When You’re Torn Between Your Marriage, Your Kids And Yourself

By Ruth Purple

Perhaps every woman dreams of having a wonderful husband, adorable children, and white picket fence house in the suburbs. A life so ideal and simple, but is it really that simple?

When a woman marries, and decides to have children, it is anything but simple. Marriage is far from easy. It is a constant struggle of give and take, of compromising. Likewise, in having children, you need to be brave and wise enough to guide your children, because their life and their future depends on your sanity. So, where do you put yourself?

It has been commonly said, that when a woman made a decision to give herself in marriage and have children, she put herself last.

I am sorry, but I have to disagree with this one. When it comes to prioritizing between marriage, children, and yourself, I strongly believe that you should prioritize yourself first, then your marriage and then your kids. This may sound selfish, but it is not. Hear me out.

Half of your union depends on you. In the first place, your husband decided to be with you for the rest of his life and made you the mother of your kids, because of “you!” So, why would you put yourself the least? You are important. Knowing this fact, you should take time to heed your needs and prioritize your growth.

Give time to nurture your soul and your spirit. Also, keep the balance within you. Your kid’s welfare depends on your emotional and mental stability. You need to have a sound mind and spirit to make wise decisions. You are their nurturer. How can you nurture, if you yourself needs nurturing? Therefore, if you love your husband, respect your union, and adore your kids, prioritize yourself.

Now you know why you need to keep yourself a top priority, what about when you are torn between your marriage and children? Who should come first? Experts have agreed that if you put your precious little ones first over your union, you are hurting them more than your union. Look at it this way, let the house be the metaphor of your kids and the foundation of that house is your marriage. If the foundation is weak, and breaks into pieces, the whole house will crumble into pieces, too. Therefore, it is safe to say that if there is instability in the foundation, there is turbulence in the house. Keeping the foundation strong, stable, and peaceful secures your children’s long-term well-being. It is unquestionable of how great the impact of divorce is to a child. Its memories always leave a lasting, and sometimes permanent fracture in the kid’s well-being. A strong marriage protects your kid’s well-being during their development into adulthood and helps them prepare for an equallystrong and stable relationship.

Let us be clear though, children’s basic and essential needs should come first. Nobody here is advocating neglecting children’s physical or emotional needs. That being said, the marriage should be prioritized over the kids. Parents sometimes go way overboard in meeting their kid’s needs. They should keep in mind that a child can thrive without piano lessons three or four times a week, but they cannot fully thrive when the family is shaky.


Ruth Purple, is a Relationship and Dating Expert. Conquer Infidelity and Experience a Happier Love Life through her New eBook. Visit her website at Relazine.com.

Do You Practice A “No Matter What” Kind Of Love With Your Children?

By Team BLAM

One of our favorite books is “The  Five Love Languages Of Children”. While we haven’t read it from beginning to end we have learned a lot about the way that children perceive the world, their parents, and the love that is shown (or not shown) to them. If someone were to ask you if you love your children unconditionally, I’m sure you would say “Of course.” And, while I believe that to be true the real question here is “Do your children believe it?”

Children need love expressed unconditionally. Regardless of what they look like, their strengths and weaknesses, regardless of what we expect them to be or how we expect them to act. The “Five Love Languages Of Children” brings this point home beautifully.

We can best define unconditional love by showing what it does. Unconditional love shows love to a child no matter what. This does not mean that we like all of her behavior. It does mean that we give and show love to our child all the time, even when her behavior is poor.

Does this sound like permissiveness? It is not. Rather, it is doing first things first. A child’s emotional tank must be filled before any effective training or discipline can take place. Some people fear that this may lead to “spoiling” a child, but that is a misconception. No child can receive too much appropriate unconditional love. A child may be “spoiled” by a lack of training or by inappropriate love that gives or trains incorrectly. True unconditional love will never spoil a child because it is impossible for parents to give too much of it.

If you have not loved your children in this way, you may find it difficult at first. But, as you practice unconditional love, you will find it has a wonderful effect, as you become a more giving and loving person in all of your relationships.

You may find it helpful to frequently remind yourself of some rather obvious things about your children:

1. They are children.

2. They will tend to act like children.

3. Much childish behavior is unpleasant.

4. If I do my part as a parent and love them, despite their childish behavior, they will mature and give up their childish ways.

5. If I love them only them when they please me (conditional love), and If I express my love to them only at those times, they will not feel genuinely loved. This will damage their self-image, make them feel insecure, and actually prevent them from moving into better self-control and more mature behavior. Therefore, their development and behavior is as much my responsibility as it is theirs.

6. If I love them only when they meet my requirements or expectations, they will feel incompetent and will believe it is pointless to do their best, since it is never enough. They will always be plagued by insecurity, anxiety, low self-esteem, and anger. To guard against this, remind yourself often of your responsibility for their total growth.

7. If I love them unconditionally and show them that love unconditionally, they will feel comfortable about themselves and will be able to control their anxiety and their behavior as they grow into adulthood.

BLAM Fam: How important do you think it is to make sure our children know that we love them unconditionally? Do you think that our children might focus more on our reactions to them at times, rather than the ever present love we have for them in our hearts?

How Gratitude Can Help Us In Our Everyday Lives As Moms

By Lori Radun

When my older son was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, my first reaction was relief – I finally knew the reason for his behavior. However, I was also overwhelmed with sadness, fear and anger. I felt sorry for my son and for myself. Like many others in similar circumstances, my question to God was “Why me?”

 

Through the grace of God, I am now able to focus on my gratitude. I believe God chose me to raise my son because He knew that I would give him the best I have. He will teach me to love and understand him for who he is. I am grateful that I have my son, and grateful that God chose me to be his mother.

 

There is power and healing in gratitude.

 

How can gratitude help us in our everyday lives as moms? Think about the difference you can make in your family’s life just by noticing and being thankful for all the great things they do. When you express gratitude, you show your love and appreciation. Everyone needs to feel these things every day. Sometimes as moms we feel that no one appreciates us – and it is true that moms are usually last on the list to be thanked. One way you can teach gratitude is by example. Even on the days when it seems your children or husband are doing everything wrong, find a reason to thank them. Take the time and energy to look for the good. Think about the things that your family does that deserve a thank you. You might say to your husband, “Thank you for working so hard for our family,” or, to your child, “I really appreciate your sense of humor – it feels good to laugh.” Expressing your gratitude helps family members to understand how it feels to be appreciated. And if they still don’t catch on, let them know when you feel unappreciated. You can also tell them how great it makes you feel when they do express gratitude.

 

Gratitude is a wonderful motivator when you need cooperation. When enlisting the help of my two year old, I praise him often and with enthusiasm. I let him know that he is a great helper. I know I am teaching him appreciation because he expresses it to me. The other day I brought a bunch of multi-colored roses home. For five days, at least once or twice a day, my son thanked me for the flowers.

 

Sometimes we get so busy and caught up in daily life that we forget to be grateful. We expect everyone to do their share without being asked. The only time anyone hears anything is when a chore has not been completed. This attitude, over the long haul, will develop very resentful and uncooperative family members.

 

When life is good, gratitude is easy. It becomes more challenging to be grateful when we are experiencing hard times. Financial hardship, long-term illness, the death of a loved one and marital strife can all be trying and difficult. It is hard to find anything to be grateful for. But while pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. We have a choice in how we view our circumstances. We can turn our hearts to God and trust that he has a plan for us. We can be thankful for the lessons we learn and the opportunities for personal growth and transformation. Look at all the people in this world who share the gifts they received during especially difficult times of their life. It is the painful times of my life that have made me stronger, wiser, and more loving today.

 

I recently attended a powerful seminar on the various levels of energy that a human being emanates. The presenter identified seven different levels of energy. The first level of energy is defined by feelings of apathy and thoughts of victimization. A person at a level two energy has feelings of anger and thoughts of conflict. As a person moves up the energy scale, their feelings and thoughts are more positive. At level seven, one would experience unconditional love and no judgmental thoughts. Only God radiates at level seven. The average person emits energy at a level of 2.5. To experience peace and joy, an individual must raise his energy level to 5 or 6.

 

So how can we raise our energy level and open our heart to joy? One powerful way is to develop an attitude of gratitude. Look at everyone with grateful eyes. Listen to your heart and the heart of your loved ones. Speak words of affirmation every day of your life. Be grateful for your life with all its lessons and blessings. The more grateful thoughts and feelings you experience and express the more instrumental you will be in healing the world. And your outlook on life will improve in the process.

 

Lori Radun, CEC is a certified life coach for moms. Visit her at Momnificent.com.

Laila Ali Shares 5 Tips To Help Tackle Baby Weight

Former female boxing champ, fitness expert, and mother, Laila Ali, daughter of boxing legend Muhammad Ali, made an appearance on “NBC Today” recently and shared what women can do to shed the baby weight after bringing their new bundle of joy into the world.

It’s no secret that losing weight is often an up hill process. It takes hard work, commitment, focus. Listen in as Laila shares 5 tips to help tackle baby weight.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Are You Raising Or Ruling Your Children?

By James Druman

Parenting is the most important leadership role the average person will take in their lifetime, but how many parents take it seriously? Many parents in modern-day America see themselves as playing more of a caretaker role than a leadership role, but being a great mother or father is much more than putting the food on the table and paying the rent. If you are considering the influence you have on your child’s life, it is a good idea to cultivate good habits for example, as leading by example is one of the most effective approaches a parent can take.

Here are four simple ways to use this subtle leadership style with your children.


1. Not Interrupting

This one seems very minor, but it is a crucial step in learning to communicate properly. Unfortunately, many parents expect their children not to interrupt but they do it themselves all the time, especially when they are interrupting their own children. This comes from a subconscious idea we have that what we say has more importance than whatever our child has to say—because we are adults, and we don’t really find interest or magnitude in the thoughts and feelings children have.

This is very damaging not only because it minimizes what your child thinks and feels but also because it teaches an unhealthy way of talking with other people. They may keep their mouth shut when you are talking, but in other situations, when they feel they are in charge, they will follow your lead.

2. Control Your Emotions

Perhaps the most important lesson by example is learning to control your emotions. Many parents have trouble with this simply because they never learned healthy ways of dealing with emotions, and if they get angry at their child they may yell or say hurtful things. Similarly, parents often lose their emotions when arguing with each other in front of the kids. While kids usually forgive these behaviors, they also learn from them. If you have problems dealing with anger and other emotions, it never hurts to speak with a therapist and discuss more positive means of emotional expression.

3. Stay Active

These days, it is more important than ever to teach your kids to be active so they can avoid the pitfalls of modern sedentary lifestyles. The best way to do this is be active yourself. Don’t sit around the house, gorging yourself on television every time you get a chance. Instead, keep busy by tending to things that need to be done in the yard or busying yourself with meaningful, productive hobbies. Go to a gym to actively care for your body, and regularly engage in recreational sports.


4. Play Fair

Finally, if you want your child to become a person with a sense of justice, you need to teach them to be fair to others. Similar to interrupting them, always using the “whatever I say goes” approach to parenting or calling authority on them is a bad example to set. You are, of course, an authority and should certainly use that for your child’s best interest—to teach them and keep them safe—but you should never wield that power just because you can.

Leading by example is effective because much of what a child learns from a parent is subconscious, and in the end, they will often follow your behaviors no matter what you say. Not to mention that by being a stable mentor and practicing what you preach, you earn their respect rather than demand it. And that is priceless.

James Druman is an author and world traveler who runs several businesses from his laptop while traveling the world. He currently offers freelance writing and a wide range of internet marketing services for offline and online businesses.

Protecting & Preparing Our Children: Where Do We Draw The Line Between Allowing A Child To Experience Difficult Situations And Excessive Hurt?

By Hillary Spirer Leeder

We all want our children to grow up to be resilient, independent individuals, able to confront challenging situations and difficult people. But where do we draw the line between leaving a child to fend for him or herself, occasionally with some guidance, and sheltering the child under a parental wing?

Recently Tracey, a close friend of mine, made a fundamental decision regarding her daughter’s education — one that addressed this conflict and gave me insight about where I stand as a parent.

Tracey’s daughter had been going to a local nursery school since she turned two. The teachers and staff were kind and supportive and the classmates were, for the most part, friendly.

The changes started to occur during her daughter’s pre-K year. The year began uneventfully. Her husband for the most part gave her positive reports of the morning drop-offs. The only notable change from previous years was that her daughter never seemed to attach herself to any child upon arrival into the classroom. No one reached out to include her; the teacher left her daughter to make her own way.

Tracey would tell how her daughter began to come home with upsetting incidents that occurred at school. “I did not have a good day,” her daughter would say. “Brian pushed me and he didn’t say I’m sorry.”

Then the classmate criticisms extended to her daughter’s lunches. “Mommy, don’t pack me bread and butter anymore. Jayla and Sophia say that it’s gross and they tell others not to sit at my table.”

Tracey and I chalked it up to a childhood growing experience. After all, we reasoned, her daughter needed to learn how to advocate for herself and tell the teacher if something or someone was bothering her. Also, Tracey observed that it didn’t seem to bother her daughter fundamentally. Her daughter went to bed well and never refused to go to school in the morning. She was even called for play dates.

But the reports of the mean comments continued. During what was supposed to be a soothing nighttime bath, her daughter revealed that, “Fatima said that if I eat my dessert first she won’t invite me to her birthday party.”

Tracey would have endless talks with her daughter trying to boost her self-confidence and practice effective responses in such situations. She would call me all of the time to talk about how worried she was that her daughter was continually being exposed to criticism by her peers—at the ripe age of four. But she still rationalized these experiences saying, “My daughter has to learn that children will not always be nice. She has to develop the skills to respond to the challenges.”

Tracey made the teachers aware of the situation but it didn’t help. Her daughter was beginning to withdraw in her interactions with other children. .

One night, she called me, triumphant. “I did it. I pulled her out of the school.”

I was shocked. Shouldn’t her daughter stay? Even, if only to grow from these incidents with her classmates?

I was shocked. Yes her daughter did seem to be having a difficult time, but I wasn’t so sure if it warranted such a drastic decision. Shouldn’t her daughter stay, if only to grow from these occurrences?

Then Tracey told me what had been the final straw. She was listening in on a conversation that her daughter was having with a little boy around her age. The boy was talking excitedly about a neat truck he had seen. Her daughter responded with what was presumably most on her mind:

“Pinny at school said that I’m not his friend.”

“At my daughter’s age, her thoughts and conversations should be about how high her Dad pushed her on a swing or her favorite doll, not about her latest social ostracism. I didn’t realize how much these assaults were affecting her until then.”

I started to see her point.

“I realized I did not have to send her into an environment that is consistently causing her such turmoil ,” Tracey concluded. “It was doing her more harm than good.”

As a parent, I have received varying perspectives from family, friends, and society on how one should expose one’s child to reality. Most of these messages involve how I must help my young children learn to cope through adversity to get them ready for the harsh challenges of the “outside world.” Sheltering one’s child or providing something akin to a “band aid” is considered a parental error at best and a damaging transgression at worst.

I think this perspective reflects a fundamental error in our raising our children.

I think we forget that childhood is life, not merely the preparation for life.

The personal integrity of all beings, even the very smallest, demands that they be spared pain and hardship to the greatest possible extent.

Yes, it is important to allow one’s child to experience and handle difficult situations to learn important life lessons. But when does lesson learning turn into excessive hurt and suffering?

The answer depends on the extent of the difficulty and the individual child’s ability to process the circumstances.

I remember being teased in nursery school by two little girls who wore all the latest pink, frilly styles. I was mortified by my blue, boyish Osh Kosh B’Gosh pants, and the girls’ continued cliquishness and unfriendly behavior did not help my self-esteem. The adults surrounding me assured me that I was adorable with what I was already wearing, and that I did not need the approval of those girls to feel good about myself. But at the age of four, all I understood was that my blue jeans were ugly and that I was profoundly unhappy. No matter what the adults said, my conclusion was that something was wrong with me–period. These painful memories contributed to lowered self-esteem during my school years.

As parents we cannot assume that every challenge will be beneficial in strengthening our children’s abilities to cope. For many children, a blow will simply hurt.

Tracey’s daughter left that nursery school and is currently thriving in a smaller environment which allows the teachers to be aware of every student at any given part of the day. The school also has a strong focus on helping children learn how to have healthy social interactions.

In a child’s turbulent and unpredictable life, sometimes a safe shelter is just what he or she needs to weather the storm.

Editor’s Note: Names and minor details have been changed to protect the parties involved.

Hilary Spirer Leeder is a writer and a guidance counselor at the Torah School in Silver Spring, Maryland. Her articles have appeared in a number of publications. Mrs. Leeder obtained an MSW degree from NYU and a BA degree in film from Columbia University. She lives with her husband and children in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Mother Weeps After Beating Her Son To Death For Wetting Himself

From YourBlackWorld.com

You have to feel bad for this mother, who not only lost her child, but knows that she’s the reason that the baby is gone.  Yea, she did kill him, but there is a difference between an accident and deliberate neglect.  As Dr. Boyce points out, we have to be careful about how we discipline our kids and make sure we don’t put them in harms way accidentally.  This woman may have allowed her anger to enter into her discipline, causing her to do something that simply can’t be taken back.

May her baby rest in peace, and may all of us learn how to discipline our kids without harming them.  This tragedy was just senseless.

CLICK HERE to read more.

Rest And The Mom-cation

By Lana Moline

I am always incredibly torn when my children leave to visit their grandparents during the summer.  I have no doubt that they will be well cared for and that they will have a great time.  The truth is, I miss them like crazy.  When they were little, the sleepless nights were brutal and I wished for “me time” or just a moment’s break but now that they are at a point of independence, it’s hard for me to truly accept the fact that this is only the beginning.  They were merely loaned to me for a little while.

They are blessed kids because all of their grandparents are fantastic and contribute in whatever way they can from sewing all the bedding on their cribs when they were born to story time via skype to visiting just because – they are awesome.  I sincerely rest at ease knowing that they are loved and cared for when they visit.  What I never anticipate is how much my every day life is morphed into theirs.  Today I considered what I should cook, what I felt like eating and even what I was going to watch on tv and everything still centered around them.

God spoke to me clearly this weekend.  My pastor pointed out the fact that restoration is a combination of rest and recuperation and then today as I flipped the channel I heard a pastor share that we should stop trying to be everyone’s hero especially when we have run out of gas.  I was reminded that it’s okay to say “I am tired or I don’t know or I don’t feel up to it right now.” In the message he urged us to take our capes off and just get some rest.  My pastor said the same thing in his message.  He shared from I Kings 19:1-8 that sometimes what we need is to rest.  It’s a very confirming thing to be reminded that although we are mothers and wives, we are also still human.  I seriously needed to hear that up close and personal and then be reminded again today so I won’t busy my much-needed “mom-cation” with unnecessary chores.  In the end I’ve got to remember that although I wear all the hats, my charge is still the same – guard the temple and steward it well.

If you are reading this and need some rest, here’s your confirmation in 3′s:  I am telling you, I heard it today on Christian TV and my pastor said it too.  Get the rest you need.

Lana Moline is an integral part of the Blackloveandmarriage.com writing team, freelance writer and poet who lives in Ft. Worth with her three kids and husband Emile. Married 11 years, both media professionals have vowed to maintain integrity in all aspects of print and broadcast journalism.Visit her atLana Moline Speaks.

Tia & Tamera Talk Pregnancy & Motherhood

Twin sisters Tia and Tamera Mowry sat down with “Access Hollywood” recently and discussed pregnancy and motherhood.  Tamara talked about her weird cravings during the course of her pregnancy and also revealed that she and her husband Adam Housley are expecting a boy.  During the course of their interview they kept making this borderline annoying noise when talking about babies.  They definitely have a  special kind of sibling love and connection that their children will greatly benefit from.

Red Table Talks: Jada, Willow, And Mom

In a new web series, which she hopes other families will participate in, Jada Pinkett Smith sat down with her daughter Willow and mother Adrienne Banfield Jones for a very emotional and open conversation about family, failing as a mother, Willow regretting fame and more (no topic was off limits).

Just in time for Mother’s Day, Jada hopes other families across the country will sit and have “talks” to build better relationships and stronger families.  Watch the conversation inside….