4 Ways to Address Your Anxieties About Starting a Family

4 Ways to Address Anxieties about Starting a Family

Wow, you guys, have I missed blogging! This unexpected blog break went longer than I anticipated. These past few months have been filled with wedding planning and enjoying the summer with my family, but I can’t wait to get back into a regular blog routine. Today, I’m super excited to have Kayla Matthews from Productivity Theory sharing some great ways to address anxieties about starting a family. Caleb and I fall into the absolutely-we-want-children category, but I have some friends who are still on the fence. Undecided or not, these four tactics are a must when it comes to deciding to start a family. Be sure to leave some comments on what you all think!


It seems like there are two types of couples in the world: Couples who are absolutely sure they want children and couples who are absolutely sure they do not want kids. In reality, there’s also the category of couples who can’t decide whether or not they want kids.

It makes sense to be in the undecided category. Children can simultaneously be a tremendous blessing and a heavy burden. Child-rearing is not for everyone. There are many concerns that need to be addressed before you take the jump and decide to start a family. Everything from financial planning to discipline techniques will cross your mind as you consider having kids. However, there are ways to confront and dispel your anxieties. If you don’t know whether or not you should start a family, start by addressing your concerns with these four tactics.

1. Involve Your Partner

You definitely must involve your partner in your decision making process. If you are on the fence about having kids, you need to see where his feelings lie. He may surprise you and be totally on board with having kids, or maybe he has no desire whatsoever. If you haven’t had the “when are we having babies” conversation yet, the time is now!

As soon as you figure out what your partner wants, or if he even knows what he wants, the process will be a little easier. Plan your family together. Talk through all of your anxieties. Is this the right time for you? Will there ever be a right time? Discuss what frightens you about children and discuss what excites you about having kids. Talk about what you want your lives to look like in 10 years. Are there kids in the picture? Are you happily married and childless? If you are undecided, a long conversation about what you and your partner want is just what you need.

Also, before you start a family, you need to be sure that your relationship with your partner is in a healthy place. Plan practical ways to nurture your marriage while raising children. If there are any signs of abuse, be it verbal, emotional or physical, you cannot have children. An abusive environment is not a safe place for babies and it’s certainly not safe for the person taking the abuse. Put your relationship’s health first before considering having children.

2. Observe Your Friends With Kids

Chances are strong that you have good friends who already started their families. They may absolutely love being parents. Good for them! You already know their outward opinions. What you need to do is have an open and raw conversation with them.

What is parenthood really like? When will you get past the sleepless nights and, really, how bad is potty-training? They will probably say the kids are worth all of it. Of course it is worth it for those parents because they truly love their kids. Be sure to push them to be honest. What’s worth it to them may not be worth it to you.

Don’t just talk to those friends of yours. Observe them. Do they seem happy overall? Do they seem run down, worn out and just plain tired? To an extent, these are symptoms of parenthood, but are you willing to go through that?

3. Plan Financially

Do some smart financial planning as you consider starting a family. A huge anxiety for couples who can’t decide if they want kids is the financial burden. A child costs a lot of money to raise. A 2010 USDA report on Expenditures on Children by Families says that it can cost anywhere from $8,480 to $23,690, depending on the age of the child. Ask yourself if you are in a good financial position to raise a child. Do you want to raise a family on one income or two? Plan carefully and use logic and reason to think through this concern.

4. Do Your Research

Think about all of the fears you harbor about having a baby. Labor, long nights with no sleep, breastfeeding and even diaper-changing might discourage you from starting a family. Those things are difficult to handle, but certainly not impossible. Read books, follow mommy blogs and ask for advice.

You don’t have to be an expert before you have a baby. There are plenty of resources out there for parents. The internet has everything you need to make an informed decision about even the most specific events. For example, this video checklist tells new parents everything they should consider for their child’s first road trip. You can’t get much more specific than that!

If you’re undecided, someday you’ll need to make a decision. However, there’s nothing wrong with taking the time you need to research, plan and carefully consider starting a family!

What about you? Do you want to start a family? Or are you still on the fence?

Kayla Matthews

Kayla Matthews is a productivity blogger at ProductivityTheory.com. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter to read all of her latest posts!

Image by Viktor Hanacek

I’M GETTING MARRIED!!!

Caleb and Brittany are getting married on August 7, 2016

Yes, you read that right! I’m engaged! As of last Wednesday, April 6 :)

Caleb is the sweetest man on earth. I’m beyond blessed to spend the rest of my life with him. Not only are we best friends, but we’re business partners and each other’s biggest cheerleaders. I’ve loved watching us grow together these past few years–from Maplewood (our high school) social rules to figuring out college, to running a business and celebrating life’s little moments, he’s always been my partner in crime. I’m beyond excited to be his wife!!

Ok, enough mushy stuff, I bet you’re all just dying for the story of how he asked, am I right? :)

On Wednesday, April 6, after my class got over at 12:30, I got dressed up because he told me that we were going out to Omaha. (Pause here for a moment. I had an idea that he was going to propose, because he was only here in Nebraska for a few days, and who goes to a big city in the middle of a week after lunch haha! BUT, I had no idea what he had planned or how he was going to ask.)

So we get in the car and head off for the city. We stopped to have a delicious picnic that he planned for us (it was soooooo good!) and then he took me to the zoo because he knows how much I love Australian animals. So here we are, me in heels and a dress and him in a dress shirt and church shoes, walking around the zoo, being stared at by moms pushing baby strollers in yoga leggings and tennis shoes. And it was fun! :) I loved seeing the penguins, monkeys, and the cute wallaby!

After the zoo, he took me to Modern Love, a top-rated vegan restaurant in Omaha. I had wanted to go here for Valentine’s Day, but they were booked in advance, so I was excited to find out that he had reservations for us at 5:30pm!

After eating a ton of food, we went to the Old Market, the historic district in the city. We found a parking lot and Caleb went to go pay the $5. Turns out, the machine doesn’t give out change. He only had a $10 bill, so it took all $10 and he never got his $5 back. So we said, “oh well!” and decided to move on. He asked me to look up directions to the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, 3,000-foot footbridge across the Missouri River between Iowa and Nebraska.

Well, the bridge was actually a 30-minute walk from where we were, so we decided to give up our $10 parking and drive there :)

Caleb and Brittany are getting married on August 7

It’s now about 7:00pm, and a bit chilly. As we walked onto the bridge, Caleb reminisced on the past four years we’ve spent together. He told me how, after one of the first days we hung out, he was on the sidewalk at our high school and prayed, “Dear Lord, please let her like me!”

As we get closer to the middle, he explains to me why he picked this bridge for a special occasion (cue tears!) In short, he said that no matters what happens in life, through the ups and downs, we will always make a bridge back to each other.

He stops, turns me around, gets down on one knee, and says those magical words, “Brittany May Houchins, will you marry me?”

At this point, both of us are crying! Of course I say yes, yes, yes!! We hug and kiss and then he remembers the ring and says, “Wait! Take this!” :) haha!

I don’t remember any other people being on the bridge at the time, but it turns out that there were actually a bunch of people and their dogs who witnessed the whole thing! They congratulated us and then we went our separate ways.

From then on, I was on Cloud 9! I called my parents and sister to tell them the great news, and then went back to school to find our friends.

The next day, I booked my dream wedding venue for August 7, 2016, a.k.a the best day ever!!

I can’t wait to marry my best friend! :)

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Getting Active This Spring

Tips for getting active this spring.

Springtime is finally here! Seeing the cherry blossoms blooming and watching the grass turn green make my heart leap for joy! :) There’s just something about the warmer weather, sunshine and longer days that gives me an energy boost.

I was talking with Caleb the other day on ways we can make exercising a habit. One thing we’ve decided to do is Crossfit workouts at home (because joining a Crossfit box is expensive). I’ve also decided to go to the Christian yoga studio across the street a few times a week (yes, there’s a Christian yoga studio!).

As we were talking, I realized that getting active really isn’t that hard. With a few basic tools, the long-awaited springtime can be full of fitness and fun. Will you join me? :)

Tips for getting active this spring.

Yoga pants: c/o Yoga Outlet
Athletic jacket: Nike [similar]
Shoes: Nike [similar]
Water bottle: BKR

Tools for getting active this spring

A sense of adventure

Keep your eyes open and you may discover that there are opportunities for getting active right in front of you. Do you drive past a park, mountain, or path every day without a glance? Try stopping the car and exploring the area; you may discover some new favorite spaces. Do you reflexively get behind the wheel to do an errand? Try walking there; it may take longer but you will feel great when you return.

Comfortable yoga pants

Yoga pants are my go-to if I’m doing anything active, whether I’m going on a bike ride, practicing some yoga, or simply running errands on a Sunday morning. Not only are they comfortable, but they come in some pretty cute and flattering styles too!

Supportive shoes

Wearing the right shoes while you’re doing anything active is important to avoid any joint or back pain. Keep in mind that not all shoes are created equal; the activities that you will be doing matter. Running shoes are not the same as trail hiking shoes, and you want to be sure you give your feet the best shot at supporting your body through your springtime activities.

Hydration

Water, water, water; staying hydrated is key to feeling great as your activity increases and the temperature rises. Carry a reusable water bottle with you to make sure you always have something to drink.

“Getting Active” bucket list

Sometimes the hardest thing about getting active is finding the motivation to do so. One way to get encouraged is to create a “Getting Active” bucket list for the spring/summer. Here’s a snippet of mine:

  • Go on a walk around the block after dinner every day
  • Do some spring planting
  • Ride bike on 5 different trails around the state
  • Play frisbee golf with friends
  • Take a yoga or pilates class
  • Do yoga every morning outside
  • Walk around the local zoo or aquarium
  • Bike to the beach instead of driving
  • Play with the neighbor kids outside
  • Rock climb
  • Play tennis with my sister

Something to remember as you’re making your “Getting Active” bucket list: Do what you love. If you are not a fan of going to the gym, why go? I’m not big into running, so I didn’t put that on my list. I considered training for a 5k that’s in the fall, but I decided against it. Why? Not because I’m lazy. Because I simply don’t enjoy running. So do what you love. And soon, you’ll be checking off items on that bucket list of yours in a snap ;)

Tips for getting active this spring.

What about you? What’s on your “Getting Active” bucket list? How do you stay active every day?

#RealTalk: Blogging Less Doesn’t Make You a Bad Blogger

Attempt to live life first; make online updates an echo of that when there’s time. Blogging less doesn't make you a bad blogger.

I haven’t blogged in over a month.

And you know what? That’s ok.

 

Honestly, just a few months ago, the thought of not blogging for even a week was hard for me to wrap my mind around. We’re told that to have a successful blog we need to:

1. Be active on ALL social media

2. Have a new blog post up 3-5 times a week (but the more frequent, the better)

3. Be constantly thinking up ideas of what to blog about

But the truth is, most of us don’t have the time to do all of that. And if we try to do it all (while maintaining healthy relationships with friends and family, managing school/work, raising children, running errands, cooking food, exercising….basically living a life) we might not put our 100% best into what we’re sharing with the world.

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Fresh Thyme Farmers Market + Skin Care Giveaway

*I was compensated with free products from Fresh Thyme to use in this giveaway*

MyChelle Dermaceuticals skincare set AND $25 Fresh Thyme Farmers Market gift card giveaway!

Fresh. Healthy. Natural. Organic.

Those words are big in today’s society. It seems like everyone is jumping on the healthy bandwagon…and that’s a great thing! I’m all about eating organic and incorporating more fresh fruits and vegetables in our diets.

Last week I had the opportunity to check out a new store here in Lincoln called Fresh Thyme Farmers Market and just had to share my thoughts with you. At first I thought it was just another expensive health food store, but boy was I wrong!

Think Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s.

Now imagine they both met and had a baby.

That’s Fresh Thyme.

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