Lets face it, this is just a difficult time to keep the romance alive. You just had a baby, you are still feeling bloated, and your bodies trying to adapt to the hormones and everything post pregnancy whether you are breastfeeding or recovering from a c-section. But all reasons aside we can’t just abandon this aspect of our marriage completely. If anything this is such an important time for you and your spouse as he may be feeling more neglected with the new baby in the house. The truth is if you are not looking after yourself and your marriage first, this will reflect in your parenting. So in order to be a better mother be a better wife first. ( p.s this photo was taken literally a day after we had our 2nd baby at the hospital! first official date night after baby and she was in the nursery just down the hall hahaha)
- Try and have the baby sleep in their own crib or bassinet. This is hard at first especially if you are nursing and fall asleep during it (like me) But if you prefer to co-sleep use one of those attachments to your bed so that you and your spouse still have your own space.
2. Self Care! This is something I always neglect but have come to see the importance in lately. Even just waking up earlier to have a nice shower, even putting on makeup and doing your hair can do wonders for you. For me I just enjoy going for a walk in the morning. It is so easy to get caught up in the drab of being in your p.js all day long. At least dressing up will make you look more cuddly even if you don’t really feel like it.
3. Communicate with your spouse. Help him understand that time together will be less but when you do get time together ensure that it is QUALITY TIME! Talk and plan what things you can do as soon as you get that time alone.
4. Set specific Date nights. Right now we can’t really leave our little one with anyone so we always set at least 10mins aside each day to talk with each other. It really has become my favorite part of the day, even though I get sick of his work stories I just enjoy where our conversations end up. While the kids are asleep pop out the ice cream or the goodies and have a date night in the kitchen or on the deck outside. Creativity is KEY!!
Would love to know your ideas and thoughts. Email me or message me at email@example.com.
- Find Problems or things that can be improved in the family. Identify the Goal
- Ensure everybody is on board with the Goal or has a say in the Goal
- Steps to achieving it & Identify obstacles that may prevent from achieving it
- Date to accomplish this goal by. Or if it’s an ongoing goal how often you will revisit it.
Goals for Mummy and Daddy
- Date Night Monthly
- Temple Night Monthly
- Quarterly Night Away
- Weekly planning session
Goals for the Little Kids
- Make Bed before breakfast
- Pick up toys before dinner
Goals for Mummy and Daddy and Kids
- Dinner or Breakfast Together 3times a Week
- Morning and Evening Prayers and Scripture Reading
- Pick up the house before Bedtime
- No Electronics between 6-9pm
- Family Vacation 2times a year
“Our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world as being able to remake ourselves.” -Gandhi
You may wondering what is all this self awareness stuff got to do with relationships and marriage.Being self-aware in marriage or any relationship is an amazing skill that will allow you to communicate effectively and truly understand your environment and be able to take control of your own emotions. I guess for me my understanding is that if you don’t know yourself how are you able to get to know and love anybody else. Love comes from within, we need to give love to receive love and therefore being aware of who we are can help us develop love for ourselves. (Wow that’s some deep stuff right there haha) But for real though. All healthy relationships come from a deep understanding of self.
Self-awareness (sometimes also referred to as self-knowledge or introspection) is about understanding your own needs, desires, failings, habits, and everything else that makes you tick. The more you know about yourself, the better you are at adapting life changes that suit your needs.
We are literally like a onion we have sooo many layers to us to uncover and understand. I seriously find that the more I go on in life and continue to self reflect the more I connect the dots to why I do and think the way I do.
- Understanding our emotions—what we’re feeling and what triggered it—so we can effectively work through and transform our emotional responses (instead of using them to justify unhealthy choices)
- Recognizing our destructive thought patterns so we can redirect them
- Tuning into what’s going on in our bodies so we can learn from it and access our intuition
- Noticing our behavioral patterns and habits so that we can make adjustments to change negative ones
- Understanding our beliefs, assumptions, and expectations, and how they influence what we choose to do
- Accepting that we are responsible for our actions—even if we developed certain patterns in response to events from our past
Here are some activities that you can practice and implement into your life to help be self reflect.
- List You: What are your beliefs? What do you stand for? What are your likes and dislikes? What are fears? What are your goals? What do you believe your relationships should look like? What qualities do you have to contribute to your relationship?
- Question your thoughts or beliefs. Look at what you have written about yourself and now its time think objectively. For example ask yourself why do I prefer to demand that my partner come straight home after work? Why do I want him always with me? Why do I get mad when he wants to spend time with his friends? Ask yourself these questions whenever those times come up when you are frustrated at something your partner does. If you can’t in the moment then do it when you have calmed down. Is your belief legit or where does it stem from. You can dig deeper and deeper and find the root cause of your beliefs. It may be helpful to do this with a trusted friend, coach or therapist to guide you in the right direction.
- Keep a Journal: Not just what you ate for breakfast but include feelings and anything that will help you understand and reflect on yourself more. Like including what you ate for breakfast or why you didn’t how you were feeling in the moment can help when you go back to read and reflect. Writing a journal helps you identify patterns a lot more easier. So being consistency is key for this exercise. Journals are most effective if done over a long period of time from 6months-12months will give you some good insight on yourself.
- Evaluate: Now you have seen some of your qualities and recorded your behaviour in your journal. Set some goals on what you want to work on to improve your marriage or relationships. You can always keep on track coming back to your goals on a weekly basis to see how you are changing your behaviour. Some people need this written down others can just work on one at a time so it’s easier to keep track of. Remember you will not change overnight so keep working on it. Make your goals easy to monitor so you don’t feel too overwhelmed and give up.
Pauline and Maverick Kaufusi met in high school they were in the same history class. She goes to say “We stayed good friends. I went to BYUH and returned as a BYUH intern to Tonga in 2013. We hung out again. And he randomly asked me to marry him. I didn’t know if it was for real and so we ended up playing it out like he was just playing around. Long story short i didn’t finish my mission papers and we got engaged and got married oct 2014”
- What was your top qualities in looking for a spouse?
So my top qualities i was looking for in a spouse was someone who I could see myself as close to him as I my mum am to my dad. I wanted good conversation, someone I could just be myself with and it wasn’t a chore to try make conversation or try and pretend like I wanted to hang out. I don’t know if that makes any sense. Also it was top priority that i got married in the temple, if it wasn’t the temple then sorry mate you’re not for me! I wanted to make sure he would always treat me well in public as well as behind closed doors. He needed to respect me as well as other women regardless.
- What has been the biggest adjustment for you being married?
I think the biggest adjustment for me was having to consult someone about my decisions big or small. I moved out of home at 14 and boarded then went on to university and flatted so I was always used to making my own decisions, spending time/money on whatever I wanted. So adjusting was a learning process. Simply remembering to include my husband in decision making. It was also difficult for my husband too because he felt I was independent and I didn’t need him enough so I had to balance and include him in our decisions
- What was the best advice someone gave to for marriage?
My young women’s president in youth told me “Don’t give up an eternity of happiness for a few moments of satisfaction” this helped me in the dating stages to hold my standards high and wait for someone who is ready for the temple.
- What has been the most enjoyable part of marriage?
The most enjoyable part of marriage is being over the “playing hard to get” stage. Once you are past that it’s all fun and games. Also the best is not have to say goodbye at night and he go home or I go home. That was always a pain when dating
- What have you done to get through your tough times in marriage?
Tough times in our marriage has been a learning process but when we can’t stand each other my husband would just say we are in this forever so either way angry or not I’m still the one you will wake up to in the morning. So we just take time to cool off I always want to talk about it but sometimes we just get over it and it’s easier that way. In the end it doesn’t matter who’s right.
Marriage is a fun and great experience, I thought I loved my husband when I was dating and when I married him. But I learn more and more about him every day and even after knowing his flaws I continue to love him. Like he says we are in this forever. There’s no going back!!!
(Bracelet by: Just an Arm full of Sugar)
Aroha was born with a bilateral cleft lip. Before she was born I had no clue what this was or how she got it but all I knew it was here to stay even after the surgeries. The biggest fear I had when I found this out was how was I going to be a support to her as she starts to grow older and realize she was a little different physically than the other children. Once a little girl myself I knew how it was to grow up being a girl and surrounded by all the media and how much it focused and preyed on women’s self-esteem and confidence, I also knew that kids were just plain honest and upfront whether they hurt feelings or not. I knew that even after her surgeries there will still be scarring.
So for the longest time I was saddened in what will I say when or if she came home crying being teased, or no one would play with her and if didn’t want to go to school because of the kids, or when she didn’t want to look in the mirror, or when she would say she wasn’t pretty. How could I help her know that she was special, beautiful that we are all different in our unique ways and it is awesome to be yourself?
Being into all this self-development jazz myself and applying them into my life, a light bulb went off in my head. If I as an adult uses affirmations to change my mindset why can’t my daughter?? I then came up with some simple affirmations for both her and I that we could recite together. .
I AM BEAUTIFUL
I AM BLESSED
I AM LOVED
I then wrote these affirmations on her bedroom mirror and made it a habit that after morning prayers we would look into the mirror and say these together. Sometimes we will also recite it in the bathroom mirror while brushing our teeth. I also did little actions with each word so she could do them because she could barely even talk. Aroha loves doing the little actions in the mirror and I love saying them because it helps me remember these important truths as well as well.
Reminding her she is beautiful no matter what anybody else says about her. The most important person that needs to think you are beautiful is yourself. I am Blessed is so she remembers that she has so many blessings in her life both big and small. And I am loved is so she remembers that she is forever loved by her parents, herself and God. Although she does not fully understand the whole concept behind repeating these phrases everyday I am hoping I am planting some little seeds that will be planted to come to remembrance when the right time and place comes.
Have you thought about affirmations with your children? What are some words you use? If you have any thoughts questions or comments about building relationships with your children I would love to talk to you. Feel free to send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.
xo Be Amazing!!!
Do I consciously make an effort to teach my child something each day? Do I know what I am teaching my child today? Most people are not aware that whether they are trying to or not they are always teaching your children. So instead of teaching your children unconsciously and unknowingly you may want to help yourself by being conscious about the messages you are sending to your children.
Unknowingly my parents taught me that I can lie on certain occasion, when they told me to tell them that my parent’s weren’t home or to tell the movie clerk I was 5 instead of 8. Unknowingly my parents taught me to be creative with things around the house when the didn’t buy fancy toys and gadgets to keep me busy. How effective could my parents teachings have been if they were conscious about the actions they did. How much of a better influence could they have been if they knew what they were teaching me. This is why I feel that we all increase our consciousness in all that we do.
So how can you be intentional and conscious mothers? Here are some ways I have used to be an intentional mother you may even doing this without realising which is great! Keep in mind this is just a guideline you also need to feel what is right for your family and how to apply it into your circumstances.
- Understand your own personal core values and have a vision of what you want your children to become. (without trying to live your dreams through your children) Understanding your children’s unique talents and gifts and helping enhance those and develop those which they struggle with.
- Know what you want to teach your children. (Empathy, Kindness, Forgiveness, Sharing etc Prayer)
- Throughout the day create situations which will provide your children an opportunity to use and develop that attribute. Create them intentionally so you are aware and prepared to help your children in those situations.
- Focus on a attribute or topic for at least a week. Giving a decent amount of time for you to be able to see the fruits of your labor. Repetition is the key to developing a new skill or attribute so be patient and Don’t expect results overnight.
Here is an example of what I do with my child to practice conscious parenting. Your methods will be different because your values and things you want to teach your child will be different from mine. Being aware of what you want your child to learn will help you implement different activities you want them to do each day. They will be a little tricky to get use to at first but the more you do it the more natural it becomes for both of you.
My daughter is 14 months. Core things I want her for her to learn:
- Creativity – I let her watch a show every other day so she has little to no screen time. I give her time to explore outside on her own and find things to play with.
- Positive Self Image – I have affirmations in her bedroom that I read with her every morning. I wrote them on her mirror so she loves looking at herself and doing actions with them.
- Faith – I pray with my daughter before getting her out of her crib each morning and before she sleeps. We also pray before we eat and although she doesn’t know why we do this we do this to form a habit and as she gets older will start to understand why we do it.
- Independance – I allow her to sit at the adults table and when she is done to put her dishes in the sink.
- Manners – I emphasize please and thank you if ever she wants something.
- Calming Techniques – We practice taking two deep breaths whenever she is throwing a tantrum. Just give her some time (ignore) her until she is ready to talk to us.
- Alphabet Recognition – each time we pass the alphabet on the fridge we say and sing ABC.
What do you consciously teach your child? What are some things you teach your child? How do find the balance between always teaching and having a break? Share and comment below would love to hear your thoughts!