Monday, 28 July 2014

The Importance of Dressing our Children well.

Fads come and go among the sisters of my church. The most recent one that I have seen is Carol Tuttle's "Dress Your Truth" Programs and Books. Below is an exert from the Carol Tuttle website where this 'service' is describe:

"Dressing Your Truth is an educational service designed to teach you about your unique Type of beauty, give you insights and tools to feel more confident and look more beautiful, and provide products that make your shopping experience easy and affordable.
This practical, intuitive beauty makeover system empowers you to look and feel your best."
The concept of our appearance representing something about our personality is something that is universally recognized. I personally love the below synopsis from the website

"Its totally true that the clothes we wear represent the perfect reflection of who we really are. Besides all the instruments we have in order to communicate, our clothes represent probably the most important one. They show our personality, the way we see ourselves and the social group in which we want to be included. Before any verbal contact, a special communication takes place, which is made through the clothes we wear. These will say a lot about you, about your lifestyle and personality."

I would like to delve into how our dressing can affect our KIDS!
Firstly, lets look at a scenario....

Miss 10 has a mother that does not dress up. She rarely wears makeup and prefers bare feet to heals. Her hair is pulled back in a pony tail routinely every morning and remains that way until she flops into bed at night. This mother is busy, she has kids to get ready for school, church callings and a household to maintain. This results in her wearing her standard uniform of Capri's and a Tee day in and day out.......

Sound familiar?

There is nothing wrong with having bad days, with deciding that today I am going for comfort instead of looks. It is when this is your go to look every day that there is a problem. You see, Miss 10 is learning about the world of  a woman through your eyes. If we don't show our daughters the importance of grooming, than what values are they going to carry into adult hood with them? Whether we like it or not, we live in a superficial world. Whether we like it or not, the way we present ourselves will have an impact on how we are treated. ESPECIALLY as women.

So, what can you do? I have 4 girls. I make sure that at least every other day they see me dress in something that they think is pretty. This may just be a cute necklace or a skirt. I wear perfume and I make sure that I have lipstick in my purse at all times. I want my girls to grow up taking pride in themselves and the way that they present themselves to the world.

Which brings me to the second part of this post....

How the way we dress our children affects them.....

I have dealt with this first hand. I have children that I love very much visit in dirty, ugly clothes. Sometimes they will visit right after school and let me tell you, what they wear to interact with their peers is NOT acceptable. They frequently get ready for an outing and forget footwear and brushing their teeth is not something that is habitual for them, we have to remind them.
When the kids turn up looking scruffy and unkept it could just mean that they have been having fun being kids, right!?This is true,  It is  when family vacations are taken and the kids are wearing "grubbies" the whole time that I get concerned. No one is too busy to teach their child the importance of wearing unstained clothes. Mothers, if you have clothes that are faded and torn, throw them out! Or reserve them for yard play only... DO NOT dress your child for school in faded pants that look like they have been in use since the 1980s. Take PRIDE in the appearance of your family. When we negate to teach our children how to groom themselves properly we are setting them up for ridicule. Their friends, especially pre-teen to teens age bracket, will judge them on appearance, so while it is very noble to carry the motto "beauty is on the inside", this is not going to help a 12 year old find acceptance among their peers.

What does this say about the person who should be caring for them?
When your children present to the world in old clothes, unkept and shoeless it really does say alot about you as a parent. When I see little girls with ribbons in their hair , shoes on their feet and a smile on their face, I can see that her parents take pride in caring for their child and presenting her to the world in her best light. Remember, the people who see us dressed up on Sundays will likely see us during the week as well..... When we show up one day a week looking our best and look like hobos the rest of the time, it says that you are about keeping up appearance rather than maintaining a standard for the family. When a child has clothes that are 3 sizes too big for them every-time I see them, It tells me that you are too self absorbed to take your child's clothes in so that they fit.

We live in a world where whether we agree with it or not, appearance is defiantly important. Isn't it only fair on our kids that we present them, us and the whole family, as best we can?

How my Daughters Step-Mom helped me become a better Mother!

How my daughter's Step-Mom made me a better Mother
I know there are many pieces out there about mothers and step-mothers at war. This, to me, seems to be one of the most selfish things either of the children's parents (yes, step-parent IS a parent) can do.
The children have already seen far too much unnecessary heartache with the divorce of their parents. No matter how young the child was, or how long ago the divorce took place, believe me, the kids still feel the effects long term. Every holiday that is spent with just one of their parents, every weekend handover, every time they have to explain to friends that they are busy when a particular event is on because they are spending the weekend with the non custodial parent, their little hearts feel it. So why would anyone want to create unnecessary conflict for the kids to be wedged in the middle of?

This woman below has taught me a lot about being a step-mom. Before I go any further let me address a few things you might be thinking right now. 1) sure you have a great relationship with her, but you should meet MY ex's new partner. 2) I am the mother, I shouldn't have to share my role with anyone 3) The kids don't need her, they have me....

My daughters step mother is in fact the woman that my ex-husband was having an affair with while we were in marriage counselling trying to save our marriage (she was not aware that this was the case at the time). Logically, I should resent her..... I don't!  Why? Because she is a wonderful person and, more importantly, she has been wonderful to my daughter.

Best step mother I could have ever wished for my daughter, This is Kathryn with her Daughter.
Kathryn went above and beyond to ensure that my daughter was loved and cared for while in her home. She read stories to her at night, played dress up, taught my baby how to cook and amazingly, she spoke about me often in my absence and build a bridge between my daughter and I. HER attitude towards me is what made my daughter feel safe in speaking about her love for me, and prevented her from feeling as though she had to show loyalty to one side of her family versus another. This resulted in my child being free to love all the people in her life. Me, her dad and her step mum and dad. She knew that she had 4 parents and that we all loved her. Why did Kathryn, or rather how did Kathryn show this grace? Shouldn't she feel threatened given I was the EX. Why like a lot of step mothers didn't  she have 'something to prove'?
Kathryn made a choice. She chose to be to my daughter, what she would want a step mom to be to her child. She sent me mothers day cards and we could talk openly over the phone about my baby's progress. We worked together on issues that came up, because lets face it, DAD's play a different role to Moms. While it was between me and my childs Dad as to what decisions were made regarding our childs care and upbringing, it would be naive to think that our partners who we were forming a life with, and whom would be affected by any decisions, woudn't have a say. Some parents don't feel comfortable talking to the step parent about the big issues, and prefer to just talk to the ex. Either way issues are addressed, I was well aware that any decisions that my ex would make and consult me on, would first be talked over with his partner. Whether I liked it or not, either directly or indirectly, this woman was going to be contributing to the decision making. I could do it with her, or I could allow her to do it from behind the scene through my ex. Thank-fully we were able to talk. We both loved my child and wanted what was best for her....and this meant that most of the time we could work well together, infact, she was often my Ally when my ex was being unreasonable. She was my daughters step mother, and she became one of my best friends.

As wonderful as Kathryn is, I cannot give all the credit to our family functioning. I had a part to play too. I could have refused to talk with her. My ex was never good at being organised and this would have meant a lot of quarreling between the two of us. I chose to talk with Kathryn and allow her to work with me on what was planned for my child, instead of having massive arguments with my ex. This meant that instead of fighting around the my daughter and conflict, she was  watching two people who loved them very much, work together for their benefit. It also meant that my baby was not able to play one against the other. What happened in one home, happened in the other. If there were issues raised we could talk directly and not get a biast story from a little girl trying to be an opportunist.

Kathryn taught me that being a Mom and a step-mom is about getting past our own insecurities and hurt. How we feel towards step parents should come second to what is best for the child. Being a parent is about putting your children first. Lets face it, if Kathryn was going to be my daughters step mother there was no use in me pretending she didn't exist, ESPECIALLY when she would be providing care for my child. It took courage for Kathryn to take the high road and stretch out the olive branch for the sake of my daughter. It took courage for me to accept the olive branch... but how could I not? the fact that she was willing to extend a hand of friendship showed me that she did love my daughter and have her best interests at heart.

For those who are scared of being replaced... a child's real mother can never be replaced, so long as they are being just that... a MOTHER. Mother's put their children first. They avoid conflict and what their children to grow into stable, emotionally reliable adults. This means creating a family for them... one that includes the step parent!

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

We LOVE the Dating Divas

I just had to share with all you lovely ladies, this new website I happened upon. Its called the Dating Divas. These site has a treasure trove of ideas for married couples and dating love birds alike. Check them out, and leave them a message saying we sent you there !

Date Ebook

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Family New Years Resolution

Don't believe in New Years resolutions? Neither does my husband. He has the very logical thinking that if you want to make a real and permanent change, you start immediately and don't wait for a specific date, time or situation. I can see what he is saying and it does make sense. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on your views, he has a wife that is very pro New Years Resolution.... So, in light of the fact that he is a great husband, we are doing New Years Resolutions this year,  Together. Here's our list so far:

1) No take out for the year.

Yes, no McDonald's, cafe rio, Burger King , Wendy's. None, nada, zilch...
For the whole of 2014.
This will decrease our waist lines and increase our bank balance. It will also mean that our meal times will be given more time, which will mean more time together as a family.
To keep this resolution realistic we will have 6 eat out credits for the year. These credits can be used for one takeout meal for the family. We can us them whenever we want (think birthdays, celebrations etc) but once they are used up, no more meals from takeout places are allowed.... I am really hoping we have at least one credit left come February!

2. Spend Less Money On "Things" and more on Activities.

What do we mean by this? Instead of buying the newest CD as a treat for the kids, we will put any money we can spare towards a family trip. It could be something as simple as a trip to the local bowling Alley or the movies. We are hoping some of the money we save with the no Eating out will help fund some extra fun vacations etc.

3) Live in the moment and focus on what's important.

Easier said than done, right! But we can try. We are going  to try to take notice of the people we love rather than society as a whole. People's opinions of us will be considered but not taken to be truth if they do not mesh with what we know to be our own reality.

4) Read the Book of Mormon followed by the bible in the first 3 months of this new year. 

What do you have planned for your family? Please comment below, we would love to hear from you :)

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Quiz: Are you a good wife?

Are you a Good wife? Following on from the last peice I published, I thought this would be a little fun for all the women out there who are now, like me, wondering if they meet the mark at being a good wife. Click on the underlined above and go to the Quiz and see how you rank. Would love to hear how you all rate. Here was my result:

The Dutiful Wife

When you said “I do,” you meant it from the heart. You go above and beyond the call of marital duty. You live to keep your man kept. From hot meals to hot sex, you cater to his every whim. Even when he’s not around, you look for ways to put a smile on his face. Your love for your husband runs deep, and you’ll go to the limits to ensure that he gets his every wish. Just make sure that it’s reciprocated. You’re in a partnership… not on a payroll. In the same way you treat him like a king, he should be giving you the royal treatment as well. Remember, if he doesn’t treat you well, there’s someone out there who will. And if he does appreciate the loving gestures, then give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done!

How to Be a Good Wife

This exert is from

The Good Wife's Guide

From Housekeeping Monthly, 13 May, 1955.
  • Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have be thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they get home and the prospect of a good meal is part of the warm welcome needed.
  • Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.
  • Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.
  • Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives. Run a dustcloth over the tables.
  • During the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering to his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.
  • Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Encourage the children to be quiet.
  • Be happy to see him.
  • Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.
  • Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first - remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.
  • Don't greet him with complaints and problems.
  • Don't complain if he's late for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through at work.
  • Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or lie him down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.
  • Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.
  • Don't ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.
  • A good wife always knows her place.

Now Lets Address The Above Suggestions. In No Particular Order. Because I can.

Ok, so the don't complain if he is late to dinner or stays out all night is ridiculous. Respect works both ways. If I cook, then he better have hus butt at the table when I serve it. (Within reason, if he has to work late that is another story). The letting him lie down is a little over the top also, unless of course your husband is in a physically demading trade. I know that when my husband comes home from the Army sometimes he has to lie down straight away, or at the least flop on the couch. This is fine, I just sit with him and we talk.

Now, as for the questioning his integrity and judgement. I honestly don't think that I should be doing that ever. If you are in a good marriage than you should trust your husbands judgement and know his cast integrity. NOTE that I say IF you are in a GOOD marriage. If you are with a man who is not the god fearing man you deserve, you may have to reconsider the not questioning his judgement part. Remember while as wives we look to our husbands, our husbands should inturn look to christ. If your husband isn't including christ in your marriage then you could be in trouble.

I'm sorry, I am not making a fire for him. In the garden of Eden I am sure it was Adam who was in charge of the fire lighting; besides my husband is a pyromaniac of sorts, he would prefer to light it himself I dare say.

Have an interesting story for him..... Come On! If you are a Mom this shouldn't be hard. Just think of the material you have. "darling today Susie managed to put my gardening hat in the S Bend of the Toilet, You'll need to remove that for me when you are done with your recooperating."

I don't always prep dinner, infact if it wasn't for the microwave I think that we would live off of Pappa Murphy $5 specials. Having said that I think it is important to put on at least 2 good spreads a week. Butter Bread and set the table nicely, make eating together a pleasure rather than just another part of going through the motions.

Make yourself look nice, this is something I do regularlly. I like to dress well. I like how it makes me feel and I like what it says to society about myself. For women, the way we dress ourselves can have a powerful affect over how people percieve us. This is not nessicarily right, however it is the way the world works. Having said this, there are days where my husband will get home and  I will be in my gym sweats or have failed to have change out of my PJ's (Saturdays are really good for this.)

The Cleaning up everything and de-cluttering 15 minutes before he gets home is something I think all mothers do. We can spend 6 hrs of the day procrastinating and in the last 20 minutes before your husband is due through the door  we manage to get most of the days chores done. I once admitted to doing this. My very clever husband smiled and said "You do 15 mins work and pretend that your worked all day, and I come home and pretend that I believe you!" Oh Bless his heart!

I don't like bringing up problems as soon as I see my beloved. I miss him all day and I want to enjoy the first hour with him. This gives him time to relax and unwind and I enjoy spending this down time with him.

So how does it work in your home? Is the above exert absurd, or a little closer to home? I would love to hear from other Modern Mormon Mommies about how you run things in your house. In the meantime I have a date planned, on the couch, with my husband.