This is probably TMI, but…

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My friends know that I am pretty much an open book.  There isn’t a whole lot that I am too embrassed to share about myself.  I think that comes from years and years and years of medical issues.  I have been programmed to give the details.  All of the details.  So that nothing gets missed.  But sometimes I go too far and by the time the information is out of my mouth, it’s too late to take it back!

3 Signs You’re Sharing Too Much Information

1. You don’t want anyone to meet your spouse.  Or your brother.  Or your boss.

Early in our marriage, I had to learn to do a lot of things on my own due to my husband’s work shifts.  I learned to fix things around the house, I learned which line to stand in at the tax office, and I even learned which car repair place was honest (and unfortunately also learned which ones to avoid).  We struggled early in our marriage because we didn’t know how to grow together instead of further apart.  Since he wasn’t around for me to talk to, I talked to friends.  After our son was born I was tired with a capital TEE-EYE-AR-EEE-DEE and he was still only home one night a week.  I created a horrible pattern of dissing my husband to my friends and family because deep down I wanted people on “my side.”

Now, I was never actually in a courtroom battle with my husband, nor did anyone stand us face to face and ask to hear my side versus his side – but alas, I felt the need to gather an army of troops.  Let me skip ahead and tell you how that worked out for me in the end.  It didn’t.  It just didn’t work out.  I noticed I would get nervous when people I worked with would meet him because I wasn’t sure what they would say – and vice versa, I got nervous when he would meet people I worked with …. are you sensing a pattern here?

RESOLUTION FOR SIGN #1: Just go talk to the person who is driving you nuts.  You don’t need an army.  Period.  If you can’t work it out, then seek wisdom and guidance from one or two people AFTER you have prayed about your sitation.

2. You start a conversation with, “this is probabaly TMI, but ….”

Again, I admit that there are things I have discussed with people that are just awkward and … weird.  Like bowel movements for example.  ( I know, I’m not heeding my own advice very well!) But I have to tell you, once you find out who your IBS friends are, you know you can share great tips that you just can’t seek out from anyone in your contacts list!  But let’s just say you’re walking through the grocery store and you run into a neighbor you haven’t seen in awhile and she says, “HEY!  How ARE you?!?!”

Warning: This is not the moment you’ve been waiting for you share the intimate details of the unidentifiable rash on your son’s rear end.  It just isn’t.  The chances are that this type of in-passing conversation would be grounds for concise yet honest information.  If you are really going through some hard stuff – just be honest and say, “You know – I’m not the greatest I’ve ever been but this isn’t the best place for me to go into details.  I would love to catch up with you over coffee, though!”  If they bite and set up a coffee date, then great — let’s talk about how you’ve diagnosed your son with a disease that will maim him in 3 weeks thanks to Dr. Google.  If they don’t bite – don’t be offended.  This is probably not the friendship in which you want to share deep details of your life anyway.  And that’s OK!  Really, it is.

RESOLUTION FOR SIGN #2: When in doubt (or in a public place), keep it simple and always keep it honest.  There’s no reason to lie and say “I’m GREAT!” if you really aren’t great. However, going into the details of your Aunt’s mental illness in the office at the elementary school isn’t really a splendid idea either.  Keep it simple, honest, and concise.

3. You are more comfortable talking to your friend than you are talking to God.

Can I just out myself here and tell you that I’m guilty?  Because I’m guilty.  One of my favorite friends to talk to about big issues almost ALWAYS responds with, “have you prayed about this yet, Ann?”  Ok kids — take note: THIS IS THE BEST KIND OF FRIEND TO HAVE!  She listens, and she always turns me right back to God which is where I should have started in the first place.  Talking to God is prayer.  Prayer is talking to God.  It’s a relationship.  When you met (insert name of a great friend here) you didn’t start in with “so I have this weird bump on my arm” – you had to build the relationship first before you could start sharing TMI types of tidbits.  It’s the same with God on OUR end – but not on His end.  He is already there.  He’s warmed up and ready to go.  And guess what? Nothing will surprise Him so you can share every TMI thought you’ve ever had with Him.

RESOLUTION FOR SIGN #3: If you don’t have a friend who reminds you to talk to God — starting BEING that friend.  Start asking your pals if they have talked to God about the things they are sharing with you.  If you set the stage, you’ll start attracting the same types of encouragement from others.  And just start talking to God… He is aching to sit and have coffee with you.

5 If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought.  James 1:5 (The Message)

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5 things I remembered this week

Multiple new folks have landed on my blog over the past couple of months and I figured it was time for an update to bring everyone up to speed on who this Ann person is.  This post is mostly about my transparent qualities that some find … how shall I say… disturbing.  But honestly my transparency is one of the things that helps me connect so deeply to others.

So here are 5 things that I remembered about myself this week:

  1. My husband can make me laugh harder than anyone else on the planet.  To the point that I snort when I laugh.  Which makes him laugh harder, and that makes me laugh harder — and we pretty much take on the characteristics of two middle school boys who laugh at completely inappropriate things, in totally inappropriate locations.
  2. I would rather put together a gas grill than cook dinner.  I can rock a drill — actually “our” drill is only “ours” because he married me.  That whole common property thing keeps me from really being able to claim it as “mine” anymore.
  3. I can’t handle the sensation of having something stuck between my teeth.  And I WILL stop to buy dental floss should such an issue arise.  And I will use it in my car until the issue is resolved.
  4. There is something very therapeutic about emptying a filled vacuum canister.  I have a great sense of accomplishment from removing a ginormous about of disgusting things from our carpet/floors/blinds … and anything else I happen to vacuum while I’m at it….. lights, fans, my shirt, chairs, the dust on the entertainment center, and … for the sake of full transparency… lampshades.
  5. I thrive in a clean environment – I don’t have OCD but I absolutely have OCD tendencies.  However, I seem to be one of the main reasons why we have stacks of random things in the kitchen.  I’m sure there’s a need for therapy in there somewhere, but whatever.  (Putting my shoes away right after I post this to appease my husband)

So there you have it.  There’s a little bit of the disturbance in the force of my mind.  So tell me something about you!  Tell me one thing you remembered about YOURSELF this week!

united we argue

 

Last week I got that call that every mother dreads… the school called to tell me that my son was injured and needed to go to the doctor.  Turns out he tried to display some fancy footwork with a soccer ball and it backfired on him resulting in a full blown head bash into a brick wall.  I know, we don’t do anything simple around here – we like to keep my husband on his toes.

I don’t typically panic when my son is hurt or having an asthma attack – I’m very calm and careful to drive the speed limit and so on.  But there was one major problem on this particular day.  I didn’t have a car.  It was in the shop.

No problem, I texted my husband and said, ” I need you, please call me right away… I am ok.” —> I’ve made the mistake of freaking him out before with a vague text so now I know to include “I’m ok” in there so he doesn’t send squads and ambulances to the house!

He called back all frustrated at me and had an … “elevated” tone in his voice, “I’m BUSY — what is it?!?!?”
“William hit his head at school and he needs to get to a doctor.  They think he might have a concussion.”

His next response COULD have sent me into an emotional spiral — but because I know how much he loves us AND how critical is position is at work — I was able to take it in stride.  He said, “You’re going to have to figure it out – I absolutely CANNOT leave at this moment in time. Keep me up to speed via text, I can’t answer my phone again.”

This is where I am reminded that when we got married over 13 years ago, we UNITED together… which means we have each other’s backs.  Even when tension is high, if I am sick, he is busy, or our son is throwing an all out fit… I know deep down he isn’t being mean and hurtful and he knows the same about me.

But that doesn’t mean we don’t need helmets sometimes when we go head to head!  I’m no June Cleaver!

Our amazing neighbor was kind enough to take me to the school, and then drive 20 minutes in the opposite direction to get my car.  I talked to the doctor and it turned out that we had to go to Children’s Hospital.   I kept sending updates to my husband via text and he barely answered at all.  But to my surprise, my husband came around the corner with a smile across his face just as we got out of the car

I knew he would get there as soon as he could and I returned the smile.  All focus was on now on our kiddo, just as it should have been.

But – can you imagine how differently the scenario could have played out had I taken his words personally and carried around my offended carnage that afternoon?  When he showed up at the hospital “united” isn’t exactly how we would be feeling.

In the end, all that mattered was that our son was just fine and after about 4 hours it was as though he just snapped out of it and was back to laughing at his own farts (a sure sign that your son is back to himself).  As my husband and I waited hand-in-hand at the hospital he was able to tell me about his day in a non-defensive manner and I could see EXACTLY why there was absolutely no way he could have left the very moment I called.

That night we went to check on William after he zonked out and he said, “I’m so sorry I couldn’t be there today – it was stressing me out that I couldn’t leave!”

And without any disdain I was able to say, “I knew you would get there as soon as you could!”

Are all of our interactions as grace-filled as this one?
HECK NO!  Oh my gosh —- just… no.  And for crying out loud please don’t put me on a pedestal because with my history I will fall off and break something!

This is as much a reminder to me as it is to you — that when you’re married, it’s your responsibility to be UNITED. Even if it means setting your frustration to the side so you can see the whole picture.

knocking helmets with your spouse

Kids have no trouble understanding the idea of being on the same team in sports.  In fact, adults can grasp that idea pretty solidly as well.  So why is it that when we get married and have kids that BOOM, husband and wife are no longer on the same team?

5 But Jesus responded, “He wrote this commandment only as a concession to your hard hearts. 6 But ‘God made them male and female’ from the beginning of creation. 7 ‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, 8 and the two are united into one.’ Since they are no longer two but one, 9 let no one split apart what God has joined together.”  Mark 10:5-9

I have to hand it to my mom, she didn’t hover when our son was little and we were trying to figure out bedtime routines, healthy boundaries and so on.  She really didn’t.  My dad is the advice giving member of the family – even when it’s unsolicited. My husband’s parents were much the same.  His dad was the unsolicited advice giver — usually loud and in public… awesome — and his mom only gave advice when we asked her for it.  Even still, up until about 5 years ago my husband and I tried to stick with the way things worked when we were kids. 

Here’s the problem with that — he grew up in a teeny tiny town, lived out in the country, didn’t go to church, always had hunting rifles around him, and he was an only child.  I grew up in the city, going to private schools, and attending Catholic church with my parents, and had two older sisters.  Dare I say we were parenting in opposite directions?  Sure, we had the appearance of being on the same team, but really we were sabotaging each other’s efforts.

My sister and her husband have a very simple saying when things get heated at their house regarding parenting … they take a deep breath and say:

“same team”

Here are 4 simple steps to ensure you and your spouse both understand you’re on the same team, and act like you’re on the same team!

  1. Create a simple statement like “same team” that you can say to each other when things get heated.  This statement is intended to take the emotion out of your decision making as parents.  You both want to do what’s best for your kiddo.  Period.  This is like a huge TIME OUT being called on the field.
  2. Watch your tone. If you say “same team” like a teenager who swears she knows it all, I don’t think your spouse is going to take that as a time out as much as he will a body check.  Put your helmet on if you plan to talk ugly to your spouse because it’s about to get sporty up in your house! Or even better, remember that having an attitude in confrontation tells your spouse you don’t want to resolve anything, but you want to fight and show you’re right.  And that makes this all about you, and not about your kid.  (FLAG ON THE PLAY!)
  3. Be prepared to walk away.  If an agreement can’t be made on how to discipline your child, take a break.  Each of you make a list of three ALTERNATIVE disciplinary actions that have yet to be discussed.  Then when the time is right, come back together and talk like grown ups about a solution.
  4. Stop sabotaging your spouse’s efforts. Don’t go undo everything your spouse has just done.  After he grounds your daughter, don’t go to her room and say, “I really don’t agree with daddy, and I say you are NOT grounded.”  BAD IDEA.  Now your spouse knows you don’t have his back, and your daughter sees an avenue to get between you to get what she wants, anytime she wants it.  Kids NEED a unified front.  And you do too or this parenting gig is going to swallow you whole.

So whose team are you on?
Your own?
Or your spouse’s?

Leave your old ways, leave your childhood behind (cuz it’s sooo yesterday).
Become ONE with your spouse.