It has always been tough for me to sit down to write and write about relationships because I always end up pressing the back button to start over simply because it’s a tough subject. It is difficult to describe a relationship in words because each relationship is so different. It’s like riding a roller coaster with tons of bumps that changes overtime and constantly evolves. Looking back at the relationship with my husband, I see that it is not the same as when we first started dating or even when we first got married. Over the years, as we grew together so did our relationship. It grew to allow space for deeper meaning, understanding, and love. Nothing really tests your relationship more than the challenging events themselves. We went through scams, unresolved family drama, moving, and life changing decisions. Can I just say nothing makes it more real than the feeling of wanting to walk away and being pulled back knowing that the deep love you share brings the two of you back together. This is real marriage. It isn’t the butterflies that you feel when you first meet and make sure to look your best for those weekly dates. It’s in the truest form when you are eight months pregnant and the movers do not show up so you move everything together. When you got scammed at your first place in Los Angeles and lost more than half of your valuables, but you pick up yourselves up and go on. When you wake up happy next to that person and he thinks you’re the most beautiful in the mornings without make up. This is the truest rendition of marriage that I know. Being able to pick up bits and pieces and rebuild.
Understanding how men and women process their thoughts and actions plays a huge role in how the relationship will develop and be maintained. In the end the biggest enemy of every relationship is stress and it all breaks down to how each person reacts to it. Men and women react differently during the stress response. Neurologically men go by “fight or flight.” Fight or flight is due to the sympathetic nervous system that is responsible for this behavior during times of stress. Women on the other hand most commonly “tend and befriend” while in moments of stress. Most women want to talk it out while most men want to be left alone and that is why it is hard to resolve anything during an argument. I mean how many men do you know would go to a therapist to talk issues out by themselves without being dragged there? My favorite quote from a book called “Love and Respect” by Dr. Eggerichs explains how much women need that connection through communication to maintain a healthy relationship through his daughter:
“I learned about this female need for face-to-face connection from my daughter, Joy, when she was just four years old. One evening I put her to bed, and I lay there with her for a few moments to help her get to sleep. The room was pitch black, and Joy was talking as usual---little Miss Motor Mouth. Neither of us could see the other in darkness. As she was talking, suddenly she said, “Daddy, look at me!” Then her hands reached over and grabbed my dace, forcing me to look toward her…The connectivity is what women look for in any relationship, and especially marriage. When she married you, she thought you would be like her best girlfriend--…” (Eggerichs 127-128).
Those high stress levels need to be expressed some way and that is why that deep connection between partners is so critical. A way to deal with that stress is to release it in a form of communication to someone who will listen and understand, and that is why it is so important to be present. If that doesn’t happen then the stress continues. When women can’t release it they start tending to other things like constant focus on the house or kids, while their partner isn’t being paid attention to. This starts to create issues because the partner feels ignored but she feels like everything is laying on her shoulders. You need to create that balance together and tend to each other’s needs.
Get away from the ideology that everything must go your way or your way is only right because even if you are from the same culture, you are two different individuals and you have been raised entirely different. Mix your family traditions and create your own. A strong and healthy relationship is filled with compromise, understanding, acknowledging the differences between each other, and putting in that effort together to maintain happiness. I don’t have answer on how to maintain a perfect relationship because there is no such thing. It takes effort from two sides to communicate and keep it going through the ups and downs.
5 RELATIONSHIP GOALS TO SET FOR THIS VALENTINE’S DAY
1. Communication, Communication, Communication-I cannot emphasize it enough. It is one of those things that easy to say but hard to do, yet it is the key ingredient to a successful marriage and cannot be one sided. It involves both parties to talk AND LISTEN. A lot of the issues arise when people just keep talking and talking but they don’t listen to their significant other. Listening to what their feelings are and acknowledging them can make a big difference.
2. Cool down-resolving matters when everybody is cool and has thought through the whole situation. Nothing should be discussed while both parties are heated and there is lots of tension. Things can usually be said in the heat of the moment that can be hurtful and not taken back.
3. Date nights-They are SO IMPORTANT! I cannot stress this enough. If you don’t have regular date nights with your partner where you two can reconnect, the relationship will be tremendously affected. It doesn’t have to be fancy, it can be a picnic or a wine and cheese night watching a movie at home. As long as it is time that the two of you spend together is all that matters. Couples need time to reconnect back with each other especially when there is a lot going on. Date nights keep that romance flowing and intimacy happening, without it you are just roommates.
4. Getaways-These are essential so you can both escape it all. Leave the real world and have a fun time together without any worries. Again it doesn’t have to be long or expensive. It can be camping or drive for an hour away somewhere. That time together during the adventure is what will really connect you.
5. Don’t forget you’re a TEAM, and that takes two. Work together not against each other. If you are competing in your relationship it will only drag you down. There is no competition in TEAM only against the opposing team;)
Wishing a Happy Valentine's Day to all of my readers!
How do you balance it all? I mean it's difficult to find the PERFECT balance and to manage to do it all. I feel like either you’re an amazing, nurturing mother or a successful wife, there is no in-between. The women, as myself, who try to have it all by putting one foot into trying to be the perfect mother and another foot into the best wife have a very difficult time to making sure everyone is happy. I mean when is there even time to take care of yourself when you are doing it all? You are either a good wife or a good mom period. You can't have best of both worlds, there is no double dipping. So how do women manage to balance a life of a family as well as stay sexy in their husband's eyes? You have to be loving and caring towards your kids all day and then when evening hits and you and your husband are finally alone for some down time all you want is to relax without all that affection. You already have been strangled with love and cuddled by a toddler, who in their right mind has energy for more? So what's the secret to maintain that "fire" they so call it and keep it ignited between you and your husband while raising kids? The real truth, it's not that simple.
Life does change after having kids. There is so much more to do and less down time. You start arguing about who is going to do what and which errands need to be done first. Then you start arguing about who does more and all goes to hell. How about managing the whole household and working at the same time then having to come home and cater to everyone's needs. Does that sound familiar? Then you lay in bed with your mind rushing with all of the things you need to do the very next day. You are so stressed out you want nothing to do with love and affection. There comes a time when you just start operating as a robot going from one daily task to another. And who here has to give directions to their wonderful significant other of what exactly needs to be done around the house or which errands need to be completed? I spoke with a few girlfriends of mine and it seems like all of us lucked out in that category (sarcasm-speaking). You start learning to sacrifice and sometimes having to put your child second just to save your marriage, but honestly who can do that? I am that type of mom that gives parenting that 100% putting everything and everyone including myself last.
So how do you exactly find that balance of making everyone happy? Well I don't really know the true secret but I know it takes a lot of work from both sides of the relationship. You know that saying that it takes two blah blah blah? Well it does and it consists of a lot of sacrifices from both parties. Not only sacrifice, but also understanding. There needs to be understanding that you are both in it to raise this tiny human and you need to be a team. There shouldn't be a constant battle of who is more important ie: husband or child. Date nights or partner getaways are ideal times to spend together as a couple but when your back your doing the whole family thing together. This is why it's called a PARTNERSHIP.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and exhausted take a step back and ask if it is really worth it? Did you know that women are more likely to get autoimmune disease triggered by stress. STRESS is a big one. You can mentally and physically wear yourself down. So now release that weight off your shoulders and don't be forced to choose in which category, child or husband, you will give that 100%. Work with your significant other on a partnership and make sure you have scheduled alone time monthly. Getting them aboard is so crucial to your relationship, health, and family. I am a huge believer of date nights. That alone time when it's just you and your partner can be game changing in your relationship, so schedule it and do it without any regrets. The benefit? Everyone is happy. You find a happy balance, it may not be perfect but it works. Best part of it your little one will be happy seeing their parents in a healthy, loving relationship.
Swollen joints keep you in misery
And there is an increase in IgE
Red rashes cover your body
You are a medical mystery
And all you want to do is flee
Run away from this body that has failed you
Exchange it for something new.
Migraines, red patches, and back aches
Trying to get better with whatever it takes
Wishing to go back and rewind time
So I can make stress disappear and make everything fine.
Waking up each day feeling tired
Hoping that I won't get fired
Unable to lift your child
Everyone thinks it's mild
But your body is fighting an inner war
Something that you just can't take anymore
It's a silent disease that's eating you up
A constant battle that just won't stop.
Scratching, itching, and just can't walk
Trying to be strong as a rock
Family & friends don't understand
But this is the ongoing fight that I have to withstand.
*Genetics, stress, and environment may trigger autoimmune disease. Bring awareness for early diagnosis, management, and support.
I'm the mom sitting on that lonely bench as my toddler plays. Oh we moved so much during my mommyhood days its been very difficult. You make a friend or two and then you move. You don't know whether or not to make new mom friends or not because you may move again. Heartbroken over the ones that are far away you sulk in your thoughts at that park. Mom friends are so crucial. They understand you like no one will because they too are raising kids. To relate to someone is the best feeling ever. Someone who understands that motherhood is hard and keeping up your relationships are even harder. Someone who is there when you are sleep deprived and just need an ear to listen and understand. Share some chocolate and wine when you had a hard day at work or just share some laughs. When you are pregnant join some mom groups because these moms will become your best friends & confidants. They will ride that rollercoaster of motherhood with you & attend much needed wine & playdate sessions!
Momee (meaning Me) time is so important. You can loose yourself without it. Do you sometimes find yourself questioning who you are and what you are here on this Earth to do? Its really important not to loose yourself while taking care of everyone else. Sometimes its hard when you are working, taking care of the family, and doing all the fun household chores. Many moms have guilt set in and often times feel selfish to have time for themselves but its a necessity. There are 7 days and 24 hours in each day. You need to set aside at least one hour to yourself a week (that's a minimum).
I set aside a couple of hours a week for ME time. Whether its going out with my girlfriends for a spa date or just relaxing by myself while I drink a delicious smoothie from the smoothie bar at my gym. It helps clear my mind. It helps me become a better mom and a better wife. These moments are so important for your mind and soul. When you are happy you will pass it on to your kids and husband.
What do you do during your Momee time? Share your ideas below!
Your first pregnancy, no matter how hard at times it can be, will be the most precious. I know you fear the unknown and for now lack the education to understand what is happening to your body. Do not be scared and trust me that I wish you would not let those fears overtake your mind. Currently, you are in graduate school, sitting for a minimum of eight hours per day. Don't we all? Whether we are working a full time job or attending school. It's time for you to get up, stretch, and WALK. Walk a lot! Did you know that you don't have to give up working out? I know how important that is for you, especially going with your friends to the gym. You can MODIFY workouts. Even if you feel nauseous and tired, just get yourself to the gym for half an hour, it's good for you. You CAN do it!
Did you know that there are support groups, prenatal yoga, ginger chews to help with morning sickness, acupuncture, and prenatal massage? I know you go to a prenatal Chiropractor weekly but some massage wouldn't hurt. Actually it would make your growing hips feel so much better!
I know you are surrounded by good friends near and far, but mostly people who don't understand you because they are at a different stage of life. Don't resent them. They don't and WON'T understand what you are going through until they will go through it themselves. One of my friend's sent me ab workouts two weeks after birth. I know they meant well, but instead of helping it made me feel worse. Ignore the comments about "well your breastfeeding and your supposed to automatically loose weight." You won't. It doesn't work for everyone. Exclusively breastfeeding will only make you even hungrier. Know that breastfeeding was such an amazing experience that you wouldn't have it any other way. When your son weans himself right when he turns one, don't be worried you two will still have a bond. Oh and those friends that all of a sudden walked away slowly. Ignore them. You will be gifted with such caring ones soon. Lucky you.
Weight loss will be your biggest challenge.
Don't listen to the Kaiser ObGyn that doesn't want to answer your list of questions; especially the one about the newly found stretch marks in your chest area. She made you feel like a passerby. She has no care in the world to provide you with great prenatal care which leads me to wonder why did she ever become a doctor and did she fail her bedside manner class?
"If you would stop eating so much and gaining weight so fast maybe you wouldn't have those there"-Kaiser Obgyn
She told me that on my fifth month of pregnancy when I was finally over my morning sickness (aka all day sickness) and could keep some food down. Say goodbye to your size 2 clothes and embrace your new closet filled with lots of yoga pants, leggings, and black tops.
And look at that man beside you. Isn't he amazing? I know you want him to understand what you are going through a little bit more but he's trying to be everything for you. He took over the position of best girlfriend. He will hold your hair during morning sickness, become a shoulder to lean on, and most of all be a supportive husband. Hormones are kind of blocking your vision of that at this point but hopefully it will soon clear.
GUESS WHAT? Those teachers that harass you because of your pregnancy will soon loose their jobs. Slowly one at a time, but it will happen and you will be there to watch. Karma does exist. That one professor that didn't let you eat in his class when you were pregnant and hungry all the time so much you had to hide it under the table. Yes, the same one that won't let you do "makeup work" when you request only a week for birth, yes he will have to under law do it for you. Just ignore him. You will laugh at that teacher that didn't let you go to the bathroom during a final because you had to throw up due to morning sickness and offered you to throw up in front of the entire class instead. You will wonder why you didn't throw up on her Louboutins. Pulling out TITLE IX (which is now enforced in school) in front of the entire President's board will make you feel empowered. Know that you made a change in that school and under law no other pregnant women will get harassed like you did. That's a huge WIN!
Invest in a pressure cooker NOW (aka instant pot). It will save you not only money but TIME (which is so precious and non-existent when you have an infant). DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT let any of your nannies cook for you, especially the crazy one who stuck meat into doggie poop bags and put them into the freezer.
Please don't stress over the nanny situation. Let go of your desire for a bilingual baby whether it's Russian, Spanish, or sign language (because you will take care of that yourself). Hire a professional with experience. That would have saved you a huge headache! NEVER doubt your mother's intuition no matter how crazy you may sound, it's for your baby's safety. Don't drown yourself in guilt when you learn that one of them was drugging your two month old. Oh and that Los Angeles agency that was recommended to you was a total scam. Don't let it drive you crazy. Good thinking when you locked yourself, your infant, and dog in your room for 24 hours (thank God had a connected bathroom) because that newly hired nanny really did want to KIDNAP your son. Where was hubby? Husband was on a as 24 hour shift as an EMT far far away. You will survive it and then after that decide to take a lighter load in school so you can take care of your son yourself. SO WORTH IT! Don't regret finishing a couple months after your starting class. You get to walk with them for graduation.
You will rush home every time you get a break between classes to feed your child. Know that was all worth it too. Let go of the anger and resentment that rushed through your whole body when you walked in on your caregiver feeding your two week old after you specifically told them "be home in three minutes to feed." Ignore those crazy Russian nannies that told you your milk didn't have enough "fat" in them, they are all just NUTS! Move on and be thankful nothing serious happened after the first hired nanny throws hot water on your three weeks old face because she thinks your visiting friend "burned him with the evil eye" (which she said right in front of her). Next time during the interview ask if they have any superstitions and tell them they aren't allowed in your house. How could I have forgotten to ask that question?
You will sit and pump in a dark room while hearing male voices and smelling microwaved food. Pumping and missing your little one. Watching him through cameras wishing you could hold him at least for a second! You will rush back to class only with the Radiology Resident complaining about how you were gone for fifteen minutes and now she's marking you absent for the whole day, not caring that you just finished breastfeeding. She doesn't have children so forgive her. Don't worry about your current situation and know that all the battles you have fought will be won, but only after you have graduated. The school will finally abide by the law and make a nice, separate breastfeeding room and put a sign on it! WIN!
It will be a constant struggle, a constant battle whether its breastfeeding, an employer, a professor, or a nanny. We all, women and mothers, will pierce through the challenges thrown at us. There will be challenges, but it is all about how you learn to handle them. It will be about how you are able to deal with these stressors.
Take time for yourself, lessen your load, slow down, learn to just breathe. Do what's best for you and your family. Choose your battles and FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHTS. Know most of the time you aren't being irrational and no it's not your pregnancy hormones.
Know that your future self is so proud of you and your accomplishments! Whatever happened in the past shaped the future and for that I would never change anything!
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to ALL the Moms out there!
Comment below why you chose that city! We would love to know what your favorite family friendly cities are!
Moms need a break too! Comment below what are your favorite Netflix shows to unwind from a stressful day?
WHAT I LEARNED FROM MY SOCIAL MEDIA DETOX:
1. I had more time to be present and focus
2. I had more energy, less headaches
3. More time to read books. When was the last time you read a good novel? In this crazy mommy life I barely have a chance to eat dinner at a normal time, so reading is sometimes out of the question. Instead of grabbing my phone, I would grab a book instead.
4. More time for projects
5. Healthier. I was able to loose weight from being off of social media. I used that time to workout and not look at pictures of food that filled my newsfeed.
6. Happier. Its true that social media can be more depressing. Everyone posts happy pictures all the time which can lead to a misconception of everyone leading a happy life.
DO: Get out and be ACTIVE, cook HEALTHY dishes, don't look at social media before sleep (GRAB A BOOK instead), find YOUR OWN HAPPINESS (instead of looking at everyone else's), and let go of YOUR PHONE (it won't go anywhere, but life will).
DON'T: Fill your newsfeed with FOOD, sit on your social media instead of EXERCISING, be ALWAYS on your phone