Having a Family Will Change How You See Everything

You may have been at this "family thing" for awhile now or just getting started, and gradually some lightbulbs are clicking off about many issues related to family.  My awakening to the significance of having a family of my own began back in 1999 when I realized after my pregnancy announcement, how much people suddenly were more interested in my life.  The phone calls increased, a baby shower was being planned at the time, and relatives and friends started asking questions about my future, the father, and sharing advice about things we had never talked about before like parenting.

I will be the first to admit I have been forever changed since having my own family which increased from three to six members over the years then throw in extended relatives and in-laws and remarriages.  I don't even see the childhood family I grew up with in the same way I once did and neither did I go along with the programming either.  As my family grew in size over 10 plus years, so did my eye balls!  I started noticing everything that was wrong and right about things like: the way our society treats families, parenting practices, employment issues, relationship, entertainment, food, shelter, traditions, morals, spirituality, etc. 

Everything was up for speculation externally and internally more-so once my family came along.  I wanted to sincerely know whether what I had been fed over the years by all from family doctors to media was indeed factual.  I started thinking more about childhood, because I had four children who were relying on me to share honest, accurate and fair information with them that could help with learning more about themselves.  I yielded on some questionable knowledge given to me over decades and put it through a filter I created after I saw lie after lie show up during my personal, spiritual journey that my Lord moved me to go on before children got here.  I told myself, "Wait a minute, do I really want them to emulate my upbringing?  Do I want them to mirror my school experience?  Should I be ushering them in a direction just because it is familiar to me?"  The jury was out in my mind about these things, but when the verdict came in, "Guilty."  No, I couldn't give them a model of everyone and everything that had been present in my life and call it "good."  There were plenty of wrongs and these children deserved a chance at a better life, better start and more.  Isn't that what decent relatives and ancestors wanted for our generation?

Having family does impact your personal views as much as you would like to fight with the changes within.  We have to face the fact that our perceptions are not always grounded truth and we are just not as sweet, kind, and loving as we would like to think.  Children show us our true selves and sometimes all we can do is swallow our proud and work on being better to ourselves and those around us.

Nicholl McGuire is the author of many books and shares spiritual insight on YouTube channel: nmenterprise7.

Burnt Out Parents, Spouse: Recognize Warning Signs Before It's Too Late

Whether you or a partner is not his or her "normal" self for any number of reasons like:  financial challenges, midlife crisis, menopause, PMS, death of a relative, divorce, too many child related responsibilities, and other issues, the signs are there, he or she is just not able to handle children and/or grandchildren at this time.

What some partners will do is ignore the writing on the wall and proceed with family events, errands, chores, projects, Sunday services, and more anyway; therefore, inviting more family stress.  Then when the burnt out parent shows unbridled anger toward a child or children in front of others, he or she is scolded, abused, sent off to jail, etc.

The signs are always there before any explosive incident.  At first we claim we didn't see the volcano erupting, but when we think for a moment, the warning signs were building up with a loved one.  It is far more easier to create one's false perception of what could be happening to someone else while dismissing the obvious signs, but the truth is usually looking you right in the face, no need to analyze.  A burnt out parent is one who explodes over the littlest of things and there are other clues as well that he or she is headed toward a melt down:

1.  Often tired and never able to get any rest.
2.  Yelling in the car, at home, over the phone and elsewhere about almost anything that creates the slightest inconvenience.
3.  Impatient with loved ones.
4.  Nervousness.
5.  Rigid when touched and/or at family gatherings.
6.  Rude with very young children and the elderly.
7.  Offers to help others even though he or she can't afford to do it (i.e. money issues, little time, patience, etc.) then bad mouths those who needed assistance.

The over-the-top discipline with unruly children is sure to follow and it is at that point one must be watchful and helpful.  Protecting children and offering to assist the burnt out mother and/or father is the best thing one can do.  If need be, consult with professionals about every area of one's life to ensure he or she gets necessary help.  

Nicholl McGuire is the author of When Mothers Cry and other books.  She shares spiritual insight on a variety of topics on YouTube, listen here.

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ABC Reading: Placing Education Before Everything Else
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