A new mommy's mishaps, mayhem, and majesty

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Diffr'nt Strokes

In those few moments between my head hitting the pillow and sleep, I had one of those thoughts that make perfect sense to you at the time. Well, I went to sleep and forgot exactly what it was, but I do remember thinking that parenthood will either make you or break you as a couple. Having a child will either bond you together through your joy and struggles, or the differences in your parenting styles will give you something to fight about that drives you apart.

I was comparing my parents and trying to figure out which parent was more lenient and which parent wouldn't let me get away with as much. My dad was usually looser when it came to something we wanted at the store or if we wanted a treat at an amusement park. Mom didn't let us get treats as often as dad did. but I was more afraid of being spanked by my dad, mom would just send us to our room or ground us. When it came to friends or having sleepovers, it was easier to get mom's cooperation- and she usually didn't mind as much when we made a lot of noise.

Frankly, I think I am a combination of both my parents' styles. I will prolly be the more patient one when it comes to whiny kids and naughty behavior. I intend to help my children understand why their behavior is unacceptable, rather than just punish them because I feel upset at them. If I can detach myself from their behavior emotionally, I think it will keep me from yelling at them. I'm not sure if I will use a time-out chair or the corner as a punishment. The theory I favor right now ("theory" since it has yet to be put into action) is calmly telling my child to go to their room "because you need to calm down and mommy needs a break from your behavior". Not sure yet if it will work- every child learns differently. Right now if Lily is just plain whiny we put her down for a nap, unless I suspect one of her basic needs requires attention.

I'm not quite certain what Matt's parenting style is. I'd like to say we've talked in depth about it, but honestly you don't know what your style is until you raise a kid. Matt's dad was a raging drunk for most of his childhood from what he's told me, and while I don't think he will be as hard a parent to live with (helps he doesn't drink), I think he might not be as patient a parent as I am. I am a people pleaser so I might find it a harder job to discipline my children. As long as we support each other though I think it will be okay.

Matt thinks this baby is a boy; we both knew that Lily was a girl. We won't know for at least another month yet. I don't even know my due date yet... but I do hope that we get at least one of each variety. I never had any brothers and always wanted one, so I hope that Lily gets at least one brother and one sister. Guess we'll know soon enough, but the guessing game is driving me crazy! I see lots of CUTE boy clothes and would love to add them to my baby collection.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


I was somwhat inspired by a talk a lady in my ward gave in church on Sunday. Mostly it was on how God prepares us for trials and through trials for things that will happen later in life. While I still don't understand what most of my trials were in preparation for (some of them I brought upon myself), I had an epiphany during the talk. I don't remember what the words were that inspired it, but I began thinking about what we are here for- to prove that we are faithful to Heavenly Father, to grow and learn things, to obtain a body, find a companion and start a family... and I had a thought- one reason I have trials is to learn how to solve my own problems.

Surely we will still be faced with difficult decisions, and problems will still arise in the next life. Because our mortal cares are behind us does not mean that we won't faced with immortal cares. I will need the problem solving skills I learn in this life to help me with the next. Along with emotional challenges, unemployment is really a logistics problem: how to still provide for basic necessities when means are limited? What would be a constructive way to deal with all the extra time while looking for a job? How do I still maintain my self-respect when obtaining a job proves to be difficult? Will I continue to maintain the moral standards I have set for myself?

Having an eternal perspective can be the hardest thing ever, during times of little and times of plenty. It is easy to get caught up in material things when you do have enough. When you have little it is easy to be upset at the one person whose fault it is not: our Father. It is true, we don't know what his plan is, and when we don't receive the things that we believe to be good for us, it is depressing. When Matt was out of work it was hard on everybody. I had difficulty reading the scriptures like I used to, and my prayers were more like occasional postcards rather than frequent phonecalls.

We tried for months to keep our heads above water, and finally had to sacrifice the one thing we were trying to prevent losing: Matt's $500/month Mustang. We tried selling it, but were so upside down on the payments that finally we decided to get rid of it and turned it in. we knew we would still have to make payments but wouldn't be paying insurance or maintenance on it any longer. Beautiful though it was, that car was an accident magnet anyway. I suppose the lesson I learned was this: sometimes you have to make a sacrifice to get what you are asking for. The very next day Matt was offered a job.

We moved in with his parents for four months, hoping that Matt would be hired on permanently at the coal mine he was now working at. He was a contractor, and contractors have lower pay and no beneits. I was expecting out first child and most of my paychecks went to pay the ridiculously priced benefits my hospital offered (Ironic, huh? I shouldn't transferred hospitals; then I wouldve made way more and had cheaper benefits.) Even when we moved into our apartment Matt was still a contractor, and when Lily was born, he was still a contractor. Finally at Christmastime he was offered a permanent position. The second lesson I learned: sometimes you need to take a leap of faith. Thank goodness he was hired on while I was still on leave.

One other thing I learned: when you do get what you ask for, your problems don't go away overnight. we are STILL recovering from the damage that nine months of unemployment cost us. Mostly we are caught up, but as a result of being behind on bills last year, we couldn't pay our hospital bill when it came, so we are STILL paying it off... and now we've got another anticipated hospital bill. I really hope our tax return will cover it. Plus my tuition for this year.

Another thing being without has taught me is to share what I do have with others. I love having people over for dinner, and I don't mind giving away what I don't need. I hate clutter anyway.

I suppose I also learned how important a food storage is, so that if we are unable to purchase food we will at least have enough that we won't starve. I've been working on building it up, but we still have quite a long way to go. While I don't understand what all of my trials are for yet, I have learned that I can solve some of my problems on my own- but never without help, of course.