Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Three legs of a healthy relationship

Warning!  This will not by a typical Momginerd blog with lots of sarcasm and humor, but I do still think it has a lot of good messages to share.

When I got divorced a few years ago I spent a lot of time reflecting on what went wrong and why.  I came up with an analogy to a 3-legged stool that I think are the basics of a healthy, long term, and happy relationship. 

When you just don't
care enough to care

Emotional:  You need to have an emotional connection to your partner.  By this, I mean you need to feel about your partner's happiness, in many ways, more than you do about your own.  If your partner is unhappy, then you will be too.  If your partner is happy then you feel better as well.  When you have an emotional connection with someone it is almost like you are linked metaphysically.  Their emotions have a direct effect on your own.  I know with HH I can tell emotionally when he is feeling depressed, happy, anxious, etc.  By having the emotional connection to each other you are more in tune in many ways to the non-verbal cues that they are offering.  When you don't have that connection, you are clueless as to how they feel and it can lead to feelings of apathy towards each other.  When you feel apathetic towards your partner, I think, it is the beginning of the end.  You have lost all emotional connection and you just don't care enough anymore to try and get it back. 

Physical:  Well, this one should be pretty self-explanatory.  You MUST be attracted to your partner.  And by attracted I mean more than just the feelings of lust you have at the beginning of a relationship.  Sure, that is physical and is important, but it really doesn't last if there aren't more things you find are attractive about your partner than the color of their eyes or hair or if they have an incredible body.  To me the physical goes beyond the immediate lust to the little things that makes my partner irresistible to me.  The twinkle in his eye when he gets my jokes.  The smile that he reserves ONLY for me that tells me in one instant I am the woman for him, he loves and adores me despite my numerous flaws.  Don't get me wrong, he definitely fits the title of Hottie Husband not just because I find him attractive but because he is gorgeous.  But, at the end of the day his actual physical appearance from afar isn't the most important thing to me.  Sure, I pursued the relationship with him in the beginning because I found him very physically appealing, but just that isn't what made me want to spend the rest of life with him.  I think that the fact that  4+ years later he still makes my heart flutter is more attributed to the little things about him only I notice. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Making divorce with kids involved work....sort of.....

Lately I have been getting a few questions from colleagues and friends as to just how I make my divorce work.  And eventhought Divorce and Making Things Work seems to be dichotomus, I thought I'd share some of the strategies that I have chosen to use and, thankfully, Ex follows along (if only he was so ammendable when we were married!).

1.  Keep the kids first
Whenever I am deciding on a schedule change for the kids, personal decisions relating to my career, vacations, meal planning, etc I ALWAYS think of the kids first.  If this change or decision would add undue stress to their schedules of lives, I just do not do it, or I change my plans.  Even though I am remarried, HH is perfectly clear and understanding that the kids come first, and he, poor soul is a distant 4th.  

2.  Communicate, communicate, communicate

We use ALL these and more to keep
try and keep in touch, it seems.
Ex and I communicate  Seriously!  We either text, phone or email daily updates about the kids at least once a day.  Some days, it seems like I talk to my Ex more than I talk to HH.  I will admit, when we were in the process of getting divorced this communication wasn't always pleasant or positive.  It took time, energy, patience and dedication to strategy #1 for us both to make it work.  I automatically forward every email/text I receive dealing with any of the kids school/social/athletic events.  I will also Text and/or call Ex to REMIND him of events and exactly what is required for said event (special shirt, $$, gear, etc).  It takes a lot of time, energy and patience, but it makes #1 work the end of the day my mantra is "It is for the kids, if they are happy, I am happy."

3.  Agree to disagree
Ex and I definitely have different ideas on raising kids, morals, religion, etc.  If we didn't then we most likely would not be Exes.  We finally came to a point about 6 months after our divorce was finalized that we agreed to disagree.  This means that sometimes he makes decisions I don't agree with (like having a babysitter for the kids almost every weekend he has them), but I do my best to keep my $.02 to myself about his decisions.  He does the same for me, although he has little to complain about since I am so perfect ;-). 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Have some self respect already!

I wouldn't exactly call myself a feminist.  I mean, I like being treated like a lady, having my door opened, being wooed as much as the next woman.  However, perhaps because of my career (Engineer in manufacturing for any newbies to the site), I have a different perspective on the line between being a bra burning feminist and a lady.  I also think that because I work in a male dominated (and lets face it, a better description is meathead dominated) job, I have developed dos and don'ts for how I handle myself and what I think (no, you don't have to think like I do) is appropriate clothing for girls and women in public (what you all do in your own homes is your business!).

For example, I do not think it is appropriate for young ladies to wear see-through shirts, daisy duke shorts, high heels, or thong underwear...all of which I saw with advertising targeted towards my 7th grade daughter while back to school shopping.  It is not in my goals as a parent to teach my child to look like a whore...ever.  Of course, I am in the minority in that my almost 12 year old is one of the few girls in her school that do not go to class with full-on make up either.  I am fine with it...Manudo, hasn't complained too much yet, but I plan on using the "When I was growing up...." explanation cuz we all know kids LOVE that one!

I also think it is inappropriate for adult women (and I use this term loosely) to wear clothing that is gender degrading.  Why in the world would a grown woman want to walk around wearing a Hooter's T-shirt, or even worse one from Playboy or Hustler?  Especially when all of those built their MALE owned companies based on the objectification of women and their bodies.  And before you ask, No, I haven't had the wings, and I don't care if they give me 3 minutes in heaven, you cannot tell me that most of the people who go there are going for the wings and not the, well, hooters. I am sure these are the same people who claim they read playboy and hustler for the "intellectually" stimulating articles....These people think women are here not only to be objectified but that they are dumb too! 

However, I guess if your life's goal as a woman is to have men stare at your boobs all day by choice then you are being successful.  Bravo!  Let me know how that works for you when your boobs are closer to your knees and you haven't learned to get men to look you in the eye when talking to you.

I also believe that as a mom it is my job to teach both my daughters and even more importantly my son to respect women.  Why is it that we all want our sons to be mommy's boy, but then society is okay with said son becoming a person who disrespects woman (and by association their mothers) once they grow a few hairs you know where?  Isn't it important for our sons to think of women as smart, independent, and valuable life partners?  Isn't it important to teach our daughters to love their female friends and respect them?  I am so upset by all the girl to girl bullying these days.  It is bad enough that young girls have to compete with society's vision of how they should look/act/dress, but to have to compete with their own female peers is just horrible. 

Men, women, girls, boys, we all need to realize that women aren't going anywhere, especially not back to heels and aprons and thinking that we are only as valuable as the men who care for us.  All women deserve respect especially from themselves!

That's not a smile, it is a grimace cuz her
feet are KILLING her!

Rant over.....for now!