Intentional Conversations: My Marriage

Sooo, I’ve been working really hard at having intentional conversations with my kids. I’ve (mostly) made breakfast a time for conversation and not rushing. I’ve used my car time for talk time. But here’s a confession:  When my husband gets home from work, we eat dinner while talking to the kids, put the kids down and then plop down in front of our laptops to work or in front of the TV to watch Parenthood.  Not only do we not have intentional conversations, but often, we don’t have conversations at all. We’re in a slump. We have a bad habit.  And honestly, it’s really hard to break when we’re exhausted and worn out and it feels exhausting to have yet another intentional conversation.  Anyway, since I’m in no way an expert (or even competent) at this, I took to my good friend Google to get some tips.  Here’s what I found out: 1.  Set aside 5-10 minutes to talk right when your husband gets home from work.  Sure, all you want to do is hand him the baby and grab yourself a hot cup of peppermint tea– but before you unwind, give yourselves a few minutes to connect and tell each other about your days. 2.  Schedule 1 TV and laptop-free night per week.  I know it sounds hard, but that’s what Tivo is for.  Instead, grab yourself a glass of wine, light a fire, snuggle on the couch and just talk. 3.  Overshare.  I have a tendency to undershare because I assume my husband has enough on his mind to add my thoughts and feelings on top of...

Intentional Conversations: The Car

Next up on my intentional conversations agenda:  the car. I tend to think of driving time as my time.  I chat on my phone (I know, I know, that’s bad in and of itself), I listen to the radio, I think, I pray, I watch the road and try to ignore the whining/fighting/chatter in the backset. But not anymore.  I’m not sure why this has never crossed my mind before, but when my kids are in the car, I have a captive audience.  They are strapped in.  And I am strapped in.  And while I’m focused on the road, I also can use the opportunity to engage them in conversation. I admit:  It’s harder than I thought.  I guess I’ve gotten so used to doing my own thing in the car that my kids have gotten in the habit of doing their own things.  So, today, when I engaged my son in a conversation as we drove home from school, he kinda looked at me funny.  Isn’t that terrible?!  Poor little Joey was actually surprised that I was talking to him on our way home from school. *sigh*. Anyway, we actually had a good conversation– about his day and his friends and even about how he prayed that Jesus would help him to stay calm and in his seat during calendar time.  It was good. I’ve decided I’m putting my cell phone in my bag when I’m driving from now on.  Not only is it dangerous, but it’s also distracting me from my ability to have intentional conversations with my kids. Question for you:  What do you do while...

Breakfast at My House: A Look at Intentional Conversations

Here’s how breakfast went at my house this morning: “Joooey,”  I screamed up the stairs and I frantically spread just peanut butter, no jelly onto crustless bread for his lunch.  “Five minutes to get dressed and get down here.” He glugged down the stairs with a sigh, throwing his T-shirt on as he walked into the kitchen and sat down at the counter.  I tossed a banana at him. He ate it.  Slllllllooooooooowwwwwly.  As I said “eat quickly”.  Over and over.  And over.  Toast was tossed on his plate.  And a heap of scrambled eggs.  And our entire conversation was a chorus of “hurry” and “eat faster” and “finish your eggs” and…well, I can imagine the poor boy was stressed by the time he went to school. And, my goal for intentional conversations in January officially failed. So, here’s what I’m doing tomorrow. I’m going to call Joey down for breakfast 10 minutes earlier so I don’t have to rush him.  And, when I call him down, I’m going to be done with making his lunch, cleaning up the kitchen, etc. so I can focus on him and only him. I’m going to sit down with him while he eats. I’m going to have an intentional conversation with him… not just nag at him to eat fast.  Tomorrow I’m going to talk about his feelings at going back to school after three weeks off… and explain to him how I feel because truthfully, I’ve really enjoyed having him home and after one day, I’ve really missed him. I’ll let you know how it goes. What do you talk about...

Happy (Intentional) New Year!

Last year, I was in survival mode. I had a good excuse.  Make that excuses.  A new job.  A new book.  A new house.  A horrendous pregnancy.  A new baby. Sleepless nights.  Relationship struggles. But excuses aside, I’m now realizing that I let things slide.  I let my relationships move to the back burner because I was so busy carpooling and sleep training and breastfeeding to notice.  I let my parenting slide because I was too exhausted to be intentional.  I let my writing slide because I was too busy to focus. But this year, I’m going to change that. This year, I’m going to be intentional.  As a parent.  As a wife.  As a writer. And with that in mind, here are my blogging resolutions for this year. I resolve to be real.  There are days that my life is a mess.  There are days that I yell at my kids when they don’t deserve it.  Days when my husband and I fight.  Days when I find myself sitting on the stairs with tears streaming down my face wondering how I’m going to manage even five more minutes.  But last year, I never blogged about those times.  Because for some reason, I felt like I had to portray myself as put together, sane, perfect.  As if the world would like me better if they thought I was the perfect mom, perfect housekeeper, perfect wife.  But it’s not true.  And this year, I want to be real. I resolve to be intentional.  I’ve decided to focus on intentionality this year—which means I’m going to  intentionally focus on an intentional...
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