Tag Archives: marriage

How to stop interference in your marriage

Since I’ve been married for five years now, I am officially a marriage veteran. We’ve got everything figured out. All joking aside, I have noticed some things cause unnecessary strife in a marriage, and there are easy ways to avoid them.

First and foremost, do not allow anyone to complain to you about your spouse. It is unhealthy and leads to you and an outsider to your marriage “ganging up” against your spouse. And, as always, you are probably only hearing one side of the story. If this person truly has an important issue to discuss with your spouse, then they should bring it up with your spouse, not whine about it to you. You and your spouse must present a united front to others. If someone starts complaining to you about your spouse, politely inform them that there is nothing you can do for them, and in the future to direct all complaints to the party in question. Don’t let others try to manipulate your spouse by appealing to the person most likely to influence their decisions, namely, you!

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A letter to my childless self

Hey you! Yes, you over there with your tiny full term belly, wondering how your life is going to change once this baby comes. Let me tell you, this baby and the ones that come after her are going to rock your world, but in the most amazing way possible. However, there are a few things you should know and appreciate before they arrive.

1) Stop obsessing over getting the best parking spot possible. There will come a time when you will have actual physical obstacles to overcome when you park somewhere. Try searching for a parking spot when you have two babies and an enormous pregnant belly, or three babies in tow. Toddlers are as slow as molasses, and you are constantly terrified that their little hands will slip out of yours and they will immediately be hit by a car. (Side note, stop speeding through the parking lot! Toddlers escape easily and are hard to see!) Also, car seats with babies in them weigh about two tons and are about as easy to lift into a shopping cart as a baby grand piano. So, relish your physical freedom, park in the back, and enjoy a leisurely stroll to the store. We moms will be forever grateful.

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Birth Control: why I ditched the hormones and embraced NFP

Before I got married, I went to the gynecologist to get my first prescription for some birth control pills. Even though I was Catholic, it just seemed like it was the thing everyone automatically does. However, a few months before my wedding, I got curious about natural family planning and decided to take a few courses in it. Just so I at least knew what I was turning down.
I must admit, it did seem pretty overwhelming and a hassle for my first few classes. It involved a lot of charting and knowing how your body works. But then I paused and thought a moment. Despite all that extensive sex ed throughout my school days, I had no idea how my own fertility worked! I didn’t know what days I could conceive, I had no idea when I ovulated, and I barely noticed what my body did on a monthly basis. It was blowing my mind how much I was learning about basic female function that had been completely ignored in my primary education.
Then, I started learning more about the pill and the other forms of hormonal contraception, and it just didn’t appeal to me at all. I mean, if I don’t like synthetic hormones in my food, why would I want to be ingesting them daily through birth control? And it elevates your risk for breast cancer? And it just sounded like a pain to have to go to the OBGYN every so many months to get injected or have something shoved up my ….. well, you get the idea.
So I decided to make the commitment to use NFP. Luckily, my husband was very supportive, because he is awesome like that. That is why I married him. And we have never turned back after four years of marriage.
There are several different methods of NFP. They all involve knowing exactly when the woman is fertile and abstaining from sex on those days, which usually lasts about 5-10 days, depending on what kind of cycle the woman is having that month. Or, you can have sex those days if you are planning on having a baby, and you tend to get pregnant WAY sooner than if you are just winging it.
We started with the Marquette method when we first got married, which worked perfectly (with the exception of one slip up that I can only blame on us being newlyweds and throwing caution to the wind). But, Marquette was too difficult for me to use once I started breastfeeding, so we switched to the Creighton Method, which I like a whole lot better.
Common myths about NFP:
1) It is ineffective. False! Its effectiveness depends entirely on you. Instead of you medicating yourself and just hoping you’re not part of that 1-15% that gets pregnant on birth control anyway, you know if you had sex during one of your fertile days that a baby is a definite possibility. And if you do get pregnant, you don’t have to worry about that increased risk of ectopic pregnancy that comes with certain methods of contraception.
2) It is just for crazy Catholics. There has been a huge amount of NFP users in the more crunchy crowd in an effort to reduce their hormone intake and lead more natural lives. And it is great for breastfeeding mamas who are trying to keep their diet as wholesome for baby as possible. Also, a lot of women are finding that hormonal birth control makes them feel ill and want an alternative. It is also helpful for couples that have had some difficulties trying to conceive, and want to find out for sure if they are doing everything right before they spend all that money on fertility treatments.
I always think it is hilarious that people think that couples who use NFP and have lots of children is proof that it doesn’t work. Because who would have lots of children on purpose?! Well, we would. But if you aren’t super into kids right now, that is ok too. NFP will still work for you, with a little bit of self control, and a whole lot more communication and appreciation for the amazing things your body can do.

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