pick out something special. If you don’t know wine from grape juice, just ask the proprietor. He is usually quite knowledgeable about which wine is good and will suit your particular tastes.
- Specialty Foods. Have a light dinner with the kids, but save your appetite for after they go to bed. Then take out the Brie and water crackers, perhaps a little jar caviar, or a couple of shrimp cocktails. How about a couple of rich chocolate truffles for dessert? Whatever you choose, make sure it is extraordinary. These delicacies may cost more, but they’ll still be cheaper than what you were going to pay that sitter!
- A good movie. This is why there are videos and DVDs. Rent something sappy and romantic, or a laugh riot to blow off a week’s worth of steam. Maybe a good horror flick, to encourage ‘protective’ snuggling? Perhaps something a little racier from that back room of the rental store? It is all up to you tonight, and you aren’t at the whim of theater offerings or their start times.
- Music. Either after or instead of the movie, pop in your favorite CD, push the coffee table aside, and do a little dirty dancing. There’s nothing like a spin around the floor to warm the blood – even when that floor is covered with wall-to-wall carpeting!
- Talk, talk, talk. Have a real conversation! Instead of discussions about the kiddies and school, take this time to chat about grown-up topics. Discuss books, gossip about friends, commiserate about work, or just cuddle up and talk about your old college days. It is amazing how much even long-married spouses can still learn about each other when they get the chance.
- Make out. If you are confident that no little people will invade your space, try necking on the sofa like you were still a couple of teens. Too often, parents rush right into intercourse whenever they get the chance. Take the time to enjoy the kissing and caressing, without the pressure of calling it foreplay. Just snuggle and nibble, and if anything else should follow…well, hey, that’s the privilege of not actually being teenagers any more!
Remember, this is your night – include whatever you want! The important thing is not to give up dating because of time and budget constraints. When you can’t get out of the house for romance, simply bring the romance home to you.
There is only one happiness in life: to love and be loved.
I heard about a woman who said to her husband one day, “Honey, do you really love me?”
He looked at her strangely and said, “Why would you ask me that? I told you that I loved you the day I married you thirty-five years ago. If it ever changes, I’ll let you know.”
We’ve probably all encountered people like that, but the truth is that the phrase “I love you” can never be heard enough in our homes. We can’t take for granted that the people we love automatically know it. Maybe you weren’t raised in an expressive environment, but why don’t you be the one to start a new tradition? You can affect your family line for generations to come by speaking words of love. What better legacy to leave than a legacy of love, kindness and encouragement.
I was discussing the power of encouragement with one of my friends one afternoon, and she said something I thought was right on. She said, “When I brag on my husband, I can see a change in him. He rises to the occasion and strives to go to new levels. But when I nag at him or say nothing at all, he’s more complacent and doesn’t have the passion and enthusiasm to accomplish what is in his heart.”
That’s true for all of us. Nagging only makes things worse, but encouraging words will put people on their feet and bring out the best in them. We should always look for opportunities to speak words of blessing over the people around us. When your spouse gets a promotion at work, take time to say, “I knew you could do it! You’re amazing!” When your child comes home with good grades, even if they are less than you had hoped, don’t be too busy to celebrate. Stop and say, “I am so proud of you. Way to go!” When your mother fixes Sunday dinner for the whole family, tell her, “Mom, I know that’s a lot of work, but your hospitality means so much.” When your coworker loses fifteen pounds, don’t be jealous; congratulate her with a compliment. Let words of life flow freely from your lips. As you sow seeds of love and blessing, always remember that you are displaying the glory of God. He is love, and when we show love, we are showing Him. Let your words and actions say “I love you” because that’s how we show the world that we are followers of His.
“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35, NIV).
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