Thursday, January 16, 2014

30 Things Day 24: Family Dynamic

24. Describe your family dynamic of your childhood vs. your family dynamic now.


Comparison of certain elements: 

I'm the oldest child and I have a younger brother. My oldest is a girl, the youngest a boy. SAME :)

My mom is a francophone, my dad an anglophone and we spoke mostly French in the home, though my dad would speak to us kids in English. In my own marriage, we also speak different first languages (mine are French and English, husband's is Arabic). We speak French as a main language to the kids, English together.

Religion: I was raised as a non-practicing Catholic, both parents are Catholic. In my family, my husband is a Muslim, I'm whatever-I-am, an agnostic theist... Kids are Muslim. So far, we are not really practicing, but we're still more spiritual than my family as a kid and when the kids start to ask questions, they will be lead towards religion unlike me and my brother. 

Financially: It was tougher for my parents than it has been for me and my husband. My parents (especially my mom) had to take super crappy jobs to get by. My mom went back to finish high school when I was a child to be able to get a better job and it worked, since then they have been in a more stable financial situation and have better jobs. Both me and my husband started our lives together having completed "some college/university" which is where we still stand... But me speaking and writing French and English fluently coupled with luck got me the good job I have now and my husband... it took some time because of his limited French (he's really good now) but he got a job in a shop which they considered him overqualified for the very first day there, and since then 3 years ago he has been moving up positions and salary. Thank God for these opportunities to live a stable life financially and for not having to live through too many hardships in that area. 

Home: Though it was tougher for my parents financially for some years, they had their own home. Me and my bro each had our rooms, we had a pool outside. We had a dog. Right now, we rent and often go play at my parents where we keep a lot of the kids' things (trampoline, bikes, sandbox, etc). We now have a cat at home and I love him, but it's not the same for me as a dog person.

Discipline: Me and my brother are completely different children than my kids. We were a lot less to manage... Not hyperactive, just regular kids with regular energy levels and pretty good obedience overall. I remember being sent to my room a couple times but I just climbed out the window and that was that - no extra punishment for the disrespect. We punish our kids a lot more, there's timeout (aka "the corner"), going to their room, losing privileges. It feels like we've been trying everything since my daughter was 1 year old. It's tough! They are quite a lot to manage, very high energy, very stubborn, etc. 

Parents: I don't remember my parents fighting much at all. They would go out partying together maybe once a month or two. They didn't show physical affection in front of us very much (kissing, holding hands, etc.) but they called each other nicknames and we were a pretty tight unit. With my husband there have been A LOT of ups and downs which includes fights that I regret that my kids (especially daughter) has witnessed or at least heard. My husband is less "into" the family than my dad was, doesn't always eat at the table with me and the kids and if he does he's reading his own thing, there's no family conversation during the meal. His presence has been less reliable than my dad when it comes to routinely being there for the kids. When it comes to affection, me and my husband are more open about being affectionate with one another when the kids are there (in the house) when we feel like it. 

Activities: My dad was the main guy for activities for me and my brother. He would bring us to hockey, soccer, basketball practices and be our coach. He'd be the one to bring us sliding in the winter, he's the one we took walks with outside, he brought us grocery shopping. He's the one who came to play with us in the pool, he brought us to our activities, he talked to our teachers to find out how we were doing. In our case, I'm the one who takes care of all that for the kids.

Outings/vacations: I never had an actual vacation as a kid. We would have a couple day outings here and there but hardly ever further than 1h away by car. I didn't really get to experience the outside world as a kid - I mostly only knew my life here in my little city. With my kids, we go away from our city A LOT more often and it's not a huge planned trip to go 1h away, it can be spur of the moment, unlike my childhood. My daughter has been to Egypt twice and we might be going again this year. My daughter knows a lot more about other cultures and languages than I did at her age, she knows there's a lot out there to discover and is interested by it all. 

Overall

I would say my parents allowed us a more stable childhood than what I've been giving my kids. Their relationship, living at the same place my entire life, their routine. It taught me a lot of good things and allowed me to always feel secure. I was an extremely happy child, not a worry in the world! 

I don't think my kids are worried or have any stress on them because of our lifestyle, but they have certainly not seen the most stable of marriages to give them an example of what they should look for in adulthood. We talk about things a lot me and my daughter and I think that our conversations and being able to see my parents as often as she does will help her know a normal relationship from a dysfunctional one when the time comes. 

We have some work to do as a family but we also have some strengths over my parents which add another little something to our kids that I might not have had... 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

30 Things Day 23: Hobbies

I never finished this thing when I started it a LONG time ago! Here I am to continue, click my tag "30 things" if you're interested in reading the others. 

23. List your top 5 hobbies and why you love them.


1) Running - Setting goals and meeting them. An amazing sense of accomplishment when I get it done. Seeing my fitness improve and feeling better overall. Knowing I'm setting a good example for my kids and husband by leading an active lifestyle. Getting outside and seeing nature when running on trails and in the mountains.

2) Blogging - It's something I do for myself... It's like my diary, but the knowledge that others might be reading helps me be more focused and organized in what I'm saying, and it motivates me to go further in what I want to say, which in turn helps me even more :) Another aspect of blogging is conversation with others, especially on my beauty blog and scrap booking memories on my fully private blog about my children. 

3) Wandering around the internet - I'm sure everyone feels this way for similar reasons! 

4) Going to the park - I love seeing my kids letting loose and having fun and the park is a place where both my children are having fun in a pretty safe setting. 

5) Shopping - After years of hating it, I grew to love shopping. The products, the deals, the variety of items that can be purchased! It's materialistic and not my best quality, but it's still something I enjoy and I won't sit here and deny it. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

So Basically..

All people are to a certain degree mislead, aren't we?

Here are my thoughts:

I say this as someone who believes there's an absolute truth that exists that is totally beyond our knowledge. I believe that we receive little  bits of this truth to work with (part of it in our natural core self, part in inspired books, part through other humans who have taught us, wherever they got it from) but our nature limits what we can understand, and as well leads us in all sorts of "wrong" directions.

Someone who doesn't believe this might just say that we're all on the path we ourselves desire, and that there's nothing "wrong" with any of it (therefore, we can't be "mislead")...

But I really, truly believe that we are unable to FULLY be on this true path.

Most non-religious people might disagree with this because of non-belief in ultimate truth and religious people might disagree because they believe they have all they need to fully understand the true path in whichever book or tradition they follow.

Seeing the differences in interpretation of the very same text or tradition seems a super-clear proof that we just can't know what is the truth! Seeing how many people believe each different interpretation, none of which are more or less intelligent than the others overall... Well, I can't say it differently: it's proof that we can't know which is the true. Knowledge and belief are VERY DIFFERENT THINGS!

And if there's one thing that's knowledge, it's that there's a WHOLE LOT that we don't know!



I'll leave it at this for now but I think I'll continue on this train of thought another day. :)

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