Keys to a Strong Relationship

Keys to a Strong Relationship

Fourteen years ago on July 16th, I got married.  I remember the day I met John on my front steps. I was 15 and he was 11. He was really cute and really charming. It was my block party and I was smitten. But there was one hurdle. He was in 5th grade and I was a Sophomore in High School. Yea. Four years is a BIG age gap back at that age. He was tall for his age so that was good and he hung out with an older crowd. Within 10 minutes of meeting he told me he liked me. He said things like “you’re it for me”. When I told him he was too young he said,  “Will you wait for me?” As if he knew something that I didn’t.

I fell for him….. his light blue eyes, big smile, and thick messy hair. And most of all I fell for the way he made me feel. No Sophomores made me feel like this.  It didn’t last back then. Grade School and High School were too different. But I’d run into him here and there and he would always give me a really charming smile and his eyes would draw me back in.

Ten years later we met again and he asked me out. Actually, he asked me if I’d been waiting for him and if I was ready for him. I was. 

Ten years after that, to the day, we got married. In a candlelit ceremony at midnight with all of our friends and family, we finally said: “I do”.

Now 34 years later from that summer on my front porch, we celebrate our 14 year wedding anniversary.  Although it sounds like an epic love story, it hasn’t always been easy. Actually, it’s rarely been easy.

The growing pains you experience moving through two decades together can be intense. We moved through our 20’s together, and partying and breakups and many jobs. We’ve lost loved ones and John got sober. We moved through marriage and 2 kids and mortgages and more jobs.

It honestly feels like we’ve been through it all. We’re very different people. People would describe us as exact opposites but somehow we’ve stayed together even when he was drinking and using drugs. I saw the real John inside of him. Even when I lost all faith in us, he still saw the hope in me.

Twenty-four years later I wish I could say we have it down, that we know how to maneuver this relationship but I don’t think we do. It’s still work. Issues still come up that we don’t anticipate. We still fight. We still hurt each other. And yet we always, always come together in the end. And he always, always surprises me.

The bottom line is I never think about my life without him. Every relationship is a choice. And I chose John.

When I made that choice to love him unconditionally that was when we really got married. That’s when we really committed until death do us part.

Most of the women who I coach are struggling in their relationships. I don’t have any less conflict or issues than any other married woman.

👉 I just choose not to struggle.

👉 I choose to accept the things I cannot change.

👉 I choose to take 100% responsibility for my happiness.

👉 I choose to love him unconditionally and through it all.


And that has been the key to our 24-year relationship. 
Now my goal is to continue to grow and see just how good we can make this relationship.  I refuse to settle for an average relationship.

For our 14 year/24 year anniversary we’re committing to a few things.

💘 Weekly date nights, without fail and quarterly overnights without the kids.

💘 We’re recommitting to respect, appreciation, and daily gratitude.

 

It will still take work and new habits but if one thing I know is it will be worth it. What can you do to recommit to your relationship? Let me know and we can hold each other accountable.

Celebrating love today! 💘💘

 

My Husband Is So Negative And Stressed Out!

My Husband Is So Negative And Stressed Out!

What can I do if my husband is really negative and stressed out? This is one of the biggest questions I get. And I get it. Our relationships can be the source of the most stress or the most joy. 

I share some strategies in this quick video training I recorded just for you guys. And address how to get along during these crazy times. This pandemic is forcing a lot of relationship issues up to the surface. It’s up to you if your relationship will fail, survive or thrive. 

We have to check in often. And make sure we’re building a solid foundation. 

How’s your relationship doing on lockdown? What can YOU do to make it better? Check out this short video for ideas and head over to my Badass Mom Society FB group for more training like this.

Your relationship matters. Make it count. 

Is there something you want to hear about?  A big question you’d love an answer for? Email me here….steffani@myhappilife.com

 

How To Prepare Your Kids While You’re Away (Tips for Overcoming Mom Guilt)

How To Prepare Your Kids While You’re Away (Tips for Overcoming Mom Guilt)

I’m an advocate of Moms traveling solo. I travel for work often. Next week I’m leaving for Pula, Croatia to speak at Mindvalley University.  A dream I 

launched 2 years ago that is now coming true. This year I’m bringing my son. It will be his first trip overseas and our first trip just the 2 of us.  I know many Moms struggle with leaving their kids. I have found a WONDERFUL way to prepare the kids, and our whole family whenever I leave. (Tips on Mommy guilt coming later…)

Here are some of the tools I’ve used that have made traveling a LOT easier.

First and foremost spend LOTS of one on one time with them before you leave. Need I say more?  If you’re a parent you get it.

I buy a dollar store gift for every day I’m gone.  It helps them get excited to get out of bed and my husband has really easy mornings with them when they have this to look forward to and keep them busy.  They usually contain simple games, or an easy dot to dot coloring book or painting project.  They love them.  Quick warning…husbands don’t like Silly String 🙂

In a jar with a label, I leave 1 kiss for each kid for each day that I’m away.  This way when there are only a few left they know I’ll be home soon.  And they know I’m thinking of them and this is my “KISS”.

I can’t leave without a detailed spreadsheet for everyone who will be helping out.  It includes their daily schedule, their morning, afterschool and evening routines.  Everyone and anyone’s phone numbers, including friends parents for play dates.  All of their activities are on there.  Who’s picking up who when.  AND their logins for certain apps or websites they might use.  Like ABC Mouse or Lexia Core.

spreadsheet

I can’t forget about my first love. 🙂  I leave daily cards or notes for my husband so he knows how grateful I am for him while he’s doing extra duties around the house and with the kids.  I’ve left little notes in our shower or bathroom and full handwritten cards and letters.  Sometimes I ask the kids to give them to him once I’m gone in a nice box so they have that to look forward to the day I leave.

I always ask my kids to give me one of their “lovies” or stuffed animals while I travel.  So I can take photos of where I am and show them what I’m up to.  They know that I snuggle these lovies at night and think about them all the time.  These lovies have more fun then the average person.  🙂  One time they were dancing on stage in front of hundreds of people.  The kids LOVED it.

 

Once I started doing all of this when I went out of town it was a LOT easier to leave.  My kids don’t whine about it.  They actually look forward to it. 🙂

I always return with a present or a treat.  And even if they miss me while I’m gone they have a lot of reinforcement that I’m thinking of them and that I’ll be back soon.

Will my kids be ok while I’m away?

The answer is HELL YES they will.

Now for those Moms who are longing to travel but still feel their kids will not be ok without them.  I can tell you from experience it has HELPED my kids.  They realize that they don’t need me for everything. They’re more self-reliant when I’m gone.  I feel it’s ok for kids to miss someone.  It doesn’t break them like we fear.  They’re stronger than we know.  A few days away is just a blip on the radar in their long and beautiful lives.  It’s important for me to teach my kids how to handle challenging situations. How to get by and manage the day without me over their shoulder.  And it teaches them how to have reverence for something, to be grateful when something returns, with gifts. 🙂  When I travel alone it helps them learn all of that.   It has really enhanced our lives.   I hope this enhances yours.

Loving this life and travel,

Steffani