Monday, October 31, 2011

Children Change Things

This past week in class we talked about bringing children into the world and the changes that happen in a marriage because of that. Children are a big deal and even a tiny new born baby can create either a great amount of added joy, or some serious problems in a marriage.

One thing that Brother Williams talked about in class last week was the importance of including the father in the joys of having a new baby. Let him be a part of things, even though sometimes it might seem difficult, or even unnecessary. We learned in class that men like to be appreciated and they like to feel wanted. By including them in the little things, like feeling the baby kick, being in the delivery room, and letting him have one on one time with the baby. I know that a child's relationship with its father is vital and it starts at birth, maybe even before birth.

As we discussed these issues in class, and as a future wife and mother I cannot wait to one day have my own family. I know that there will be hard times, but from taking this class, I feel more prepared to handle them. I am so excited to see relationships develop between me and my children and my husband and children. I want him to be every bit a part of their lives as I am.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Marry Your Best Friend

Last week in class we talked about different types of love and different love styles. Brother Williams asked us to rate how important each type of love was. This was hard for me because I really believe that each one is very important. He then asked to think about what should be more consistent in a marriage relationship, a passionate relationship or a companionate relationship. This for me was easier. Companionate.

I want my marriage to be one that is very open. I want my husband to be my best friend and someone that I tell everything to. I want us to respect each other, be completely honest with each other, and have fun together. I think that if this is a priority the passion will come naturally. In the text for the class it says,

"Companionate love . . . does not mean that a relationship has lost its fire. Rather it means that two people have found a firm basis for a lasting relationship. And that relationship is likely to have times of passion as well as times of friendship. In a real sense, the transition to companionate love is not a loss but a gain." 

A companionate relationship is one that lasts through thick and thin. This is the type of relationship that is strongest, in my opinion. My best friends mom has told me before that "even in a marriage, you fall in and out of love." This is why its so important to marry your best friend, because even when there may not be passion, there is still friendship and a mutual understanding. This, to me, is the kind of relationship that lasts for eternity. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Roles Within the Family

Last week in class we talked about a lot of interesting things, most of which centered around family roles. We talked about how roles can change as time progresses and as family dynamics shift. I thought about this in terms of my own family, and I have come to realize that most of my family roles have been very balances. However, two big ones, and two very important ones have always belonged to my parents-- the provider and the nurturer.

Brother Williams said in class that these roles are not given as "suggestions" for a typical family. These are commandments from the Lord given to us through modern day prophets in The Family: A Proclamation To the World. Of course there are situations where a mother must work, or a father, for one reason or another, needs to stay home. However, we should do everything we can to follow this council.

Each gender is given a divine calling for this life. Men, husbands, and fathers are called to preside, provide, and protect. Women, wives, and mothers are called to be nurturers, and teachers within the home. Both of these roles are major and one cannot properly function without the other. I believe that these roles fit perfectly with the plan that Christ has for us.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

You Never Know

This week in class we talked a lot about culture and diversity in families. We ended the week by talking about Mexican American families who are adjusting to a new life here in the United States. As we talked, we discussed and demonstrated the many hardships that come along with this big move to a new country. Aside from the major costs, these families are facing lots of hard times. They moved to open up opportunities for their children, yet in the process each family member has possibly lost their identity, changed roles, or lost all emotional connections. The family struggles to stay close, they work extra in order to support themselves, and some family members may even feel like they are no longer in the family circle.

As we talked about all these things, I realized that often times, I tend to make snap judgments, when really, I shouldn't. I may not have any clue what a family is going through. I can't see their struggles-- their worries, concerns, and financial standing. Yet, what I can see is that they are trying. In most cases these families are very hard working and striving for a better life.

I was glad that I had this realization. I now have an increased understanding of different cultures and families. I understand struggles that they may face. And I have learned to not be so quick to judge, because you never really know...

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Sub Systems

Last week we talked about the Family Systems Theory. I found it very interesting to analyze my only family and find out about the different sub systems that exist within it. Of course, there was a husband/wife relationship, mother/daughter relationships, father/son relationships, etc. However, the ones that I found the most interesting were the ones that had do with my and my siblings. Among the five of us, there seems to be a divide between us based on our personalities. 

I have always felt like I have a relationship with each one of my siblings, and each one is different. I love them all and have connected with each one of them at different times of my life. However, as we have all reached adulthood, I feel like I generally relate more to Haley and Griffin than I do with Logan and Allison. We seem to think more in the same way. We have the same senses of humor. I can talk to Haley for hours, and some of my funniest memories are with Griffin. We seem to view situations in a similar way.

Logan and Allison are both lots of fun too. It's just that at times, our personalities clash. They are both very strong willed, which is good in a way, but sometimes I can't handle it. There have been times that I have been chased away emotionally because I don't fully know how to handle their intensity. They like to debate and from what I have observed, they view the world mostly in shades of black and white with less grey areas.

 I want to make it clear that it is not a matter of "getting along." We all get along very well. However, in my eyes, our personality types have created somewhat of a divide based on different interests and styles.

These two personality types can also be viewed as sub systems within the family. These groups have been reorganized before, and I would not be surprised if they shifted again sometime in the future.