Daily Life · Family · Relationships

5 Of The Best Relationship Tips

Everybody has trouble with relationships. Most of the best movies or books revolve around this fact – interpersonal relationships.

I would be lying if I didn’t say that I haven’t had my share. I’m not perfect, I’ve failed miserably at times. I won’t lie to you – I’ve been divorced, in failed relationships, fights, remarried and still have battles.

Many people would say that this makes me inqualified to speak on relationships – why listen to someone who couldn’t do it right the first time? I’ll tell you something – something everyone knows but no one says aloud. The ones who failed the first times are the ones we listen to on a daily basis – they know what mistakes not to make.

Think about this – Humanity learned from people who made mistakes: 

Benjamin Franklin found electricity due to a failed attempt of putting a key to a kite.

Thomas Eddison – He had over 1000 unsuccessful tries at making a light bulb. He finally found one.

Amelia Earhart gave her life trying to fly across the atlantic and failed – other people learned, followed, and succeeded.

My point is – I may seem unqualified because of 1 unsuccessful attempt but learning and growing is part of my nature. It’s made me who I am. All this to say – I’ve learned what I’m about to share with you. 5 basic relationship tips to help you succeed.

  1. Not Every Battle is Worth Fighting –

Fighting takes a lot of energy. It drains you dry. I’ve learned that peace is better in my household. There are some battles that I will fight out right but most of them, if I sit quietly long enough, my husband will fight in his own mind. Sometimes it’s more worth it if I simply allow him to figure out he is wrong than blatently saying he is, please don’t misunderstand me – when he asks – I will honestly tell him what I think. This doesn’t mean that I need to vocalize it at every moment though. Save your energy – ask questions that prompt introspection from them and they will figure it out on their own.

2. Basic Respect – 

Everyone wants to be respected. Basic respect comes in several forms – some I’m still learning. Listening instead of talking over, not correcting in public, and following someone elses lead are great ways to show respect. Even when my husband is wrong and I know it – I try to listen and not talk over him. I try not to correct him in public – even in front of his own family, and when he directs me to something – I try to follow his lead (as long as it’s in a decent and correct direction). When he asks for my opinion in public I try to word it as politely as possible so that he can understand where I’m coming from and that I don’t agree with him.

3. Compromise – 

Life is compromise. Give and Take. Yin and Yang. Everything is about balance. When it comes to relationships – it’s important to compromise. Sometimes it’s about housework, sometimes it’s going out. For us it’s about purchases, items that we can enjoy outside of work. My husband encourages my good habits – blogging (I got my own domain last night!!!), I encourage his gaming or collecting of figurines. Everyone has their own hobbies and it’s important to find balance and make compromises so that each person gets to keep theirs.

4. They Only Get One Family-

This may seem strange but I’ve had two mother-in-laws in my life. The first, while I tried to be nice and respectful was a real trial for me. The second (My current mother-in-law) is a fair woman. She is my back up. Many times I don’t need to correct my husband because my MIL (Mother-in-law) does it for me. He listens to her far more avidly than he listens to me (not in a bad way) but she is his mother. Many times I can go to her with the problem I’m having with him and she will interceed and help him understand when I can’t. I try to encourage him to spend time with her and also with all his family. You only get one and then it’s over. Family is important and it’s important to keep those relationships up evern when you are married.

5. Stop Expecting…… – 

This is probably the best advice I can give to you – stop having expectations. Life isn’t built on them and you will only be disappointed. I had a revelation the other day when I was irritated with my hubby. I was mad but I was mad because he wasn’t acting the way I expected him to, he was acting the way he had always acted. At some point – you need to stop being irritated because the person is acting the way they always have and not conforming to what you want. It’s kind of freeing – they might grow and change but it won’t be through your expectations and when you stop expecting than you can start forgiving. Forgiving brings healing and healing brings you closer together.

Conclusion: 

I’m no expert. I have, however, found that these tips make all the difference. I have a happier, simpler marriage than some of the others I see. Following these steps and find a simpler form of living. Enjoy the relationships again and hey – if after practicing all these it still isn’t working – maybe it’s time to think about other things…. But that’s another post.

Have tips and tricks? Drop me a Note:

Daily Life · Family · Relationships

Tips On What To Expect In A Bi-racial Relationship

**DISCLAIMER: This post is not meant to offend or hurt anyone – it is simply to shine a light on how things may be perceived.**

When people use the phrase “Love is blind” I’m not ever sure they really mean it when they talk about relationships. Maybe they do. I mean, I’m married to a Peruvian man and honestly that’s the last thing I think about when I see him. There are certain things though that come with being in a bi-racial relationship. In case you haven’t figured it out yet – I’m a caucasian, american woman. I grew up in a white town in the middle of Midwest America. The song “Welcome to New York” by Taylor Swift was exact in how I felt when I moved away.

Ok so back to bi-racial relationships! While they aren’t as abnormal anymore as when “Loving vs. Virginia” took place – they are still pretty unusual. Here’s the thing – where I grew up it was, and still is on some level, taboo. When I’m home and go through the town I grew up with my husband – we get weird looks, comments that are double-edged, and the weirdest questions. So for the those of you who are looking for some insight – here we go:

  1. Cultural assimilation? This is what I mean by assimilation, One person adapting the culture of another place or person’s heritage until they are a new version of that item. A great version of this is Hip-Hop/Rap; originally written by African-Americans in the “hood” as an outlet of the way they were treated/put down/felt. assimilation – Enter Mackelmore or Eminem. Now please – I love their music but they are great examples of assimulation. Another version is Tacos – yea that yummy food – happens every Tuesday night for me…. Real tacos do NOT look like that! They don’t have cheese and olives. America has taken the Taco and assimilated it to be what we want. Assimulation is defined as taking something and changing it to be similar to what it was origionally but changing it. When you are a relationship with a person that is a different race – get ready for assimulation. You and that person will become your own culture. It’s going to be different from what you grew up with. There is nothing bad in this – hold to certain traditions but some need to grow and change.
  2. Ignorant Questions – Ok, I HATE ignorant questions. By default I’m not the most patient person. I never have been, but ignorant questions irritate me to an extreme. Some of my favorites are about how I’m being treated because of a stereotype the person has seen on TV relating to Latino men. The other one I love is that when people assume that one country of South America is the same as another. IT IS NOT. Chile, Peru, Guatemala, Mexico, and Brazil – they all have very different cultures, holidays, traditions, dress, and even languages! My husband is from Peru – his roommate when we married was from Honduras, while they both speak Spanish, they both have different slang. It is similar to someone being from Northern United States and going to the Deep South United States. They have a different way of talking and celebrating holidays. Think Sweet Tea, Southern Draws, and Pecan Pie. Do NOT assume that just because someone speaks Spanish they are all from Mexico – its offensive. And just because you watched Spanglish or Fast and Furious that doesn’t make you an expert on Latino culture. If you have a friend who is in a bi-racial relationship, don’t ask offensive questions – google it!
  3. Colorism – I mention this because it’s a real thing. Even if you don’t have colorism tendencies (I applaud you because everyone does – now time to come out of the world of denial), get ready to see everyone elses. Like I said, my husband and I get dirty looks walking down streets in certain areas of the United States. We ignore and cope. But I can safely say that I have heard some horrible things regarding race/colorism from those around me that I have respect for. I also know that many cultures/subcultures have colorism tendencies. I see it when I speak with my extended family. It’s common and extremely “normal”. Here’s a bit of advice – choose your battles. If you don’t agree with it – like I don’t, understand this, you will not change the culture over night. In fact it might never change. You can try to tell your family where they have gone wrong – I encourage you to do it gently, but you may not even change them. It’s ok. You aren’t alone. Just take a deep breath and remember to focus on continuing to change what you can. Let the rest go.

 

Here’s the final things to remember. Relationships are hard. Being in a bi-racial brings in new issues. Sometimes its communication, culture, other people’s ignorant actions that bring hurt. If you are in a relationship like this – I hope I helped you a bit. I would love your feedback. If you have a friend who is in a bi-racial relationship – I hope I gave you some insight into what they see and experience on a daily basis. Now you know why they get offended over “little issues”. Those “little issues” are the things that really affect their lives on a daily basis. At the end of the day just remember “Haters gonna Hate” Proverbs 5:8, sometimes people are going to disagree even if it’s something good for you.

Children · Daily Life · Work

5 Tips for being a Successful Nanny

I have to admit that while I don’t currently desire to have any children of my own, I do enjoy being a nanny. I watch two boys Monday – Friday and while they have great days most of the time, occasionally we have bad ones too. I’ve picked up a few useful tips on how to deal with these days because at 6 years and 9 years old, I can’t cope with the behavior the way I would out of an 2 or 3-year-old. Both boys have different disabilities and it makes dealing with the behavior an interesting maze of actions and reactions.

  1. Listen – Sometimes all they really just need me to do is listen to what they are saying and sympathize with them about it. A lot of the time I don’t even have to say anything. Sometimes they talk about school or their dreams of becoming a motocross star or game system creator, but other times they talk about food they like or how rough their day was. No matter what they talk about, I try to listen and sympathize.
  2. Consistency People really underestimate how much children need consistency, especially kids with disabilities. It gives them something dependable in their life. I try to always have dinner ready at 5pm. We always do homework at a specific time. Things like this make it easier for them to anticipate what I’m going to ask them to do and it makes it easier for me when I have to tell them what to do.
  3. Discipline – I am never going to tell you to physically discipline someone elses child. I would never do that myself. When I talk about discipline I am referring to actions and consequences. Allowing children to grow up in a world without consequences does nothing for their moral compass or for their ability to learn about responsibility. Example: The 6-year-old that I nanny decided he would try to deceive me yesterday and not come do homework when I told him to. He likes to come home and watch Minecraft videos on YouTube. Normally, I let him finish his video before doing his homework – it’s annoying as an adult to be interrupted from a video, so I imagine as a child it’s harder to focus. Today, however, when I picked him up from school he came in and asked me where his Ipad was – I told him “You tried to decieve me and not be responsible yesterday. The consequence is that you lose the right to decide when we are going to do homework until I see responsibility again. We are going to do homework right now.” He was less than pleased to say the least. However, now he knows that he can’t do that.
  4. Find Something Special – As a nanny, you have to know when to have fun. You also need to know when to find something that can be special for you and the kids. While consistency is awesome and very necessary, on the really bad days (most of the time it’s because it was a bad day at school) I do something a bit different. We’ve made cookies, french toast for dinner, roasted s’mores over candles, and decided on a small party for christmas.
  5. Teach Independence – This doubles with discipline as they have to learn to do things on their own. The 9-year-old is my best example – each day I pick him up from school and we talk about what homework he has for the day and what is due for the week. He has 1 book report each week so he can have special privileges at school on Friday. I might ask him each day if he wants to do it but I tell him “It’s due on Thursday, so you decide what day you will do it and which works best for you.” I also tell him that he has to do his homework before dinner and shower after dinner. He has the capability of choosing what time he does those and by the time I leave each night – he has them done. This allows him moderate responsibility and teaches him to be independent and rely on me and his mother less. I find this to be very important especially when they are young because the world is not going to remind you of what you need to do when and your mom will not want to take care of her adult son. For the younger boy this might look like me telling him to take a shower and wash his hair – I choose the time but he does it himself.

Overall, I try to have fun as a nanny. We joke and laugh and have a good time, but at the end of the day – their parents are paying me to not only take care of the boys but also to give them life skills. I honestly believe that each of these tips helps me be a better nanny and helps the boys grow. Being a nanny can be like a dictatorship but most of the time it’s really more like a democracy and a bit of give and take.