Making Love

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IMG_20141206_154515“I love making love to you and how you make love to me.”

Society’s interpretation of this statement is usually sexual. If that was the case for you, I am inviting you to read the words again and re-think your first interpretation. While sexual love is amazing, it’s not the only way to love someone deeply, beautifully and with conviction. Those words can and should be defined differently for every couple, and the meaning can evolve and grow through the cycles of our lives. In a dynamic, healthy relationship those words are alive and I will share with you what they mean to me in my relationship at this moment in its growth cycle.

They mean a pilgrimage to Paris. They represent my husband’s willingness to get on an airplane, despite his fear of flying, and meet me in a very vulnerable place, with an openness to facing and working on our relationship with people he had never met.

My husband makes love to me through a willingness to sit and hear my words and be open to change, and to loving me in a different way going forward, even if it’s something outside his comfort zone and even if it means making difficult compromises.IMG_64244612633576

In Paris we rediscovered our love and passion for each other and we built the foundation on which the rest of our lives will be supported. My husband showed up to do the hard work, to name our sorrows, our frustrations and our pain and in naming them, we have taken their strength away. We have released them into the Universe to make more room for love.

Making love to my husband is about listening to him when he talks, really hearing his words. It’s about finding time for laughter and fun and kissing every day, and reminding him to let things go that are no longer serving him. It’s also about giving him space to heal his own wounds and find his own forgiveness, but reminding him that throughout his journey, he is loved deeply and unconditionally. My arms and my heart will be open and ready to love him wherever he is in his process.

Paris gave us the space and the time we needed to hear each others love languages and to work out better ways to make love to each other that will be heard and understood. The more we live our lives out as if everything we do for each other is an act of making love to one another, the more connection and beauty and happiness we will find in life, in our family and in each other.

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I am not the person I used to be….

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Discipline

Discipline the behaviour, never the child.

As you saw from my last entry, my views have changed a great deal and my knowledge in the field of pregnancy, infant and child care has increased dramatically.  But that’s only part of the changes.  Internally I’ve gone from someone who can’t hold her own in a discussion, who was afraid to speak up, who lacked the confidence in herself to just trust her gut feelings to someone who can bring valid, respected information to the table, who can stand up for what I feel is right and trust my own instincts.  Now I’ve taken it a step further and I’m using my writing skills to share what I’ve learned so far, while I continue to learn and build on the foundation I’ve created for myself, all the while sharing that journey, even the slip ups, of which I’m sure there will be many, with anyone who will listen.

This past week my new skills and knowledge were tested, and I believe it was my added confidence in the fact that I know what I’m doing is right that brought things to a successful remediation of the issues.

My 17-year-old has some mental health issue that make him difficult to parent.  One of those behaviours involves a lack of self-control and it has a way of getting him in trouble.  Suffice to say there was an incident this past week that put my husband over the edge.  In the past my husband would’ve meted out the first punishment that went through his head in that moment of anger and frustration, and rarely are those punishments reasonable or fair.  Thankfully he had to leave for work, so he took his anger and frustration to work with him, while I did some investigative work and checked in with my son’s social worker at his school who has been helping to bridge the gap between the initial crisis this past Fall and us getting into Family Services for more intensive counselling.

The evening of the incident was blissfully quiet thankfully and the next day I made some last-minute arrangements with my brother and his wife to watch the younger children while my husband and I went out for lunch to discuss the issues.

Normally in the past my husband is the more dominant player and I go into shut down mode the minute he challenges me or my ideas.  Now that my confidence levels have improved I can hold my own, I can explain myself better and I can negotiate a compromise that is acceptable to both of us. In the end I think we came away from that lunch with a very good plan, and a fair decision for disciplining our 17-year-old’s recent behaviour.

Personally for me, the experience felt amazing and boosted my confidence tremendously.  I won’t lie I was on cloud nine over the final outcome.  We had a concrete plan to deal with a problem and we’re also hoping with family support my husband and I will be able to have more regular alone time to check in with each other and work towards solutions on various issues.  Now that I’ve found my voice, I’m hoping that we’ll actually be able to make some good decisions that will have a lasting impact on our family and our relationships with each other.

Also, in case you didn’t pick up on it, my wording through this post changed.  When I first described the incident, I referred to punishing my 17-year-old whereas by the time I got to the end of the story, we were disciplining the behaviour.  That distinction is incredibly significant.  When you take the first approach it breeds only resentment and anger.  The second approach targets the behaviour only so the discipline is easier to mete out and follow for both parties.  It’s why no matter the situation, a child should never be punished or disciplined through anger.  Take a step back, take a deep breath and once you are calm again and thinking rationally, come up with an acceptable action for disciplining the behaviour and never the child.  In fact, it’s often a good idea to assure the child that you love them and there’s nothing they can ever do that will change that.

This past week’s challenge with my oldest and my husband proved to me that this is the right way to manage these situations and if we continue managing them in this way, our children will be much happier, and so will we.