Saturday, October 29, 2011

Baby Mama Drama

This week the thing that stood out to me the most was about the transition from the "single" married life, to the life with little rascals. Although babies are a joy, blessings, and a commandment from our Heavenly Father, for some it can still be very difficult to make this transition. Much more time is spent with the baby, and much less is spent together.

My favorite slide from the presentation on this subject:

Wise young parents anticipate the additional work-load and decreased time alone. They plan and implement means of sharing the work and the pleasure of early parenting. This begins before birth.
Involving husband in pre-natal checkups.
Engaging father in the kicks and other pre-natal bonding events (as minute as this may seem, it is the small things that make the difference. Line upon line, small things will make a big difference)
Assuring father takes precedence over others during birth.
Resist the temptation to make it a mother-grandmother event

I like this slide because it is emphasizing a good start to the process of becoming parents. If you begin practicing these principles from the very get-go, it will become a constant in the new parents' lives more so than someone who doesn't practice these steps. There are many other things you can do as new parents to make sure one another are involved. I think the most important thing is to be sure you are conscious of the others' feelings so they are constantly being involved. Make it as equal as possible (in the sense of inclusion). This picture about sums it up:

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Are Those Really Butterflies in There?

Did you know that when you have butterflies in your stomach, it is actually a disturbance in your digestive system?

Aside from that random snippet of information, this week was great in the aspect of learning new things in class. 

What is the meaning of love? How do we know what kind of love it is?
Storge: the kind of love found in the affection between parents and their children.
Philia: the kind of love that exists between friends.
Eros: love between a man and woman--romantic love.
Agape: love that is independent of one's feelings for another. (To me, this kind of struck me as a "love thy neighbor" type love.

We were asked in class to break down each love into what percentage we thought it would be in our lives. It was hard for me to do this because I don't have a spouse, so I'm not sure what kind of level my eros would be at, but the rest of them seemed pretty simple if I were to eliminate that one. I believe Philia is about 50%, Storge was hard as well, but I compared it to my nieces and nephews as 25% and the other, Agape, would be about 25% as well. 

We talked about cohabitation in class on Friday. This is one of my favorite discussions because I like picking apart the ideas about why people want to cohabit. I feel that people in our society today are scared of the marital commitment because they have seen so many failed marriages over the years. I myself have this same fear. But in the article we read for class this week (Hanging Out, Hooking Up, and Celestial Marriage), it clearly says, "Satan is giving special attention to you, my young friends--both single and married --to create doubt in your minds about marriage and your being ready to marry, increase your fear of failure to find the right one and your fear of divorce, and heighten your concern about having children." This sums it up in a very simple sentence: People are scared to get married, they're scared of the permanent commitment it entails, so what do they do instead? Well, isn't it obvious? They move in together, they imitate everything a marriage should be, but they do not make vows (or covenants in the LDS culture) because that would be much too scary. Satan is the master imitator. He gives people that feeling that what they're doing is okay, there's nothing wrong with it, and it's basically the same as being married anyway. So, why get married? In my mind, the question is this: Why NOT get married then? If you are already doing everything a married couple does, what is the purpose? Again, the underlying problem is FEAR. 
However, not all couples that cohabit have a failed marriage. Of course, the divorce rate is higher if you live together beforehand. There are different types of cohabiting couples:
1. The precursor to marriage: these cohabitors have definite plans to marry and express a high degrees of satisfaction with, and commitment to, the relationship.
2. Coresidential daters: These individuals basically disliked living the single life and opted to move in with someone even though they were uncertain about how long term the relationship might be. 
3. Trial Cohabitors: these individuals intend at some point to marry, but they are not sufficiently committed to their current partner to expect the cohabitation to end up in marriage.
4. Alternative to marriage: these individuals are interested in a long-term relationship with their current partner, but they are not interested in getting married. 

These are the main thing that stood out to me in class this week, however I could ramble on. These are good things to keep in mind.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Why Am I Here? What Is My Purpose?

This week in class, we had several different discussions on the role of male and female....and later in the week, we talked about homosexual relations. I'll be completely honest; the topics of discussion this week were a little on the frustrating/confusing side for me. I'll tell you why.....first I'll start off with our role as men and women in this world:
1. I had a hard time with our discussion in class about the roles of men and women. Our society puts such heavy emphasis on the fact that women didn't have rights for such a long time, so now we have to "prove" ourselves in a sense and make it known to the world that we can do this, that, and the other just like the men can. Brother Williams and I chatted after class about this particular subject. Is it so hard for the world to understand these roles. I believe the reason for this is that there is lack of complete truth in their lives. We have the gospel, but even then it is my belief that we tend to confuse our roles. I know that when Heavenly Father created me, He gave me certain qualities and traits that my brothers wouldn't have. I know when I am married, there will be certain things that I will be better at than my husband. I'll most likely be the one that stays home and takes care of the kids' school lunches, changing diapers, taking care of household responsibilities, and above all: nurturing. And this is okay with me, because I know when it comes to other certain things, my husband will be able to take care of the "rough and tumble" responsibilities. Is it wrong of me to say this? I don't think so. When we have a testimony of our divine nature and what our role is here, we won't have fight the facts. It is what it is. And what it is, is what God intended it to be.
2. The other thing I struggled with this week was the whole homosexual discussion. I didn't have a hard time with the things we discussed, but I had this deep sorrow for the people that turn down that path. What a difficult trial it must be to not understand yourself and have the constant question: "Was I born that way?" Many homosexual tendencies come from molestation and harsh judgments from their peers (especially growing up). Many homosexuals, "don't know" because they never "experimented". However, it is a natural tendency for the human mind to respond to such experimentation's. When you are looking for some sort of "arousal",  you will most likely get it. I believe that a good percent (based entirely on opinion) of homosexual individuals are confused because the perceived things the wrong way. 
-->The other part of this that frustrated me is that for every person who turns down that path, that is how many children that will not have the opportunity to come down to this earth. Satan is winning with each person who takes a step in that direction. Think of the many souls that will not receive their opportunity to come experience this beautiful life and grow and learn and have wonderful day-to-day experiences. We have to fight back.

I feel like I've rambled a bit here, but these are my honest opinions on the subjects we covered this week. I did walk away with a greater appreciation for my own individual divine nature this week, and also a greater understanding and compassion toward homosexual individuals. There is much to be learned.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

My Big Fat Greek Family

The thing that I enjoyed learning the most about this week was the immigration article.
Let me start with a brief clip from a fantastic movie called My Big Fat Greek WeddingWedding Scene 
This scene displays the family's desire for the soon-to-be husband to cultivate himself to their traditions. They are very staunch in their beliefs because of their ethnic background so it is hard for the family to accept this "outsider". It is hard for the family to accept their daughter's choices...this is known as acculturation. Familism is when the family is involved deeply in the sense of the individual being inextricably rooted in the family. It encompasses attitudes, behaviors, and family structures. I really enjoyed learning about immigrant family systems and how it effects them over a period of time.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Why Do They Have a Barbed Wire Fence Around Their House??

This week in Family Relations, we discussed the different theories/systems in a family.
I really enjoyed it. I'm known for psychoanalyzing people from time to time, so it was fun for me to learn about the different family systems--what kind of boundaries they have, how to cope with different family situations, etc. Minuchin's model is probably my favorite because it explains things very simply in terms that we can understand. 
A straight line is a rigid boundary, which means this family isn't very open to change and probably isn't very open to having visitors. Ever wonder why your neighbor has trees surrounding the front yard so you can't see in? Hmmm...

A dotted line is a diffuse boundary, which means this family probably needs to set up boundaries of some sort. They need to find some kind of system within their family where they don't always let information flow freely from the home. Have some kind of private boundary.
You never know what kind of visitors you'll get at these houses....
Okay, that's a joke.

A dashed line means clear boundaries, which means this family is open to change for the most part and there are certain things they'll talk about outside the home and certain things that stay in. They are welcoming and try to adjust to change rather than run from it. Like we talked about in class, doesn't the white picket fence make you feel like you can talk to this family without feeling you're stepping on their toes?

In my opinion, the clear boundary seems to be the healthiest. I don't think it is healthy for a family to keep everyone out and everything in, but it is also unhealthy to let information flow freely from one person to the next outside of the family. It is wise to set up guidelines within the family unit that help the family keep a healthy identity.