Kids Are Not An Excuse

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I recently came across an article on Huffington Post which in a nutshell said how dating and time with your spouse was never the same after having kids.  While there is nothing wrong with doing lots of things with your children, there are times when you need to do things without them, but let me explain.

I love my daughter with all my heart, she is my pride and joy, and love getting to spend time with her.  Because I love her so much, I realize it is very important to make time for my wife and I to spend alone, date nights, one on one, without our daughter.  A getaway now and then by ourselves is also so important.

You see as parents it’s our job to teach our kids how to have good character, good morals, and a healthy outlook on life. If I don’t model a good relationship in my marriage, that is like teaching her that bad moral values are okay.

I want my daughter to grow up knowing that her parents care enough about each other to value each other, and to spend time together.  I want to teach her that mommy and daddy need alone time sometimes so that we can be a stronger family, with firm relationships.  I want her to know that our wedding anniversary is a special event that should be held dear.

As a teenager I want her to secretly be glad that she knows her mom and dad love each other enough to still go on dates, even if it may gross her out a little, someday she will look back on that and smile.

By making time for my marriage, I am helping to build a picture of what she should look for in a man.  If she never sees me “dating” her mother, how will she know what healthy dating looks like?  How will she know the balance of having her own marriage and her own children someday if she doesn’t learn it from me and her mother.

My faith is very important to me, and nothing can replace prayer or alone time with God. In the same way nothing can replace alone time with my wife.  That doesn’t mean all other aspects aren’t good.  They are.  But so is alone time.  Kids should not be an excuse to never date your spouse anymore, if anything they should be an excuse to continue it all the more.

 

I Was Wrong

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“I was wrong”, that’s something I know I hate saying, and I would imagine a lot of people have trouble saying that.  It admits we messed up, it admits we aren’t perfect, and it admits we have struggles to work through.

Furthermore when we tell someone that, it gives them power over us, that they were in the right.

But it is far better when we just admit we were wrong, apologize and move on, striving to be better next time.  By doing this first we save ourselves from being defensive, from saying things in anger that we don’t mean, and from fighting with someone we care about.

“I was wrong”, three simple words that we should get more comfortable saying.  It doesn’t mean we are weak, it doesn’t mean we are inferior, it means we can admit that we have faults, and areas in our lives that need improvement.

Don’t be afraid to say when you are wrong.

Fears, Doubts, and Worrying

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I was talking with a very good friend of mine and we were discussing how hard it is sometimes to find your purpose or value.  I’ve gone through times when I’ve had struggles with identifying with who I am as a person.

This came from a lot of different things.  Including hiding a lot of who I was, fearing that things I wanted to do or be were not acceptable.  Then add on the aspect of having a family to care for and needing to provide for them.

Both of these combined kept me from really allowing me to come out.  I tended to live a life of lies, or at best just stuffed down who I was.

This may seem like not a bad thing, but it is really bad for you when it builds up over years, you lose sight of who you are and forget what is important to you.  couple this with fear, fear of the world, of others opinions, and you have a recipe for a possible breakdown.

It’s taken me a long time to rediscover who I am.  I’ve had to for my own personal well being as well as for my wife’s and child’s sake.  They need me to live out my life.  We often think that if we give everything we have to our family it is a good thing.  Don’t get me wrong we need to make sacrifices and provide for our families, but when we make our family everything we actually hurt them.

Because your family needs you, and your individuality as much as it needs you for them.

Lay aside the fear, the doubt, the worry.  Take up your dreams, your passions, and your life and live it to the fullest.  You and your family won’t be happy until you do.

I Confess

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I confess that I like doing things the safe way, the way I know.  Things that disrupt my normal schedule have a tendency to freak me out….or rather had.  Over the past couple years I have learned to enjoy the unknown.  While I’m not totally at ease with it, I still find it to be interesting, and more exciting than simply routine on a daily basis.

Routine can be good and we all have to have it to a degree, but it can completely stifle us to where we forget what is important and we forget who we are.  We become robotic people simply going through the motions.

We can’t let the routine stuff and the “little” stuff of life to get us down or get us blind-folded into believing there is nothing more to life than our four walls and our own home. Our home is a great place, but we aren’t meant to simply live inside our four walls and make our castles and raise our children without leaving the house.

We were meant to lead, to create, to inspire, to help, to serve, and to build.  And while some of that can go on in our own home, we are meant to take those things into the world.

Living A Lie

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Sometimes there are points in our lives when we come to a discovery of ourselves.  We find ourselves seemingly for the first time.  Sure we’ve always known who we were, but  not really.  We’ve seen it through jaded eyes, through the lens of others expectations.

We have this tendency in life to think that if someone else doesn’t pursue the career choice that we deem best, then they are going about it wrong.

Or if they are raising their kids different than us then they are in the wrong.

Or if they are pursuing a relationship that we disagree with they are headed for trouble.

All this is just us being insecure and feeling we need to validate the way we live by invalidating other people.

Each of us as individuals is unique, none of us have the same exact personalities, dreams, or passions, and we shouldn’t.

Encourage others to go after things that are way different than how you would do it.  We need more creative people, more diverse actions.

Don’t live a lie because someone else thinks you should do plan A or B. And don’t make people feel that they have to live a lie because you think differently.

We are meant to build each other up.  Let’s start today.

Stop Using Your Kids As An Excuse

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My wife and I discovered something after we had a child.  It’s really hard for us to ever hang out with anyone with kids.  Most of our friends are either single, or married without children.

Why is this?  Well, it’s pretty simple, we’ve found a lot of parents who use there kids as excuses of why they can’t do something.

As a parent now for 2 years I don’t understand this concept at all. My wife and I have a lot going on, between both of us working going to school full time, hitting the gym 5 times a week, plus my wife runs a non-profit, as well as her own business. This is aside from our blogging, e-books, and other projects we have going on.  Yes we are extremely busy, but we don’t know any other way.

So naturally we brought our child into the world expecting her to be a go getter.  And that she is.  When she knows we are going somewhere she runs and grabs her shoes, starts laughing hysterically and then proceeds to beat on the front door until we leave.  She loves to be on the go as much as her parents.  She is very used to going everywhere, she never meets a stranger, and has no fear of anything.

We love this, we want her to see by example how to live a full life.  As a dad it scares the crap out of me all the time when I hear crazy stories in the news, and I will probably be stalking her first boyfriend. But I want her to experience life, and experience it fully. I don’t want her to see her parents just wasting away time, watching TV and staying inside the house.  She is already learning this.

Kids are not an excuse not do things, they are all the more reason to do things.

What Scares You?

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We all can think of things that have a tendency to scare us. From things like heights, to snakes, to more difficult issues like being vulnerable, being honest etc.

It can be a scary thing to allow yourself to be vulnerable. After all isn’t that how people get hurt? Isn’t that how hearts get broken? Well in all honesty, yes.

But when we close ourselves off we may guard ourselves against getting hurt, but we also keep ourselves from experiencing some awesome adventures.

The truth is, yes, being vulnerable will hurt us at times, it’s part of the way life goes, but it will also bring us great joy. When we do get hurt we have to keep getting up and trying again, nothing good ever comes from staying down.

We don’t ever fully begin to live until we open up ourselves fully and embrace who we are, give ourselves the freedom to be vulnerable, and take the leap into vulnerability.  It’s scary, it won’t always be easy, but it will be worth it.

3 Years Ago

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Three years ago today I was married. Sometimes it doesn’t seem possible it’s been 3 years, and other times it’s hard to even remember life before her. I don’t think either of us had a clue what marriage would be like (who does when first married?)

We’ve been through so much in just 3 years, wonderful times, fun times, and hard times.  We’ve traveled to three countries, had a daughter, moved five times, managed a family, work, and full time college, had our ups and had our downs.

While I wish I could say that all the bumps of marriage are over with, I know that I have a lot to learn still in the road to discovering both myself and my wife.

I am a different person because of my wife (and I mean that in a good way).

I still can’t wait to walk in the door at the end of the day and see her, I look forward to seeing her smile and hearing her voice.

She is now as much as the on our wedding day my one and true love.  I love you Heather Parady. Here’s to 3 years I would never trade, and to all the years to come.

For Better Or Worse

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Marriage is incredibly hard. Anyone married knows what I’m talking about.  Anyone single, ask someone married if you don’t believe me.

There is a reason in wedding vows you say for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health.  It’s not just because it sounds good.  It’s because in marriage you will go through the worst of times and the best of times.

When you get married you have a lot of expectations of what it’s going to be like. Mostly we get this from Hollywood and TV.  But think about, we don’t run into bank robbers, get into high speed shoot-outs and witness explosions every day like in the movies, so why would marriage be like the movies?

It’s not. It’s better.  It’s harder.

When you get married, everything you’ve ever done, and everything you do is exposed to your spouse.  There’s no more getting in your car and driving back to your place when you get in a knock down screaming fight, no more going for a late night drive where no one knows where you are, no more complete and utter independence.

Yes some things you do lose in marriage, but you also gain so much.

Marriage is hard, to say it was easy would be a flat out lie. It takes commitment, it takes telling yourself that no matter how badly the other person hurts me, or how much I disagree with them, I’ve made a commitment to love them, and I have to honor that.

Most of the time you don’t have to remember that, you love your spouse, you think they are it. But during those rough times….that’s why we have those vows, to remember, I committed to love this person through both my worst, and their worst.  It means loving when they don’t deserve it, not to get something in return, but because you are committed to them.  It means pointing out their qualities, not their faults.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither is a marriage.  It takes work, it takes pain, but it is filled with rewards.

Who Likes Conflict?

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I doubt many people would say they enjoy conflict.  In fact most people I’ve heard hate it.  Why is this?

We pay millions of dollars every year to go see blockbuster movies that are all based around some type of conflict.  We are enamored by TV shows that deal with what?  That’s right: conflict.

I know I hate conflict.  And I’m starting to ask myself why?

Shouldn’t I appreciate it?  Shouldn’t I look at it as an opportunity to also come to a resolution?

No conflict is not always pretty, it’s often ugly, it’s the furthest thing from glamorous. But if I simply change my thinking and my mindset on the cause and effect of conflict, will I begin to view it differently and respond to it differently?

I’m not 100% sure, but I am interested in finding out.