The Importance of Being Each Others Rock (Married Mondays)

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In relationships and marriage, the goal is to be working as a team. In life, there are many challenges that you will face, and having your partner there to support you and encourage you is so important. Whether there is a job change, loss in the family, or the birth of a child, being each other’s rock is essential. There is nothing more comforting than knowing your partner has your back, won’t judge you and will be cheering you on during those hard times.

I know for Jak and I, at the moment, we are expecting Xander at any time. This past weekend I honestly thought I was going to be heading to the hospital a couple times because of the pressure and pain that I assume he was causing by pushing down (at least that’s how it felt). The doctors told me that I can’t go into the hospital unless I am having painful contractions 5 minutes apart for 2 hours and can’t talk or breathe through them. Now, I have been having contractions since wednesday, not painful ones, but some have been intense. Jak has stayed by my side since Thursday. This weekend, the pushing/pressure pain was something newer and much more intense. I honestly am not sure what is happening and it’s been quite scary to be in so much pain, thinking I have to keep my legs closed to keep him in there haha. Jak has been my rock during this, and it’s beenso calming. Knowing he is there, holding my hand, telling me everything’s okay, is reassuring and I know I am able to get through those strange pressure/pushing pains (and three of them were enough to stop me in my tracks, and be screaming!) I know that I’ve been Jak’s rock at times, and it’s nice knowing that he is able to be mine in a time where I am feeling vulnerable and scared. That sense of trust, that the person you love is there is the best feeling.

When one partner is going through something and the other is strong, all that means is doing things that can alleviate or help them during a tough time. Whether that is being someone to talk things out with, or them helping you get an assignment done for a deadline, they are there, encouraging and supporting you in the way you need it. If you aren’t sure what they need, then ask. They might not know, and that’s okay, just being there offering support can go a long way. If you are there, holding them, supporting them, or encouraging them, then you are being their rock and that means the world to them during a tough or stressful time.

XOXO Savvy

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Pregnancy Update (Announcement)

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Hey guys, so it’s officially my due date! I went to the doctors this morning, and they said I was having regular contractions, that Xander was active and healthy, and that I was 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced and they figured he could arrive in the next couple days! Jak and I are so excited and can’t wait to meet our little guy!

XOXO Savvy

Got Promoted! (CTM)

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Hey guys, I just wanted to announce that I got promoted to Deputy Editor at Conscious Talk Magazine for the Sex & Relationships column! I am so excited and happy! I remember when I applied for the magazine and got the contract that stated you could work your way up. I remember that I wanted to “prove” myself and work my way up after reading the contract. Deputy Editors are starting December/January! I have always been passionate about writing, and am so thankful for my job at Conscious Talk Magazine as well as the promotion!

Please show some love and visit the site and follow on Facebook and Twitter too!

XOXO Savvy

Can They Sense Labor is Near? (Caturday Saturdays)

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I have been wondering if these two can sense that labor is possibly close. They have been going crazy all week! They’ve been jumping into the changing table and trying to sleep there. Emily even jumped from the changing table to the bassinet. I think they know something is about to change since they really haven’t had interest in Xander’s area much. I had to carry Luvas out of the changing table five times one day! Emily has been much better about staying out of the area, but Luvas keeps going back to the area to “hang out.” Honestly, I found it funny, but I am trying to keep boundaries strong so they know that the area is not theirs. I wonder how they will act when Xander does get here…

XOXO Savvy

Lessons Learned in Early Marriage and Motherhood (Guest Post Day)

I met my husband, Kylan, when I was 19. We were married 8 months later just after I had turned 20. Sounds pretty normal for two Mormons going to Brigham Young University, right? What’s not so normal is our background and my husband’s experiences.

When we got married, my husband was 24, divorced, and had a 17-month-old son. It was quite a journey to the altar for us.  My parents liked him from the beginning but were of course very cautious and protective of their only daughter and youngest child. There were many Sunday dinners spend questioning him and he handled it like a champion.

He told me all about his situation the first time we hung out. It truly was a crazy situation. His ex-wife left 9 days after their baby boy was born. It wasn’t spoken about or discussed at all – it was pretty much out of the blue. Until we were married, Kylan had only seen his son once since she left. Now we get to see him about every or every other month and it is a true joy.

My experiences have come fairly early in life – as an 18 and 19-year old I never thought “what would I do if I were dating someone who was divorced and had a kid?” It’s just not something you think about! But somehow I managed to handle it gracefully and understandingly.

Along the way, I have learned some very important lessons through experiences that I believe are tailored specifically for me.

Patience

I have learned patience with Kylan, his ex-wife, and life itself. When Kylan and I met, his divorce had only been finalized for a week. Needless to say, he was not ready to get married again. I wasn’t ready yet either, but once I met him and went on a couple dates, I knew we were going to get married. Because of his experience, it took him a bit longer to realize that same thing. In December I told him that I was ready when he was to get married; we got engaged in March! That may seem like a very short time, but for me, knowing he was “the one,” it seemed like a long time!

Kylan’s ex-wife is difficult to correspond and get along with. It’s been difficult especially because I just don’t understand her and her side of the situation. I am still learning to have patience with her. The good thing about patience is that it can be practiced. I always keep our son in mind – it helps me remember what and who is most important in this all.

I have always been an impatient person, so this has been a powerful lesson for me. It has carried over into other aspects of my life as well. I am learning that life almost never goes as planned, so I must have patience with it. I believe that what ends up actually happening in our lives can be 100 times better than our own plans. If we have patience, we will have our eyes and hearts open to see that.

Motherhood

What is motherhood? Before marrying Kylan and becoming a step-mom I had a narrow view of motherhood. Now that I am a step-mom I understand it so much better.

Motherhood is something that every woman has the potential for. Motherhood is caring for and nurturing others. Even if you can’t have children, you can be a mother. You will find your children. Even if I didn’t have my step-son now, with what I know now about motherhood, I would still consider myself to be a mother. I have the potential inside of me physically, emotionally, and spiritually to be a mother.

Another reason I know this to be true is because I have many mother figures in my life. First of all is my own mother, obviously. However, there are many other women that care for me and have nurtured me. I love these women and all that they do for me.

I believe motherhood is the highest calling a woman can have. There are plenty of other very important things that a woman can do, but motherhood is by far the most important. So whether you have your own children, step-children, or none of your own, you can and will be a mother if that is what you desire.

I’ve never wanted anything more than to be a mother. I have been able to have that sooner than I thought – my step-son is one of the greatest joys in my life. I can’t wait for that joy to multiply when Kylan and I have babies of our own.

Control

The lesson of control is one of the most important lessons I’ve learned from my experiences with Kylan and his ex-wife. You cannot control anyone except for yourself. People do crazy things sometimes. People do things that you may never understand as long as you live.

As a result, I have learned that a lot of stress and anguish can be saved from letting go control of others. People will ultimately do what they feel is best for themselves – you may not agree with what they do. However, you can control what you do and how you act on your feelings.

Even if we don’t agree with what others do, we can still love them or at least be civil 😉 It takes a lot of time to relinquish the feeling of needing to control others, especially when you think you know best. However, it is 100% worth it.

Let It Go

Kylan’s ex-wife did some things that I do not agree with and made me angry. I’m not a person who gets angry easily, but I would dwell on that anger and frustration a lot. It wasn’t until I decided to let it go that I started to feel better. I am still working on completely moving on, but it has already made my life easier.

Grudges don’t do anything for anyone. I love the idea that holding a grudge is like drinking the poison and expecting it to kill the other person – it only hurts you. If you are holding a grudge against someone, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I have to deal with this person whether I’m angry or not?
  • How do I feel when I think about this person and the situation?
  • How do I want to feel?
  • What will help me feel better?

These questions will help you explore your anger and come to terms with whoever is causing you anger and frustration. Like I said, I am still in the process of letting it go, but I am happier just because I decided that I will let it go. It is truly liberating.

Are there lessons here that you have learned or want to learn? What similar experiences have you had? I would love to hear from you. I want to connect and create a community of people – we are never alone!

Written By: Kathryn Vanderpool

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She is a 20-year-old daughter, sister, wife, and step-mom. She is working on a bachelor’s degree in Human Development, working full-time, and is new to the blogging scene. She lives in Provo, Utah with her husband and their son lives in California with his mom. She loves figuring out ways to bond with her step-son and sharing those ideas with others. She raises awareness for fibromyalgia, depression, and anxiety – all of which she has. Her blog is all about finding joy in trials and wellness of body and mind.

Advantages To Having Kids Young (Mom Wednesdays)

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Change happens, all the time. Every moment things are changing, progressing, evolving. One of life’s biggest changes is having a baby. There are an infinite number of articles that talk about how having a baby changes everything, and for new or soon to be moms that can be daunting. Of course having a baby changes life, that’s obvious, but that doesn’t have to be seen as a negative, especially for young moms.

I’ve heard and read about how there’s no longer a sex life, how there’s no time for each other, how the baby is taking up all their time. Okay, and those things may be true, but they aren’t forever. We as humans adapt, we adapt to survive. So, yes, during the first few months things are going to be drastically different as one learns a new routine, and adjusts to the sleep deprivation– but it’s not forever. I’ve been mentally preparing myself for the changes that are about to happen, and one thing I am trying to focus on is the positives that will come with being a young mom.

The Positives of Having a Baby Young

 

Reliving Your Childhood

Being young means you get to relive your childhood with your own kid by playing outside with them, reading them books, going to playgrounds, and just having fun! I know that Jak and I can’t wait until he is able to be outside in the yard playing soccer, or going for hikes! Who wouldn’t want to relive the days where you got to go outside, play, and forget lifes stresses for a bit?

 

Having Engery Even With Sleep Loss

Being a young mom means that you will have more energy than you would if you were having kids in your thirties. You are not beyond your youth where you’re less physically able to have energy and keep up with your child. Even though you will be missing out on some Z’s, you’re of an age where you are still used to pulling all nighters for studying. 

 

Knowing Their Grandparents (and possibly Great Grandparents)

Since you’re so young, your child will have more of a chance to know their grandparents, and possibly meet their great grandparents too! There is more time to build a solid relationship and get to know more than just one generation within the family.

 

Less Peer Pressure

Most couples don’t have kids at such a young age, there’s no comparisons or competition with making the “right” parenting decisions with friends voicing their opinions since they most likely aren’t parents. You get to really decide what’s best for your family!

 

You’re the “Go-To” Couple When Your Friends Start Their Families

Your circle of friends eventually will start their own families, and when they do, they will be calling you for advice. Your kid may be six or even ten by the time your friends start their families, and you will know the drill!

 

Still Young When Kids Leave

If you’ve had kids in your twenties, when they are leaving for college you’ll only be in your 40’s, which is relatively young! You still have many years to go and live life to the fullest and could still be advancing in your career or even starting a business– endless options really!

XOXO Savvy

 

The Final Countdown Checklist (Baby Tuesdays)

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Being 38.5 weeks pregnant really makes one think about whether everything has been checked off that metaphorical checklist. There are so many things you want to bring to the hospital with you, and unless it’s written down you might forget it. For my husband and I, we have the traditional items along with items that we believe will personally work best for us to get through labor. Below is what we have come up with for a well-rounded checklist!

The Go Bag Checklist For Mother

  • Picture ID and Insurance card
  • The Birth Plan (if you have one written down)
  • Eyeglasses for those who wear contacts
  • Nightgown, socks, slippers, bathrobe, comfy bra’s
  • Personal items to help you relax
    • Pillows
    • Music
    • Tablet for Netflix + charger
    • Pictures
    • Mini magnet chess board (so Jak and I can play chess! :P)
    • Peppermint oil (for scent for grounding)
    • Heating Pad!

The Go Bag Checklist For Spouse

  • Camera if you wish to be taking photos + charger
  • Toiletries
  • Comfy clothes that are warm since most mothers tend to keep the birthing rooms cold.
    • Socks!
    • long sleeve t-shirts
    • comfy sweatpants
    • comfy shoes
  • Snacks!
    • Tons of snacks to keep them going.
      • Chicken broth is great for the pregnant women so they can keep their energy up as well!
  • Books to read
  • Money
  • Bathing suit and cheap flipflops (so that if you are wanting to be in shower or tub your partner can join you too while in labor)

Post Birth Bag

  • Phone Charger
    • You won’t have to worry about your phone dying when making calls to friends and family to let them know the baby has arrived.
  • A list of people you want to call so you don’t forget anyone!
  • Snacks!
    • That way if the hospital cafeteria is closed after your labor you will have food to get you through since you’ll be really hungry.
  • Toiletries
    • Toothpaste and toothbrush
    • Hair Brush
    • Lip Balm
    • Deodorant
    • Makeup
    • Shampoo and conditioner if you prefer your own
    • Mini hair dryer
  • Nursing bra’s that are comfortable or regular bras.
  • Maternity underwear if you want your own versus the mesh hospital ones
    • Hospital provides pads, but in case you want your own you can bring those, or make sure you have a supply at home
  • Book on Newborn care
  • Notebook and pens
    • To keep track of baby’s feeding, write down questions you have, or just to journal about the experience
  • Going home outfits

 

Obviously it’s important to make sure you have your carseat in your car, make sure that when you get home there isn’t a need to run to get diapers, so making sure the essentials are taken care of ahead of time will make coming home less stressful and more relaxing.

XOXO Savvy

 

How To Fight Successfully (Married Mondays)

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Every couple fights, it’s inevitable. Whether the fight is about something small like taking out the trash or something significant like financial issues, there will be times when the two of you don’t see eye to eye. Most people think that fighting means something is wrong within the relationship, and to some degree that can be true. What’s worse than fighting is not fighting. Most people don’t think about the fact that if you’re fighting, it means you still care, you’re still in the relationship. When the fighting stops, that’s when you need to look out for real trouble.

The question then becomes, “if couples fight, and some fighting is a good sign, how do you fight successfully?” Fighting can be a very negative aspect of a relationship if the fighting isn’t fair and abusive. If fighting is fair, voices aren’t raised, then that is the healthier way to fight. So how do you fight fair?

You Don’t Run

Running away from a fight basically says to the other person, “you’re not important enough for me to stick around for something that might be uncomfortable.” That really does not make someone feel good and can amp up the anger in the other person. The best way to fight is to not immediately leave the room if your spouse brings something up that you might end up arguing about, but rather stay in the room and say something like, “I am sorry, I wasn’t aware of how much of an issue this was, can we talk further about this?” 

You Slow It Down and Hear Eachother Out

Fighting can escalate all too quickly! First, the fight starts off with a snide comment, then the other person turns away, then the other name calls, then there is yelling, and so on. Stop the fight in its tracks before the yelling. For example, if the topic is finances that you’re arguing about when you feel yourself about to yell, take a deep breath and count to five slowly before speaking. It may sound lame but can really help to not escalate things any further. 

No Namecalling or Blaming

This is where fighting is not fair at all. Namecalling and blaming the other person only adds fuel to the fire and gets everyone more defensive. When fighting, don’t say “it’s your fault we are in this mess” or “you are such a child! You can’t keep track of money!” Phrases like those only ensure that no healthy communication will occur. Rather than using those dirty tactics that get you nowhere, saying things like, “I am feeling really frustrated that we are in this financial mess right now, can we discuss how we are going to move forward?” That way there is no blame given to anyone and you are speaking in terms of “we,” which indicates you guys are a team and in this together!

Know When To Step Away

Now, if there is a fight that has gotten out of hand, whether yelling is starting, namecalling, or if things have gotten close to getting physical, then it’s time to step away. If you and your spouse cannot see eye to eye in that moment or even see each other’s sides of the argument, there is no point continuing the conversation. Sometimes people need to go to a separate room cool off and come back when they are more level-headed, and that is okay, as long as they know that works for them.

Set Up Rules For Fights Beforehand 

Setting up rules about fighting may seem silly, but it helps in the end. For instance, if you are in a fight and one of you starts namecalling, you can say, “I thought we agreed that wasn’t going to be apart of arguing. That really hurt, what made you jump to that statement?” Or making sure each of you knows that it’s okay to step away from the fight if things are getting too heated. Each couple will have their own “rules” about arguing, but the key is to try to stick to them, and if you can’t then step away.

Validate Eachother’s Feelings

I cannot emphasize how important this is! Even if you aren’t seeing their side, do try to take a moment and put yourself in their shoes. Try seeing this from their perspective and how they feel. Emphasize! If you can do that you can then say something like, “I am so sorry, it must be really difficult for you to feel that way. I can see why you turned to spending money to ease the stress.” It doesn’t excuse the behavior but acknowledges the feelings of the other person. If they feel validated and heard then you have a higher chance of succeeding in coming together to find a solution to move forward.

Don’t Jump To Conclusions

Jumping to conclusions is one of the worst ways to communicate. When jumping to conclusions, you’re communicating to your spouse that, “I assume the worst in you.” Rather than jumping to a conclusion, take a moment to think it through. Make sure it makes sense before you say it and if it doesn’t, don’t say it. Rather give your partner the benefit of the doubt (unless there are trust issues, in that case there might be reason to be skeptical). If you two can communicate honestly and remember that the goal is to figure out a solution for the both of you, then that will be very helpful when it comes to giving them the benefit of the doubt.

Fighting can be scary in relationships, but when you learn how to fight healthily, the fighting can be seen as something productive rather than destructive.

XOXO Savvy