Archive for the ‘marriage’ Tag

Looking For Equality Within A Marriage   Leave a comment

“Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave – Martin Luther”

Marriage equality

Pew Research Center recently conducted an analysis of each parent’s total workload, comprising paid work, child care and housework. It found that in dual-income households, fathers put in, on average, 58 hours a week, compared with 59 hours for mothers but the distribution between paid work, housework and childcare was quite different. In households where the father is the sole breadwinner, his total workload exceeded that of his partner by only 11 hours (57 vs. 46 hours per week) but in households where the mother is the sole breadwinner, her total workload exceeded that of her partner by about 25 hours (58 vs. 33 hours per week).

Is it any wonder that working mothers often perceive inequalities within their own marriages?  …Read more

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Why do younger women prefer older men?   Leave a comment

So, “Star Wars” creator George Lucas, 69, wed his longtime girlfriend, Mellody Hobson, 44, recently.

Thinking about the older man, younger woman relationship (which I have also explored recently in Sweet on Me), I was trying to summarize the reasons why younger women prefer older men. Could it possibly be because of:

  • her search for love/connection? Women are more focused on making a connection earlier on in their lives. It would be easier for her to connect with a more matured and established man, than someone her age who is still consumed with driving his career (and not connecting with her!).
  • her need to feel significant? She would have the freedom to drive her career and not be competing with her other half (or worrying about who’s going to be there for the kids!) as he would have already hit the peak of his career and established his own financial independence.
  • his ability to provide her with stability and security? The older man would be emotionally more matured, grounded and wiser – better able to focus on having a serious relationship and fatherhood.
  • his wealth of experience? With age comes experience. With experience, comes knowledge from which she would benefit.
  • the freedom to pursue her career? She has the option of driving her career when he retires and stays home with the kids, just like Xerox CEO Ursula Burns.

Thoughts, anyone?

Crazy For Milk – A new mother’s obsession with breastfeeding   Leave a comment

I had heard all the stories, the old wives’ tales, the dos and the don’ts.
I had read books and researched materials on the Internet.
I made sure I bought everything I could think of beforehand — the baby clothes, the baby bottles, the diapers, the diaper rash medication, the lotions, the soaps and the baby cot.
I planned upfront all the housework that needed to be done and did as much as I could before I entered the labour room so there would be less to do when I got home with her.
I had even meditated and got myself into a Zen-like-state so that I would be as ready as I could be to bring her into this world.
I wanted to be ready.
I had thought I was ready.
I really believed I was ready.
That is, until the milk came.

For more information, go to http://www.amazon.com/Crazy-Milk-confessions-struggling-ebook/dp/B00AQBDRFI

Dad’s First Father’s Day – Five Ideas to Happiness   Leave a comment

It’s three a.m. and the baby is still crying. Exhaustion, sleep deprivation and lack of intimacy with your partner have become a normal part of life over the past few months. With approximately 4 million babies born in the United States annually and Father’s Day just around the corner, is it any wonder that many new dads are asking themselves, “Is this what fatherhood is all about? Surely there must be more to it than just this.”

There is and it is possible to embrace life as a new dad.

But seriously – is embracing fatherhood really that important?

President Obama grew up without his dad, and has said that being a father is the most important job he has. According to the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse (NRFC), an Office of Family Assistance (OFA) funded national resource, “fatherlessness is a growing crisis in America, one that undergirds many of the challenges that families are facing. When dads aren’t around, young people are more likely to drop out of school, use drugs, be involved in the criminal justice system, and become young parents themselves.” This is not a small issue since out of the estimated 70 million fathers in the United States in 2011, about 16% or 25 million men had children younger than 18.

So, where does one start?

It begins when the new baby comes home, and you adjust to life as a proud dad. No one plans to fail but many fail to plan.  Here are some ideas for this Father’s Day to all the new and not-so-new dads out there:

    • Chill out – You need your own personal space and the opportunity to retreat into your man-cave. The only thing is – make sure your partner understands why you are doing it. You don’t want her to misconstrue it and think that you are avoiding her. Be fair. Offer her the same time out for herself.
    • Take charge – Be responsible for some tasks. It will please her, make her appreciate you even more and contribute to the peace at home. If you can’t do it, get professional help. Hire a cleaning service. Hire a doula who can assist by providing information, physical assistance and emotional support. If your partner is having problems breastfeeding, don’t try to understand her stress. Just be as supportive as you can and get a professional lactation consultant to help.
    • Bring out the Don Juan in you – Missing the good old days? It’s true there’s a new love in her life but she still loves you. It may be hard to tear her away from her newborn (near impossible in the beginning, actually!) but time together – alone – can help rebuild the intimacy in your relationship. Give her alternatives she can be comfortable with, like getting a trusted family member or friend to help babysit for an hour or two.
    • Be Sherlock Holmes – Do you feel she’s not the same woman you fell in love with and she’s taking you on an emotional rollercoaster which you just can’t wait to get away from? In some cases, she may be experiencing some level of postpartum depression. According to womenshealth.gov, about 13 percent of pregnant women and new mothers have depression. Seek advice from a doctor. You can’t handle this alone.
    • Pay it forward – Take the President’s Fatherhood Pledge. That’s why President Obama is joining dads from across the nation in a fatherhood pledge – a pledge that fathers will do everything they can to be there for their children and for young people whose dads are not around.

So, how are you going to make your Father’s Day different this year?

Work-Life Balance for New Mothers – Is It Even Possible?   Leave a comment

Every new mother lives in fear – about her newborn baby’s health, growth and development; about her relationship with her spouse; and even about going back to work after her maternity leave is over. How is she going to juggle it all? “Can you blame her?  Every millennium mom wants to have it all – to be the perfect parent, spouse and employee. Which career-oriented woman wouldn’t want to be successful like Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO? She’s #6 on Forbes List of Power Women now. But the truth is, it doesn’t matter which stage of her career she is at – she can’t help but worry about her work-life balance once she’s back at work.”

Sure, but does it affect all women?

In the United States, 55% of mothers returned to work six months after they gave birth as compared to a mere 14 percent in the early 1960s. Not all moms can afford to stay at home. New parents in the United States are only guaranteed their jobs for 12 weeks after the arrival of a new baby, thanks to the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) and they even don’t have to be paid during that time.
With June to September being the busiest baby season every year, it’s no surprise that many moms-to-be are now busy preparing for their coming bundle of joy … but with barely enough time to adjust to sleep deprivation, breastfeeding, physical changes in her body and the newcomer in her life, will the working mom be prepared to return to work in such a short span of time?

It’s not going to be easy but it’s definitely not impossible.

Every mother tries to prepare as best as she can but with a baby that’s less than six months old, how can a millennium mom achieve a healthy work-life balance once she is back at work?

  • Make time for yourself – When mom is happy, everyone else is happy. The family appreciates your sacrifices but your own personal well-being is also important. You need to carve out a few moments for yourself amidst all the demands of your everyday life, even if it is as simple as exercising, reading a book or relaxing in a hot bath.
  • Let go of the guilt – Forget the housework for a few minutes. Put down the computer. Stop checking e-mails. Schedule some time to just play with your little one and enjoy those precious moments.
  • Know why you work – According to the Pew Research Center, 86% of working moms sometimes/ frequently feel stress. Identifying and remembering the key reasons why you need to work – ambition, financial necessity or independence – will help you remain focused in times of stress.
  • Spend quality time with your significant other half – He deserves some of your attention too. Don’t forget to take care of your relationship with him. Getting a babysitter and/or hiring a cleaning service will buy you precious moments alone with him, without stretching yourself further by sacrificing your sleep or time.
  • You are not alone – By creating a support group amongst other mothers / women in the community, you can develop friendships and help each other as well as reduce the stress and loneliness of having to do it all by yourself.
  • Be thankful – Find happiness today and don’t be buried by the daily struggles. Look forward to the future for your family.
  • Redefine your expectations – Don’t let your dream of being the perfect mom stress you out and bury you in guilt. Remember: “You may be only one person in this world, but to one person … you are the world.”

See the full article here

No one should ever be allowed to hurt you ~ Stop violence against women and children!   Leave a comment

This morning, the radio show hosts were discussing violence against women and children.

– On average, every six days a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner.*
– Each year, over 40,000 arrests result from domestic violence—that’s about 12% of all violent crime in Canada. Since only 22% of all incidents are reported to the police, the real number is much higher.*

This is not a problem that goes away with time.

My father once shared a painful memory from his youth with me. His eldest sister had been violently abused by her husband, who also had a severe drinking problem. However, coming from a very traditional family, his own father (my grandfather), the patriarch of the family, refused to let my father intercede, on the basis that my aunt was married and now belonged to another man’s family.  That was over seventy years ago.  My father was only a teenager back then, but he lives with regret until today, wishing he had done something to help her, to save her.

My aunt never left her husband.  She stayed for her family, took the abuse, raised her three children.  She died in her forties of heart failure.

Times are different now.  We can all do something about it.

  • If someone is in immediate danger, call 911 or the emergency number in your community.*
  • Put her safety first. Never talk to anyone about abuse in front of their suspected abuser. Unless she specifically asks for it, never give her materials about domestic abuse or leave information through voice messages or emails that might be discovered by her abuser. However, abuse thrives in secrecy, so speak up if you can do so safely.*
  • If she wants to talk, listen. If she doesn’t, simply tell her she does not deserve to be harmed and that you are concerned for her safety. Ask her if there is anything you can do to help, but don’t offer to do anything that makes you uncomfortable or feels unsafe.*
  • If she decides to stay in the relationship, try not to judge her. Remember, leaving an abuser can be extremely dangerous. Sometimes, the most valuable thing you can offer a woman who is being abused is your respect.*
  • Learn about emergency services in your community, such as your local women’s shelter or sexual assault centre. Search on-line, or consult the front pages of your telephone directory.*

“When a woman who has experienced violence knows she’s not alone, when we give her, and her children, a safe place to stay, and the right kind of help, we give her hope. Together, we can give women hope to rebuild.” http://rogersmediatv.ca/citytv/morningforchange/

*Source: http://www.canadianwomen.org/facts-about-violence

Looking for a hero   Leave a comment

Looking for a hero

Having just delivered a baby, faced with engorgement as her breasts overflow with milk, where does a woman turn to for help? The one closest to her, the one whom she believes can save her, the one whom she puts all her faith into finding a solution for her .. her hero, her saviour, her husband.

Breastfeeding is never easy for a new mother and when her body becomes a stranger to her in the middle of the night, behaving in ways unfamiliar to her, giving her pain beyond anything she ever imagined before, she turns to the love of her life for help.

But often … can love be enough when the solution is not what she expects? Desperate times call for desperate measures … but is she desperate enough? She wants to be saved, but when his actions take her beyond her comfort zone, pushing her into the realm of the unknown … is it enough for the ends to justify the means?

As a man, he wants to be her hero, her knight in shinning armour ~ the one who keeps her safe … but how can he protect her from herself? How can he stop her from turning on him when the solution he presents to her is something she isn’t ready to accept?

And yet despite everything, she still wants her hero to save her.

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