I want you to find a husband now (Before your eggs melt).

images

I grew up in a culture that preached a conflicting message to me. With one breath my parents would say, “Get an education, become and independent woman, strive to shatter barriers.” But in another breath, I heard, “You have to learn to cook and clean for your husband.” “Is this the way you intend to act when you go to your husband’s house?” Mind you I was a teenager when all this husband talk was being thrown at me.

The subliminal message sent to me was that getting a husband was the be all and end all of my life. As soon as I graduated university, the expectation was for me to hook a man. So let’s get this right. I’m expected to get a PhD, make a 6 figure salary, be a domestic goddess, carry the flag for all independent women, and still find time to hook a husband? When do I get time for me? What about my own wants, goals and desires?

The pressure is endless. My parents were also counting as I lost eggs each month. Luckily, I got married probably earlier than they expected me to, so I escaped all their husband lectures, but I feel bad for the millions of women who would be happy without a husband, but the idea of finding a husband at all cost is shoved down their throats daily.

To parents everywhere: Let your kids live!! Stop reminding your girls that their biological clocks are ticking. It is hard enough to try to establish one’s career  in this competitive world without the added stress of finding a husband is placed on your head. Instead of pressuring girls to get married, why not teach them how to have nurturing, healthy relationships.

What are your thoughts on the issue of pressuring women to get married by a certain time and age? Comment below

 

Thinking Momma

Advertisements

What is Love?

Image

It is great that there is one day solely dedicated to the lovers out there, but it is important to keep love at the forefront of your mind as you engage in this battle called marriage. I say ‘battle’ because if you’ve been married long enough, you will know that there are wonderful ups and horrid downs on the train ride of love. Love is an action and not just a bubbly feeling in the pit of your tummy. Love is being kind to your husband even when you don’t feel like it.. Love entails staying up late to reconcile your differences even when it will be easier to just go to bed angry. Love is making sacrifices for one another, supporting each other’s farfetched dreams, being empathetic and protecting the other. Love will do crazy things like sneak around to create a romantic surprise or watch the dumbest show with your wife just because it makes her happy. Love is listening to the stories of your beloved, not because you find them interesting in the least, but because his eyes light up when he chronicles the details of his day.

Where do we get love from? What drives us to pursue this thing called love? What color is it? How can we make it grow? I don’t know the answers, but I do know that love pushes me to do better today than I did yesterday.

Happy Valentine’s Day boys and girls,

Swooning Thinking Momma

What’s in a Name?

untitled

I got married pretty young. I was a bright eyed 22 year old with the world ahead of her. When I was younger, the culmination of a girl’s life was supposed to be that moment when she walked down the aisle and said, “I do.” I could never understand it. In fact many of my Nigerian colleagues would begin to panic at the age of  25 if they didn’t have a fianc√© lurking nearby. I always knew I was expected to get married quickly, but even my parents did not see it coming when their baby girl got married at 22. I guess I jumped the gun. I often would fantasize about my wedding day. In fact, I went out and tried on wedding dresses way before I saw a noble man in sight. It’s not that  I was obsessed with the idea of marriage, I guess I was obsessed with the intricate details surrounding a wedding. I love love. And I love weddings more. I’m mushy and squishy on the inside. I once cried at the wedding of a total stranger- yes I know that’s weird- but the sight of two lovebirds willingly choosing to commit to one another for life just makes me lose it every time.

So imagine my shock when after my wedding, people started addressing me as Mrs. XYZ!! What!!?!!?!!?? All my life I’ve gone by a certain last name. I pride myself to be of my bloodline. I’m happy to be my father’s daughter. It’s not like we’re royalty or extra special, but my last name is who I am. I have written my last name on the page of my nursery school books. I signed my last name when I opened my very first bank account at the age of 17, and it was that last name that appeared on all my college transcripts. So  now I had to dump my identity? I had to drop who I am and create a new foreign being? That hit me like stinky skunk gas on a sunny day. Why do I have to change my name? Is it that serious? If I didn’t take on my husband’s last name would that mean I loved him less? I tell you, it was rough.

I also was nervous to keep my maiden name for I  come from traditional stock. I did not want my family asking me 65 million questions about why I decided to keep my maiden name, so I had the perfect compromise- A COMPOUND NAME! God bless whomever created that. I got to keep a part of me and take on a part of my new hubby. God bless hyphens in general. Although my name is now awkwardly long and impossible to pronounce, it feels and sounds just right to me. I mean I feel sorry for all the folks who attempt to pronounce my full name- 3 seriously African names in a row- (each one longer and more complex than the other might I add).

So my dear friends, why was it so hard for me to shed my maiden name? I’ve now been married for 5 years, and I am now reaching a point where if you call me “Mrs. XYZ,” I will not look at you like you’re crazy and it will click in my brain that you’re talking to me. I will actually turn around and reply. Why are names so hard to shed? If I have to give up my entire identity for my husband, what part of his identity does he have to give up? Am I crazy or does some woman out there feel my confusion? I love my husband. In fact, I’m probably borderline obsessed with the dude, but it was incredibly difficult to drop my name after 22 years of wearing it proudly.

Think about it. Add comments too ūüôā

Confused Thinking Momma

Maintaining your love connection with your spouse

Remember when you first met your spouse? For many people it was love at first sight. Remember going out on dates with him/her and feeling all sorts of funny butterflies in your stomach? In my case, we were inseperable. All I ever wanted to do was to hang out with my then boyfriend (who is now my husband). It was like I could think of no one else. Why is it that after so many years of marriage, tons of couples seem to lose that butterfly feeling? It is probably safe to say that many couples do not feel the flutter in their stomachs when they see their beloved walk through the door after a long day at work. How do you go back to that puppy love feeling? Now, I have to say because you feel butterflies in your stomach and you cannot stop thinking about someone, does not actually mean you love them. I believe there is a difference between being in lust, being in love, and loving someone.

Lust is self explanatory. It is a superficial craving for someone. Lust will wear off quickly once the other person’s appearance or simple circumstances change. Being in love often entails liking someone and having this overhwelming feeling (or butterfly effect) when you see or¬†think about the person. People can fall out of love as fast as they can fall in love. I think it is simply a temporary feeling. But real love does surpass everything else. Love is the action. It is wanting to stand by a person’s side even though they irritate the freaking crap out of you. It is wanting to call off work to tend to your feverish partner. It is knowing all their dirty little secrets (and filthy filthy habits) but still being able to overlook¬†them. It is wanting to grow old and grey with this flawed annoying human being. It is wanting to share your secrets, wanting to forgive that person when he/she wrongs you and wanting to make it right when you know you are at fault. That my friends, is my definition of love.

Now¬†every marriage needs a healthy dose of lust, being in love and of loving.¬†But how do we get back to the butterfly effect? I think it is staying open with one another, making sure each person is getting exactly what he or she needs from the relationship and trying to figure out why you fell in love all those years ago. If we can keep those magical moments in mind at all times and remember what used to make our tummies turn and tickle, then we are set. ¬†The magic can stay lit if we can continue to excite the other spiritually, intellectually and otherwise. The magic will grow when we continue to remember how to talk to the other with respect, kindness and overlook insignificant foolishness. I like to say, “Treat your husband like he is a man you are trying to date and treat your wife like a hot girl you are still trying to get.” This wonderful cat and mouse game should never end. Know each other’s¬† buttons and stay away from them. Go on adventures together, solve arguments as fast as possible. Apologise even if it means biting your tongue off. Make him smile for no reason at all. Buy her gifts and do cute things just because.

The bottom line is this. Love is an action and true love is hard work. You must fight each day to maintain the love. Nurture it like a plant. If you water it, it will grow and become fruitful. Now go out there and make your connection a lasting one.

Any thoughts?

Loving Thinking Momma

Arguments With Your Spouse

untitled

Anyone who has been married for longer than 2 years will tell you that marriage has its ups and downs. One day you can be happy and have butterflies in your stomach when you as much as hear the name of your spouse, and another day, you could be about ready to scream when your husband or wife walks into the room. I assure you that it is all natural. But how do you keep petty arguments and disagreements from escalating into a huge rift?

For me and my husband, the number one thing is to know the other. I am someone who likes to take time outs when I am angry or irritated. If my husband is saying something that is irritating to me in the moment, all I simply have to do is tell him that I need a time out and he understands that. If I do not take my time out, I will end up saying something that I will regret later on. I am a fan of keeping quiet if you have nothing nice to say.

Make yourself some simple rules of engagement. When you are in a happy lovey¬†dovey mood, sit with your spouse and put down rules for fair fighting. Some people are irked when the other’s voice is raised, so say to your spouse, “No voice raising.” Some people hate when their spouse says or does something specific. Let your spouse know where your buttons are, so he or she will stay away from them. Your spouse is your ally, so you should not be stepping on his or her toes anyway.

It is ok to argue or disagree, but what is not okay, is when you hit below the belt. Know the topics that are off limits to your spouse, and stay away from them. For instance, if you are the primary breadwinner and your spouse feels sensitive about that because he or she has been job hunting for 6 months, then maybe it is a bad idea to use that against him or her during an argument.

Learn to let the past stay in the past. Don’t keep rehashing old wounds and arguments. During a specific argument, do not remind your husband about what he did 2 months ago. When one argument is over, make sure you have talked things out, aired out feelings in a constructive way and buried the topic. How would you like it if every time¬†you did had a misstep, your spouse reminded you of past transgressions?

Remember your spouse is your friend. If you are constantly at each other’s throats and harboring resentment, then maybe this friendship will not stand. If you wish to have a successful marriage, then you might want to take your spouse’s feelings and point of view into consideration from time to time. Fight fairly. Actually I should say, do not aim to fight your spouse. Aim to resolve conflicts as soon as you can. Conflicts are a part of life, but how well you work together to resolve issues will go a long way in determining if your relationship sinks or floats.

Which one do you choose? Do you want a sinking marriage or a happy floating marriage? Think about it.

Floating Thinking Momma

TGIF!!!!!!!!!

images[6]

It’s Friday!! My favorite day of the week. Afer work, it will be time to unwind, let my hair down, rent a movie and kick back with my hubster¬†(my husband). I love Fridays because they remind me of the long weekend¬†ahead and a life with no responsibilities. Actually the no responsibilities part is just a bold-faced lie. A parent will always have responsibilities. But Fridays sure do make me elated!!

One great thing that my husband and I have in common is our love for movies. We love comedies first, thrillers second, and then we love everything by Tyler Perry. From time to time I sneak in a good sci-fi movie. I am a sucker for anything X-men and Star Wars related. It is just my duty to pay attention to those.

With our busy schedules we try hard to stay connected. All throughout the day, while we are both at work, we both like to check in to see how the other is doing. I will send a quick text or he will call me for 5 mins. Once we get home, we try to do a quick overview of how our days went. We have this grand rule: Leave your frustrations at the door. This means, no matter how horrible or tragic your work day was, when you walk into our home (our sanctuary, our place of peace), you will put on an armor of tranquility and not dirty our sacred space with your yucky feelings. We are able to talk things through and vent to one another, while maintaining a calm, and happy attitude. He is my sounding board, and I am the same for him, so it works well. Because I have been able to create a safe space at home, I think it leaves my husband wanting to rush home after work. I believe that if you treat your husband with uttermost care and make the house a home, he will long to come home to you daily.

I give him the respect that he is due, affirm him, support him and treat him like my buddy, my ally and my best friend. This formula has seemed to work for us. I believe this is the foundation for a happy marriage. We are also able to talk to one another about everything and anything. If he does or says something that irks me, I am able to pull him aside and lovingly air out my feelings. I do not talk down to him, yell at him or throw low blows. I have learned how to be civil and fair in our relationship. He does the same to me. We actually rarely argue or fight. We have learned to agree to disagree but still not let disagreements soil our mood. We strive for each day to be greater than the last and we aim for our kids to learn what it is to be a great spouse by watching both of us. My daughter will learn what a good woman is by watching me, and how a man should treat her by watching her dad. My son will learn how to talk to and treat a woman, by watching his dad and what a woman should be like by watching me.

Every step we make is important in building a good future for our kids. I’m so grateful that my marriage is at the point that it is. I have learned my husband and he has learned me, and we stay away from each other’s buttons. We laugh together, pray together and uplift each other. We are two goof balls who rarely take anything seriously and this keeps us sane. I know his hopes and dreams, he knows mine and we are walking to the top hand in hand.

What is your secret for a successful marriage?

TGIF!!!!

Happy Thinking Momma

Simple Rules for A Happy Marriage

The hubby and I

The hubby and I

Happy Labor Day everyone,

I guess my weekend was exactly what the doctor ordered. We spent the weekend sleeping, resting and just plain doing¬† nothing. It was fabulous!!! I was just reminiscing about how my husband and I have gotten to this relaxing sweet spot. We’ve known each other for 7 years, and been married for 5. I think the last two years have simply been the best years of our marriage and in fact it seems¬†to be getting better as the years go by.

Here are some of my rules for a happy marriage:

1) Show your spouse the best of yourself: When we go to work, we put in a lot of effort and show our best qualities, so why is it that we often show the worst of ourselves to our beloved? Put on your best face. Act right.

2) Ask the important questions: Now this one is especially for the ladies. Before you choose to get married, please ask your future spouse everything you will need to know for the future. Will you buy a house without doing your research? So why would you marry someone you barely know? Ask questions about his take on spirituality, raising kids, finances, arguments, savings, retirement, etc. This might seem farfetched, but I’ve heard too many ladies say, “Oh my gosh, I married this man and he changed on me.” Most times, people don’t change. They just become more of themselves.

3) Honesty is the best policy: Be completely open and honest with your spouse. So many times, we keep hurt feelings to ourselves until they build up and become an ugly cancerous growth. Address wounds immediately and resolve them as soon as you can.

4) Know each other’s buttons: I know my husband’s buttons so I can steer clear of them. I know what irks him and so I try not to jump on those sore spots. My husband is my partner in crime, not my enemy. I always have to remember that even when I’m mad at him. Remember that a house divided upon itself will fall.

Those are some of the tips I live by and they seem to be working out for me so far.

What guidelines have helped your marriage flourish?

Thinking Momma

Forgiveness

‚ÄúA happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers.‚ÄĚ

-Ruth Bell Graham

This quote speaks to me because in every relationship, whether it is a parent-child relationship, a friendship, a working relationship or a marriage, one partner will constantly say and do things that will disappoint and hurt the other. Love is not the absence of hurt or pain, rather it is the ability to act graciously in the presence of hurt and pain. If you plan to be married for a while, then plan to be able to address and feel hurt and pain. Of course I am not speaking of physical, emotional or sexual abuse, when I say hurt and pain. Remember what brought you two together in the beginning. Focus on the qualities you appreciate in one another. Marriage is like a rollercoaster-it has ups and downs, but if there are two willing and loving participants, you will get through the bumps together.

Think deeply about what you say and do to your partner because once the words have left your lips, you cannot take them back. Sometimes, no matter how much you apologize, those words will linger in the mind of your spouse. Do not let anger and frustration lead you to be cruel and unkind to your spouse. Always remember that marriage is not a battle-it is a team sport in which both partners are playing for the same side. If your partner loses, you lose, and if your partner wins, you win as well.

Have a fantastic Wednesday and Happy Independence Day to everyone!! Thank a serviceman and a servicewoman today for your freedom!!

Thinking Momma

Keeping the Spice in Your Marriage

So we all know that raising a family is no easy task. It even gets harder and harder when both parents work outside the home. Now, I am a great believer in the idea that my marriage can stay fresh and young no matter how busy I am. The key is scheduling alone time with my spouse and doing little things throughout the day to remind him why we first fell in love. I like to check up on him with a text or a quick phone call. Sometimes I just let him know how much I appreciate him or I give him little words of encouragement when I know he’s having a tough day.

I also recently just started having date night with him once a month. We can do dinner, wine tasting, a movie, or whatever interests us. Once we went to see Fela-the play. It was something special that we will never forget. Now date nights do not have to cost money. I am well aware that not everyone has a sitter that can watch their kids and not everyone wants to spend extra money during these challenging financial times.

Sometimes we have date night while the kids are asleep. We watch a nice movie together and we cook dinner together-something we’ve always loves. You can raid your closet and pull out the old board games. Be creative. Add some nostalgia into your life. think about some of the things you and your spouse were¬† interested in when you were dating and figure out a way to add that into your busy schedule. Marriage is not a sentence into the land of boredom, rather it provides opportunities for partners to grow their love and to bond.

Also remember to always treat one another with compassion and respect. NO matter how difficult life is or what trials you are facing, know that you both are players on the same team and not bitter rivals. A kind word can disarm and defuse any harsh feelings. It’s all about thinking. Think hard about little ways to¬† show appreciation to your spouse and in time, he or she will return the favor. Have fun enriching your marriage ūüôā

Thinking Momma