I’m pretty sure we have the same basic struggles and weaknesses as most families out there; despite the religous affiliation.
It’s just as easy for me to crop out the rough spots for social media, as the next parent on Facebook could- and instead, post a geniunely positive photo for everyone to see, as if the cloudy and stormy days never happened.
A strong marriage and family provides a more stable support unit for the good, the bad, and the ugly that makes up what life is all about. To me, that is real love and real life.
I also mentioned in my letter the importance of being the kind of love we want to receive. I told how love isn’t easy; it’s hard work, a true investment- not simply a given.
While others could surely and easily disagree with my wording, that’s how I see it.
And now, as I write this today, there’s a related blog post that is going viral. It’s so viral, it’s currently impossible to look at my Facebook news feed without seeing at least a half a dozen people of sharing it in any given hour.
The author, Seth Adam Smith, is not a famous writer; at least, if he wasn’t a famous writer before, he’s probably becoming one now. He managed to publish a simple, yet revolutionary idea that is totally resonating with people I know.
In the post, he quotes his father’s words of wisdom:
“Marriage isn’t for you. You don’t marry to make yourself happy, you marry to make someone else happy. More than that, your marriage isn’t for yourself, you’re marrying for a family. Not just for the in-laws and all of that nonsense, but for your future children… Marriage isn’t for you. It’s not about you. Marriage is about the person you married.”
So perfectly said.
I think that like most people, I went into the article thinking it was going to explain that certain people just aren’t good at, or ready for, being married.
Instead, he totally surprised me with a fresh concept: Marriage isn’t for me.
This Seth Adam Smith guy is on to something. I’m going to be mindful of his (and his father’s) words for everyday of the rest of my life.
Well, you have been extending that same clever line of thought in regards to bed time too.
Like tonight, for example.
After having already eaten your mac and cheese Mommy made for you especially, you waited until right before your “pre-bedtime playtime” was almost over until you decided that you wanted some more food… whatever Mommy and Daddy were having.
Tonight, it was veggie burritos. And honestly, they were a bit on the spicy side.
However, that didn’t stop you.
It was “Operation: Stall Dinner By Stuffing My Face” and you weren’t going to let anything get in your way… as long as Mommy and Daddy let you get away with it.
Which we did.
Since both of us are off of work for July 4th and you’re not having school, Mommy and I perhaps were a little bit in “whatever works” mode.
So we let you eat a semi-spicy burrito. Then, since you were still hungry/pretending to be, you took your time also downloading a Gogo Squeez applesauce pouch.
After that, I watched you drink a cup of water slower than I’ve ever seen you drink.
Actually, I was starting to wonder if you were pretending to be at the dentist, as you slothfully swished the water around in your mouth before finally swallowing it.
Son, I was quite impressed by your skills tonight. You did a great job making it look like you hadn’t already just eaten one dinner before having a second one.
Just be lucky we like you so much.
We could have sent you to bed without your 2nd dinner. Oh wait, that’s not how the saying goes…
I assume that most people at some point have seriously considered deleting their Facebook account.
However, most people don’t actually do it.
At worst, they purge their friend list once it reaches the point they no longer know who all is on their list; typically that magic number is around 500 people.
As for me, I often find Facebook depressing. That would be my reason for wanting to quit Facebook, about once a month.
Certain random things just drain me; like the overwhelming fluorescent lights at Walmart, trying to find a free place to park in downtown Nashville, and being exposed to reality TV shows where people argue and yell at each other.
However, one of the biggest triggers for bumming me out is when I read on Facebook about yet another man who has cheated on his wife or girlfriend.
It’s tough for me to process.
I hate it that there are enough men who cheat on the women they love, that it shows up daily on my Facebook feed.
I hate it for the women who are cheated on and hurt.
I hate it for the families who become broken when this happens.
However, I find hope and encouragement every time I see a father and husband being bragged on by his wife on Facebook. I love seeing men who are doing what they are already supposed to be doing; which is being caring and active in their families’ lives, then who are accordingly reported to the most important new source for most people: Facebook.
Honestly, I just never get tired of seeing reports of men who are still in love with and who still date their wives. It’s enough to deter me from quitting Facebook on a monthly basis.
Son, I should never have to tell you, like the Jason Mraz song says, that I won’t give up on us; on Mommy or on our family. Your reality is that I’m not going anywhere. To quote Jason Mraz again…
I won’t give up on us Even if the skies get rough I’m giving you all my love
That’s one of those things I have to file in the “whatever works” category.
Or, to translate that into the language of Twitter:
It goes without saying that as a parent, “whatever works” is a catchphrase that I seem to mumble on a daily basis.
In addition to having to change the seating arrangements for our family car rides, we have also had to change our morning routine.
Mommy arranged it with her boss to show up 15 minutes early for work and leave 15 minutes early, too.
This way, Mommy leaves the house 15 minutes before we do, because here recently you put up less of a fight if I’m the one who gets you ready.
It may have something to do with what I just mentioned a minute ago; that I am not the nurturer so you have lower expectations with me. So Mommy and I use that to our advantage.
Our new morning routine also allows more quality time with you and Mommy; the two of you share breakfast together while I shower and get ready.
Since making this our new norm, we no longer leave the house stressed or in a hurry. That’s all it took; we just couldn’t all three leave at the same time.
We are so focused on finding ways to improve quality time together as a family. Sometimes, we have recognized that by assigning certain daily activities to one particular parent, it can improve quality time for two of us at a time.
It’s sort of like working the “3rd wheel” concept to our advantage. Our model is this: Two wheels in the back and one in the front.
As a family, we often have to move and work like a tricycle.