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Finding the Ying to Your Yang

Me and my husband have been together nearly twelve years. We experienced high school together, our first time moving out, paying bills, getting married, buying a house, having a child and all of the other firsts you can experience. Throughout this time we have changed and grown not only as individuals but also as a couple. He has put up with things from me and I have put up with things from him. But we have never tried to change one another. He is who he is with his own set of morals, and thoughts and feelings and I am me with mine.

Most of the time people like to judge their relationship on things they have in common. I will tell you from personal experience that commonalities aren’t as important as they are made out to be. For some reason, society feels that you need to find someone who likes the same things you do and is similar in every way and I think this causes unnecessary dependency issues. It also causes people to feel like they are doing something wrong if they don’t like the same things their partner likes, which can lead to self-esteem issues.

The first thing I would like to advise is to always check with the big stuff first. The deal breaker stuff. The things you know you want for yourself and your life that you won’t give up. For example, if you know you want children 100% for a fact, no chance you would compromise, then you need to make sure the person you’re investing in wants children too. It’s something that needs to come first before you dedicate yourself to someone and then have to decide whether to erase a piece of yourself to be with that person. Marriage is a big issue with some people, religion is a big issue.

Discuss your financial situation. I didn’t have to do this since we were together already when this became a factor but it has been an issue for people I know. Make sure you are both aware of the other’s finances. And I’m not saying you need to know their bank balance, but you should know if they’ve filed bankruptcy or had their wages garnished for some reason because those type of things will affect you and your financial standing if you continue on.

Discuss your strengths and weaknesses. One of the things that make my marriage so strong is that he is strong where I am weak and vise-verse. I never have to carry a load that is too heavy. When I need him, he is there. We can comfortably call on each other to share in whatever we are going through and be whatever the other person needs. This has especially helped in parenting. When consistency needs to be had and I am down for the count, he swoops in and makes it happen.

Discuss your likes and dislikes. Discuss your hobbies and what a normal week looks like for you. Realise that the differences mean more. If you are both into everything the same, then you don’t get to broaden your mind and your experiences by seeing it from your partners’ view. Being able to see things my husband’s way has allowed me to be a more open minded person in general, whether I agree or not. For instance, my husband loves cars, and I have grown to appreciate going to car shows and races and seeing him fix things. Doesn’t mean I have to love cars too, but I do enjoy being part of it with him. He never liked classical music. One day I introduced him to acapella and now he loves it. It’s something that we can listen to together.

There are still things we don’t like and we handle that by giving the other person the space to do it independently. For example, he likes to watch shows I don’t like, so when he watches those shows, I go in the other room and crochet or watch something I want to watch. We don’t have to do everything together and I think that is a huge problem for most people.

Parenting style is a HUGE thing if you plan on having kids. It wasn’t something I realised was a big deal until our opinions differed on something. That was a big fight. You always want to protect your children and if someone doesn’t agree with something you’re doing, you take it personally, even when you shouldn’t. It’s definitely something that should be discussed before you go having children.

Knowing a person’s past can tell you a lot about their behaviours and coping mechanisms. If you know that your partner used to get hit by their parents, then you can understand why they may flinch when you go to touch them, or if your partner was bullied in school it could explain why they get so defensive about any criticism. With me, I had some mental issues with chemical imbalances that caused erratic and irrational behaviour and he had to learn not to take it personally, and I had to learn to tell him how I was feeling before I got out of hand. And we are still learning about things every day, but it’s nice to be able to understand why someone does or reacts to something the way they do instead of having to guess. Guessing is bad.

Insecurity on either end will eventually kill the relationship. Your life partner is supposed to be your safe place, your home base and if you are constantly worried about where they are, what they are doing or having to constantly be in everything they are doing it will not work. My husband can go do whatever he likes to go do if there is time, and I don’t sit and home and worry about who he is with. I have never felt unsafe with him. I have never worried about how am I going to raise these kids by myself, because I know he will always be here. But cheating isn’t the only insecurity people have. The point is you have to be willing and able to give 100% trust to the person you are with. You have to be able to know that that person is your safe place, and not stress out like you’re in limbo. Constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop instead of enjoying each other will eventually cause the other shoe to drop. You need to know you are good enough and deserve to be happy. If you don’t then you will constantly be projecting that on your partner and pushing them away. If they tell you-you are beautiful, don’t let insecurity take over, trust that they believe you are beautiful and believe it yourself!

You also never want to cause your partner to feel insecure. If both people feel safe, then you can be free to just enjoy each other and love each other with all that you have. ❤

You are an independent individual first. You cannot add a person to your life to fix you or fill a void. Those are things you have to discover within. Your partner is also an independent individual. The reason I am saying this is I want it to be understood that one of our greatest strengths is the ability to operate separately from each other. I think a lot of people have serious dependency issues and end up in a really bad position if the relationship goes bad. You have to have your own hobbies, and be your own person so that you can grow together, but also so that you aren’t left a shell of someone else if something bad were to happen. I’m not saying you need a contingency plan because you should feel safe and not need one, but independence is so important in any relationship. Being able to have your own things to do and your own people to talk to when your partner is busy will save you from a lot of resentment in the long run.

We try to keep things 50/50. It doesn’t always work out that way, but we make an effort. The main thing is if you see your partner struggling, help them! Be a sounding board if they need it, be angry if they need you to be angry with them, make them laugh if that’s what they need but above all else always be there 100%. If you’re not in 100%, then you’re out.

Never settle. I am not saying it’s going to be butterflies and rainbows every time you see them but they should definitely make you want to be a better version of yourself. This means not compromising you to be with someone. If someone is physically/mentally/emotionally hurting you, then you should probably pursue other options. People get depressed, people get stuck, people get unmotivated and no one should be faulted for that. You should be the support system when they need support and if you don’t think you can, then you can’t. If you can’t imagine taking care of someone when they are seriously ill, mentally or physically then you should never stay with them.

Arguments and disagreements are normal. You’re never going to see eye-to-eye on everything, and each person will want things to go their way. The idea is that you are practising these things in a healthy manner and that these arguments are solving a problem or coming up with a solution I should say. If this means you have to seek a professional counsellor to help you communicate effectively, then do it! It is not a bad thing to ask for help, as a matter of a fact being able to identify that a problem is bigger than you is a huge, wonderful thing.

Lastly, this isn’t all of the facts, and some of these things will not work for you. Do what you feel in your heart is best for you. Make sure you feel safe where you are. Let those unfounded insecurities go and let yourself love with everything you have. Compromise. Talk about the important stuff. Check in with yourself periodically and see where you are.

 

I hope you enjoyed this! Please leave me some feedback below, or share, reblog, pin, save until your heart’s content! I would also love to hear something you and your partner do to keep your relationship healthy!

 

ALSO: IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS BEING ABUSED, PLEASE GET HELP!!
NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ABUSE HOTLINE: 1-800-799-7233 OR http://www.thehotline.org

NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE: 1-800-273-8255 OR http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

Tantrums & Meltdowns, Oh my!

So tantrums have been an issue for every parent at one point in time. I mean, we call them “terrible two’s” for a reason, right? Everyone has some tricks up their sleeves with their own children, but what do you do when that doesn’t work? Children also have different versions of tantrums, so how do you tell what to do about yours? What is the difference between a tantrum and a meltdown?

First, let me explain the difference between a tantrum and a meltdown. Generally, in a tantrum, a child still has some control over their actions and emotions. In a meltdown, they are so distraught they have to wear themselves out to calm down. Either way, they are struggling with emotions and are unable to effectively communicate or regulate. This is where we come in. Teaching our children how to communicate their feelings in a safe, healthy way will not only make our relationships with our children better but will also make it much easier to understand them.

The first thing you can do is observe when your child has a tantrum and see what triggered it. Was it not getting their way over a toy? Or not winning a game? There are so many things in a child’s world that they can’t understand the reasoning for, such as you didn’t let them stay up and play video games, or go to school without eating breakfast. It could be the smallest thing. But the important part is to understand what the triggers are and what is the emotion they are trying to express? For example, my son gets upset when he can’t get a game to load on his tablet. In this instance I know he is angry it isn’t working. He also will cry when he doesn’t get called on in class. In this instance I know he feels ignored. Learning what the triggers are and what emotions they are trying to communicate will help you with the next step.

Don’t get frustrated if there are many things that trigger a tantrum with your child. Break it down a little more. Are all of the triggers caused by anger? Maybe he/she has trouble controlling his anger. Maybe he/she has trouble with feeling left out. Maybe your child just has issues with any negative emotion. This happens more in younger children who don’t have the words to express how they feel. In younger children, you start by teaching them to say, “I’m mad” or “I’m sad.” In older children who know the words you have to help them understand how to deal with those emotions in a safe and healthy way.

Staying calm should be your first reaction. I know this is hard when you’re in the middle of a place where yelling and screaming isn’t ideal but it’s a must. Second thing you should do is give them time to sort it out. Don’t avoid the triggers. That will only teach them that they need to avoid their feelings. Instead give them tools to use to help them understand how they feel. Breakdown their triggers into small parts and start slow. If they have tantrums when it’s time to take away games, give them plenty of warning (10 minutes left, 5 minutes left) and make sure at first they are playing a game that they don’t mind stopping. Continue to do this until you can take it without a tantrum. Consistency is key.

Self regulation is important as well. When they have a tantrum make sure to have them either talk or write down what went wrong, why it happened, and how they can do better the next time they are in that situation. Kids are more rational than you think, and problem solving can be a great tool. Make sure you don’t hover and you let them figure it out. Make sure they know that if they need help, you are there but you believe in them being able to figure it out without your help. And when they do make strides reward them, praise them! You definitely want them to know that you are so proud of them!

Tantrums and Meltdowns are a normal part of development. And they are a huge chance for you to minimize emotional issues later on in development and help your relationship with your child. Is there anything you do that works to curb tantrums in your home?

Why I don’t limit screen time 

*Disclaimer: Everyone has an opinion about parenting. The truth is, what works for one kid doesn’t work for another so you should always go with your instincts and do what you feel is right–no matter who disagrees. Also, even though you don’t agree with someone else’s parenting you should keep your mouth closed, and just focus on what works for you. Every parent is doing the best that they can, the way they know how. Making people feel like they aren’t doing things right because they aren’t doing them your way is not only mean but nosy. In other words, mind your own business. *
So, everyone talks about “only give your child 1 hour of screen time” and I’m just going to flat out say that does not happen in my house. I have never set limits on my children’s screen time, other than at meals and bedtime. If they would like to spend the entire day watching tv and using their tablets, so be it. 

My oldest has ADHD and the tablet not only helps him focus but also teaches him things in a way he can relate to. (Which is extremely difficult) Does this mean he spends all day, every day on his tablet? No. By not placing a time limit on how much he gets a day he has been able to self regulate. He will play for a while, then he will set it down and play legos or draw. He likes to play with his friends, and enjoys spending time with his family. He is extremely smart, and also extremely socially aware. So, has letting him choose how he spends his free time affected him negatively in any way? No, it hasn’t. He sometimes plays on the tablet all day, and sometimes not at all. But either way, it’s his free time to spend how he chooses and I think so far he is making some great ones. 

We are in a day and age where everything is done with a computer of some sort. (Phone, tablet, laptop, computer, etc) When I was younger that wasn’t the case so I went with the times and did other things kids my age did. I learned how to use the technology I was given, and over the years it has advanced significantly. I have kept up and I know how the world works. You can’t let your children play outside alone anymore like you could when I was younger. Not only do you have to worry about someone taking them, now you have to worry about another parent who doesn’t feel like you are doing your job correctly calling child services on you. 

Everywhere you go you are constantly being judged by people who think they have it all figured out. If your child throws a fit in a store you’re worried because people are staring at you and making comments about not being able to control your children. I have news for you, kids throw fits! It’s their way to let out their emotions. As long as they aren’t hurting themselves or anyone else, why does it matter? Smaller children aren’t able to express themselves in their emotions so yelling and being angry is how they express it! If you are constantly telling them to shh and to act right because of other people you are telling them that their emotions are supposed to be suppressed to make everyone else feel better. Obviously it’s embarrassing if your child is screaming in public, but I just let them scream it out and then we go on about our day. Another thing I personally get judged for is my children having their tablets, sitting in the cart playing on them. This is the way my kids sit still. And when my kids sit still, not only am I able to remember what I came for but the entire trip is just smoother as a whole. So, that’s what works for me. If your child is able to stand by you in a store with no issues, that doesn’t make you a better parent than me or your children more well behaved, just means we are different. There is nothing wrong with either. 

I wish people were able to just do what’s best for their kids without judging other people’s methods, but I know that isn’t going to happen. But for the record, we do what we feel is best without the judgement and opinions of others. We’re all struggling to figure this whole parenting thing out and each child is different, and has a different set of strengths and weaknesses. We should be helping each other by experience, not throwing each other under the bus. My kids are happy, well adjusted monsters who sometimes throw fits, and play on their tablets and I’m perfectly ok with that. 
❤️❤️

Unapologetically YOU

Hey guys! I know I have been gone a while, but I felt like I needed to get some things out and where would I find a better place than here?

So, there is a whole lot of controversy going on in the world. Seems to me that as soon as something is widely publicized, everyone comes out with an opinion that they would defend to the death just for the sake of being right. I want you to ignore those people. Delete them from your social media, don’t take their calls and definitely don’t argue with them. You are wasting precious time and energy on someone who just wants to argue. You have much better things to do with your time!

Yes, I absolutely believe you should be able to have productive friendships with people who have different morals, and values but I also believe you shouldn’t have to be berated for feeling or thinking any certain way! There is a difference. I can tell you from personal experience that a friend will not attack the way you feel. A true friend is there to support you, and agree to disagree, not push their thoughts and feelings on you.

The ONLY way a person affects the way you feel is if you let them.  You can feel however you want and you do not have to apologize or defend your feelings! EVER!! So if you feel like someone is hurting your feelings, unintentionally or not, they are! If you feel like someone is constantly negative, they are! If you feel like someone is just giving off bad vibes and you don’t want to be around them, you don’t have to. And no one gets to tell you otherwise.

Here in lies my problem. You have to be very cautious who you share your heart with. There are snakes in the grass ladies and gents! These are the people who preach love and understanding and tag you in best friend things on facebook and then go behind your back and say bad things about you to someone else.

There are a few signs of these people that you can pick up on and protect yourself. The absolute number one sign of a snake in the grass is someone who will talk about a “friend” in a negative way to you. If that person is saying these bad things about someone who they refer to as a “friend”. then you need to be considering what information they are sharing about you behind your back. Another sign is someone who is constantly doing things to get attention, be it positive or negative. These people have narcissistic tendencies and generally will “care” about you until they find someone in the spotlight. One last sign is someone who calls you to talk, but as soon as they get the stuff they wanted to say, instantly get off the phone. This is called the dump and run. They dump off all the negativity in their life to feel better, but don’t return the favor for you.

Now I am not saying that someone who does any one of these things is a bad friend, just telling you to keep an eye (and ear) out and be a little cautious. You get to feel the way you want to feel, parent the way you want to parent, love the way you want to love, look the way you want to look, and anything else without having to fear being chastised by someone else. We are all so exceptionally unique and we shouldn’t be afraid to share those things with each other. You can always learn something from someone but obviously, the goal is to learn something positive.

How I wish it wasn’t so! I long for solidarity within the population, and for each person to consider how their actions will affect others when making decisions. I long for a group of people who I know I can trust, and who love me for who I am, with no judgment, just pure understanding. A group who I can learn life lessons from others, and share my own from experience to help someone else. A group where I can be myself, unapologetically, and you can be yourself too.

So,  I leave you today with a challenge. When you step into your day tomorrow I want you to stop, just for a moment and make a mental note to consider others when going about your day. If you have to wait in line for that coffee longer than usual, instead of going off, consider that the barista may be doing the best she can to hold herself together today and just needs a minute to get it together. At any point in your day with human interaction, lets give each other a break. To you, it may be nothing. But for someone else it could mean the world.<3

 

Much Love

 

5 Things To Know When You’re Having A Bad Day

Everyone has bad days. You fight with your significant other, your kid is a complete jerk all day, you forget to pay a bill, a friend hurts your feelings, your boss is an asshole, the list goes on and on. And sometimes everything feels like it’s just turning to shit all around you. And sometimes, it is. Don’t start that pity party just yet. I know how it feels to be at the end of your rope, ready to snap at any moment and to feel that feeling of impending doom. Like a cloud is just following you around ruining your freaking day. There’s danger around every turn, something else to set you off, and just when you feel like you’re finally going to have the nervous breakdown you rightfully deserve, I want you to remember these five things.

  1. First off, you are completely allowed to have a meltdown. As long as you pick yourself up off the floor afterward and don’t settle down and live there you can meltdown all you need. Get it out, think it out, cry it out, scream it out, whatever you have to do. Personally, I listen to Daniel Powder’s song “Bad Day” and cry as I listen when I need a small meltdown. Once you release all of that emotional negative energy you’re carrying you will feel better. Tired, but better.
  2. It is just a bad day, not a bad life. If you start thinking that every day is bad, you’re always going to be able to find something to justify it being a “bad day.” But if you recognize that the universe isn’t really out to get you and you have just had a few bad things happen to you, you will be better for it. Turning a few bad moments into something bigger than they are can cause the negativity to take over. Or cause depression to sink in. Neither is a good option. Find some happy music that makes you feel good and at the end of a really hard day get a pen and a piece of paper and write down five positive things that happened today. See how that makes you feel.
  3. Just remember that you’ve gotten through every single bad day so far in your life, so you can certainly get through this one. Don’t sweat the small stuff, and make sure to start your day off on the right foot with some positive thinking. It’s amazing how much you can impact your entire day with just starting out your day in a positive mood. Personally Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” is my go-to song for positivity, It always makes me want to dance.
  4. Remember that someone cares. There is someone who wants to hear from you, whether it’s good or bad. And if you call and talk their ear off for 3 hours about how terrible your day was or how everything is falling apart, don’t feel bad for that. You are not pushing off your bad day on them, friends are there to listen. And the only person who controls how they feel is them, so you can’t negatively affect them. Just make sure you allow your friend to communicate back their day and not just dumping and leaving. And if for some reason, you can’t find that person you can message me, and I will listen to you. I give great advice. 🙂
  5. Remember—AND THIS IS A BIG ONE not to take out your bad day on someone else. As I said earlier the only person who controls your feelings and reactions to something is you. And when we get irritable even if you don’t notice it we start to get paranoid. And when we start to get paranoid every little thing that goes wrong seems like an attack, something trying to push you closer to that ledge. Reign it in, partner. I know when you’re upset, rational thinking isn’t exactly at the forefront of your mind, but as your reading this I want you to put it there. And I want you to ask yourself, did he really spill that on purpose? Because you will find that if you ask yourself these questions nine times out of ten you will realize that you’re not thinking clearly and you can get yourself back on track.

Most important pieces of advice: A positive attitude will win out any bad day. Music can cure any ailment of the heart. The only person who can control how you react to any situation is you. The only person who controls your emotions is you. Someone can’t make you feel any certain way if you don’t let them. And also, as Dory says, “Just keep swimming.” It’ll all be okay. Maybe not today, but one day.

 

Dear You,

Hey there, you. I know you’re tired and full of resentment. I know you wish someone, anyone would rescue you from this feeling that you’re drowning. I know you feel like there just isn’t enough time or energy to get done what you need to get done. I know you feel alone. I know these things because I have been there. I have been where you are and I know how it is when you feel like you’re just not enough.

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But I am here to tell you that you are not alone. There are many of us feeling the same way you are feeling right now. Many of us who feel alone, and tired and not enough.

You can get through this. It’s just a bad day, not a bad life. Things will get better. You will feel better. Do what you can, and save the rest for another day. You are only one person and you do not have super powers so cut yourself some slack.

Take a break. Take a breather. Take a bath, or a shower. Read a book. Watch a movie. Do something you love. YOU are important. You ARE worth it.

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Much love,

Amber

Free Billing/Budget Worksheet

So, if you are like me and unorganized then you are always looking for an easy way to keep track of your bills. It has taken me many, many years to get a system going that works for me, so I thought I would share it with you.

This worksheet is set up for biweekly paychecks, so if you get paid a different way, or need something else changed, feel free to contact me using the contact form and I will help you in any way that I can.

I set this up using open office (which is a free version of another popular office product) . I have it set up for a year. You can edit to fit your particular situation.

Let me know if you love it/hate it or if there’s something more that would help you in your life!! I hope I can use my experience to help you!

You can download it below!

Bills&amp;Budgeting Worksheet 2

Working on iT!

I am currently creating a worksheet that I use to manage my finances. It’s easy, and straight to the point which is exactly what I need. It’s a great tool for people like me who like to know what the future is bringing, or at least have an idea. I need a few testers. If you would like to test it out for me, please comment below or email me @ lifeofabipolarmomblog@gmail.com !!

 

Thank you!!