Should You Get Married Young? How To Deal With Arguments

Should You Get Married Young? How To Deal With Arguments

SHOULD YOU GET MARRIED YOUNG? HOW TO DEALING WITH ARGUMENTS

Last month I wrote the first article in my series of blog posts covering the topic of ‘young marriage’. If you are unfamiliar with my story, I got engaged at 19, married at 20 and became a mama at 21. This month’s installment is going to be all about arguments and how to deal with them in a healthy way.

Part 2: Dealing With Arguments

Unfortunately, your marriage WILL encounter conflict at some point. Probably much more frequently than you think when you’re in that ‘butterflies’ stage. Anger, resentment and conflicting opinions are sadly extremely common when two people spend a lot of time together. It is part of being a human. Whilst being young does not necessarily mean you will argue more (I know many older couples who argue far more than me and my husband) I do think you need a certain amount of maturity to deal with conflict in a healthy way. The problem is even though arguments and disagreements are to be somewhat expected in a marriage, they have the power to tear it down if they are not dealt with properly. If you are constantly butting heads you will begin to resent the other person, and you may begin to forget why you married them in the first place. Constant arguing means both of you are likely to feel unhappy, not looking forward to coming home, which is obviously not a nice way to live. So what is the best way to deal with inevitable disagreements? Is there really a RIGHT way to argue? No, I’m not an expert, but I’ve had enough arguments with my husband to know the right and wrong way to go about it.

What NOT to do!

Don’t make threats.
It can be easy in the heat of the moment to threaten the D word, especially if your arguments have you wondering if you actually married the right person, but this is one of the absolute worst things you can do! Making these kind of threats just tear down the trust you have built together, which ultimately is the foundation for a strong marriage. These kind of threats make your other half feel as if you are giving up on the relationship, and that you could walk out at any second. Unless you are actually saying that you want a divorce (because of something like abuse or infidelity) don’t even utter the word. There may be no going back if you do.

Don’t go to bed angry.
You’ve probably heard this one before, but I’m not talking about brushing it all under the carpet and forgetting about it so that you can go to bed. If the issue hasn’t been resolved come bedtime, pretending it never happened is not a healthy or productive thing to do. What is healthy and productive though, is agreeing to calmly address the issue in the morning. Quite often when we’re tired we don’t deal with things properly, and a good nights sleep may be all you need to see the disagreement in a new light. So halt the conversation, give each other a kiss and a cuddle, get some sleep and come back to it when you are both rested and have had time to think.

Don’t argue about unnecessary things.
I’m definitely guilty of this one, but I’ve got much better in recent years. When you find yourself feeling like you want to start up an argument, step back for a moment and pause before you say anything. Ask yourself “Is this really important?” Quite often we can think that something is the end of the world, when really it doesn’t matter that much. If it doesn’t matter than much, is it worth having an argument over? You certainly shouldn’t hide your feelings (that can lead to all sorts of other problems), but if it’s not that big of a deal then consider letting it go. We all make mistakes.

Don’t dig things up from the past.
Reminding your partner of that crappy thing they did four years ago is not going to help anyone. It’s going to make you both angry about something that you have already argued about and settled. Once you’ve had the discussion, leave it and move on with your lives.

What you SHOULD do!

Be open to compromise.
It’s highly unlikely you will get exactly what you want in an argument, and striving for that will just make things worse. Think about it, if both people arguing are completely set on their views and won’t budge, how on earth are they meant to resolve things? Rather than aiming to completely change your partners’ views to match your own, be willing to meet somewhere in the middle. Take the time to listen to what they have to say, consider their point of view and offer some sort of compromise. You may not get exactly what you want, but both of you will leave the disagreement feeling like you have gained rather than lost.
Speak kindly.
Have a think about what you are going to say before you say it. How can you make your point without your partner feeling as if they are being attacked? If you use kind words and remain calm during an argument, it will be more of a mature discussion as opposed to a full blown fight, and you are much more likely to have your voice heard than if you go in all guns blazing.
Take a deep breath.
If you feel yourself starting to get angry try taking a deep breath and counting to ten. It will allow you to calm down and think properly before you say something that you will later regret. If ten seconds isn’t enough time to control your anger, tell your partner that you need to take a break and you will continue this conversation later.
Remember that no one is perfect.
If you want your partner to be perfect you are letting yourself in for a huge disappointment. We all sin. We all make mistakes. Accept that two people are going to have two different opinions sometimes. That is what makes us all unique. If we all had the same opinion the world would be a very boring place. Rather than focusing on everything that is wrong with your partner, take a moment to appreciate all the wonderful things. After all, you walked down the aisle for a reason. Remember those reasons.

Do you have any tips for dealing with arguments in your marriage? How do you go about it? Do you need to work on finding healthier solutions? Let’s take the discussion to the comments below!

WELL HEY THERE!

I'm Becca! I found myself flung into the world of changing nappies and trying (and failing) to run a home when I was just 20 years old. I started Homemakers In Action to help others out there who are struggling to find their inner domestic goddess.

Should You Get Married Young? Budgeting and Family Finance

Should You Get Married Young? Budgeting and Family Finance

SHOULD YOU GET MARRIED YOUNG? BUDGETING AND FAMILY FINANCE

I got engaged when I was 19, married when I was 20 and had my first baby when I was 21. When I tell people that I am pretty much always given the same response… “Why on earth would you get married so young?!” 

^^ Note that it’s never having a baby that shocks people, it’s just the marriage part! That says a thing or two about our society doesn’t it?

My answer to this is always the same… “Because I love him and have absolutely no interest in being with anyone else ever.” I always feel a little silly saying it, because I would have thought this answer would be obvious, but apparently not. For some reason, people these days think being married is a huge burden. Before we ‘settle down’ we should travel, get our careers sorted, have fun! Apparently it’s not possible to do both (even though since being married I have climbed the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, figured out what I want to do as a career and have laughed more than I ever thought was possible!) They also seem to think that it is impossible to know who is ‘the one’ at such a young age.

Walking down the aisle with my grandfather giving me away – 16th February 2015

Let me just start by saying that I have seen couples get married at 40 years old and still get divorced five years later, and I have seen couples who got married at 18 who are still together after 20 odd years. Your age does not determine how successful a marriage will be. What determines how successful a marriage will be is how prepared you BOTH are for the commitment, how adaptable to change and sacrifice you BOTH are, and how hard you BOTH work to keep the spark alive. End of.
So, with this topic in mind I decided to start a series that’s all about being married at a young age. There’s not much positive writing out there for us young wives, so I think it is extremely overdue. Marriage is not easy, and you should definitely wait until you are absolutely sure about who you are marrying, but once you are sure you shouldn’t let your age be the thing standing in your way. I hope this series will be the encouragement you need if you are engaged or married at a young age to say “SCREW YOU!” to anyone who tells you that you’re too young.

Part 1: Budgeting & Family Finance

When my husband and I got married we found ourselves in a pretty stressful financial situation. Whilst we both had decent paying jobs, we also had a lot of very large expenses thrown at us all in one go. We had been living with my husband’s father, so when we moved into our current home we had to pay the deposit and all the expenses associated with moving straight out of our back pockets, with no deposit coming back from any previous homes. We also had the cost of the wedding and honeymoon (we were lucky enough to have our family help us out with this, but it was still expensive). On top of that we found out we were expecting our daughter very shortly after the wedding (um… HELLO?! How the frig are we meant to pay for a third person?!) AND we had to buy a new car. With all of this put together, we sort of felt like we were drowning in that first year.
 
The good news is we didn’t need a lot to make us happy. We had a look at our expenses and decided what was a priority for us to spend money on aside from our non-negotiable bills, which was food, fuel for the car and building our savings so that we could one day buy a house. Because we had decided early on that these were our priorities, our fridge was never empty, we always had a full tank of gas and our savings account was growing by a decent amount each month.
Luxuries were just that… luxuries. We would get eat out at a restaurant and buy new clothes if (and only IF) we could afford it; if we had a little extra left over at the end of the month. We found new cheapie or free ways to have fun. Approaching our finances in this way paid off, because we are now in a situation where we need to move to a bigger house and we are not particularly worried about paying for it. We are in a position where we can realistically see ourselves buying a house in about five years time, which is just a pipe-dream for many young people these days. We can even treat ourselves more frequently because we have figured out little ways to keep our expenses down whilst our incomes have been gradually creeping up.
In order to make sure we definitely could afford whatever we wanted to buy, I used (and still do use!) a budgeting spreadsheet. You can get the one I use for free here.

You won’t have to scrimp and save forever!

It may feel that way in the beginning, but just remember that no matter how frustrating it is to be living on the ‘bare minimum’, it is only temporary. By prioritizing what you are going to spend your money on and accepting the fact that for the time being you may have to go without a few things, your financial situation WILL better itself and your savings account WILL grow.
The best advice I can offer you is to approach your budget and your finances together as a couple, to talk about it and decide TOGETHER what your priorities are. What are you aiming towards? What point do you both want to reach? Now that you are married your money is both of your responsibilities, even if one person earns more than the other. You now share your income and your debt, so you have to approach it together.
Now that we are a little more free with our finances, we are able to make larger purchases without feeling guilty, but we still make sure to include each other in the decision making process. I would never go out and buy a fancy new camera for my YouTube channel without talking to my husband about it first. When one of us wants to purchase something over the value of, say £20, we ALWAYS sit down together and explain why we need it, what benefit it will bring to us and why the cost is justified. This has not only meant that we get a second pair of eyes on whether or not a purchase is truly worth it, but it has also built this amazing sense of trust between us.
Our marriage is not perfect and money can be the cause of tension between us sometimes, but by working through it together rather than being rash and going out and buying something just to spite the other person, we have arrived at this wonderful mutual place where we do have a little bit of disposable income. So I would like to encourage you now, rather than having separate bank accounts and having one person who is ‘in charge of the finances’, do it together. Be a team. After all, that’s what marriage is all about. Two people coming together to form a badass unbreakable superteam!

WELL HEY THERE!

I'm Becca! I found myself flung into the world of changing nappies and trying (and failing) to run a home when I was just 20 years old. I started Homemakers In Action to help others out there who are struggling to find their inner domestic goddess.

Ultimate Daily Cleaning Routine: 7 Chores You Need To Do

Ultimate Daily Cleaning Routine: 7 Chores You Need To Do

Ultimate Daily Cleaning Routine: 7 Chores You Need To Do

Did you know that 68% of working mothers feel guilty that their homes aren’t clean enough? For a long time my house was messy, chaotic, and to be perfectly honest, dirty. I found no joy whatsoever in cleaning or tidying, and I certainly didn’t stick to a daily cleaning routine. I just sort of accepted the fact that I was not domestically inclined. It probably didn’t help that the first flat I lived in that was MINE (i.e. I didn’t have my mum picking up things after me) was pretty… well… gross when I first moved in. The dirt and grime were so thick it was impossible to clean (I did try! Honest!) and so I kind of gave up on cleaning, resided myself to the fact that I would be living in a dirty environment and let myself form bad (and lazy) habits.

When I got married however I knew that things needed to change.

My husband was used to my mother in law (the queen of clean) so he couldn’t bare living in a dirty house, and with kids on my mind, I certainly didn’t want to bring them into my home the way it was. I scoured the internet for cleaning routines and tried and failed many, many, many times to copy them. I would go through a few days of being a domestic goddess, before falling into my bad habits once again and letting it all build up. It was a never-ending downward spiral.

The good news is… I fixed it.

Nowadays my daily cleaning checklist is my best friend (ya know, the kind of best friend that you don’t always get on with), so much so that I’ve printed it out on pretty paper and have it sitting pride of place on my fridge door.

I figured out that the reason all those other attempts had failed was because I was trying to copy someone else. I was trying to incorporate their cleaning schedule into my life. But the problem with doing that is no one’s circumstances are going to be exactly like yours. Someone who is a stay at home mum is going to have a lot more time to clean than someone who works full-time away from the home. Someone who has six kids is going to have more to clean than someone with just one. The best advice I can offer when putting together your daily cleaning checklist is to make it work FOR YOU. No one else.

Having a daily cleaning routine doesn’t mean I’m cleaning all day every day.

Quite the opposite in fact… I’ve found that a daily cleaning routine has enabled me to spend less time deep cleaning because I am simply maintaining what is already clean. It also doesn’t mean my house is perfect all the time. There are still days where I am just so damned tired that I leave the dishes until the morning. But for the most part, my house looks decent enough that I am always happy to have guests round, and that is thanks to my daily checklist.

So, without further ado, here are the 7 daily chores that I think are essential in keeping your house looking sheksy…

  • Make the beds as soon as everyone is up. Some days this doesn’t get done until the afternoon because my husband works nights so he sleeps all morning, but I still try to get it done. It’s just so much nicer to slip into a nicely made bed rather than having to fumble around figuring out which way round the duvet should go.
  • Give the bathroom a once over. This takes five minutes and it means when bathroom cleaning day rolls round I really don’t have that much to do. I simply wipe down the sink and surfaces with a bathroom cleaning wipe, use another wipe to go over the toilet, pop a bit of bleach into the toilet bowl and return to give it a quick scrub after breakfast.
  • Wash dishes after every meal AND put them away. I struggle with this most after dinner because THE LAST thing I want to do after I’ve had a big meal and am getting tired is to go wash up. If I don’t though I end up hating myself in the morning!
  • Wipe down counters and tabletops after use. This is a thirty-second job and really helps to keep the place looking clean.
  • Sweep the floor once after lunch and again after dinner. With Élise crawling around all day it’s important to me that the floors stay crumb free.
  • Wipe down the hob and the microwave in the evening. Obviously, I only do this if I have used them, but it just prevents grease from building up.
  • Do a twenty minute tidy. You’d be amazed what you can get done in twenty minutes. Depending on what needs doing this could include vacuuming, doing a load of laundry, mopping the hardwood floors, dusting etc.

Because I love you all (and this cleaning checklist!) so very much, I have created a free printable version for you to stick on your very own fridge door! Or in your homemaking binder, whatever strikes your fancy. Just download it here, print out on A4 paper and cut out. Simples!

Also, you can see what my daily routine looks like in this video! I tried to capture my average day as accurately as possible, but obviously, every day will look slightly different.

Now it’s your turn!

I want to know what YOUR must-do chores are in your daily cleaning routine. Every family is different, and what works for me may not work for you. Comment below what your daily cleaning routine looks like and why it works for your household. If I think yours is extra awesome, I may just include it in this blog post! Helpful information to include would be how many people there are in your house, the age ranges of your children, whether you work outside of the home or not, and who primarily does most of the cleaning. I’m so looking forward to reading them!

WELL HEY THERE!

I'm Becca! I found myself flung into the world of changing nappies and trying (and failing) to run a home when I was just 20 years old. I started Homemakers In Action to help others out there who are struggling to find their inner domestic goddess.

How To Conquer Stress In Your Morning Routine (Watch The Video!)

How To Conquer Stress In Your Morning Routine (Watch The Video!)

DE-STRESS YOUR MAMA MORNING ROUTINE

Do you feel like by the time the morning rush is over you're ready to crawl back into bed? A recent study has found that 59% of mothers feel tired 'all the time'. Many admitted to feeling stressed, missing sleep and skipping meals. The morning time when you've got littles can be stressful and crazy. It's all too easy to roll out of bed bleary-eyed to the sound of crying and then instantly enter 'survival mode'. That's why my morning routine is without a doubt the most important part of my day.

If I don't take some time first thing when I get up to get myself prepared mentally and physically for the day, I just kind of... suck. It has taken a LOT of trial and error to figure out what I need to get out of my morning, and a LOT of slowly transitioning myself into being a morning person. In addition, my morning routine will probably change as more babies and more work and more of life get thrown at me.

Read on to find out how to have a calm start to the day - trust me, it'll change your life!

Consider Getting Up BEFORE Your Children

I know, I know, I know. I'm basically shouting curse words at you right now. But I you can, I would HIGHLY recommend setting the alarm so that you have some time before your kids wake up. Picture this: A quiet house. There is a steaming cup of coffee on the table that you can actually enjoy hot. You have some time to read or pray or journal. No one is calling you or asking you to get this bit of gum out of their hair that they somehow slept on.

Use That Picture As Motivation

As much as it may be difficult to pull yourself out of bed earlier than you HAVE to, keep that picture in your mind. Use it as a bit of inspiration and motivation. Think to yourself... 'If I don't get up right now I'm going to miss out on that me-time'. In order to have a successful morning routine, you need to actually give yourself the time and the opportunity to have a routine in place. The thing with being a mama is that you very rarely have time to yourself, therefore the morning is a crucial opportunity to look after yourself. If you don't, how the heck are you meant to look after your family?

Prep The Night Before

A good morning routine starts the night before. Short of sleeping in tomorrow's clothing, you should have everything prepared for the following day before you go to bed. Have bags packed, outfits laid out, lunches made and alarms set. Make sure you have checked the calendar so you know exactly what is on the agenda, and make your job in the mornings as easy as you possibly can. That way when you go to head out of the door in the morning all you have to grab is your bag (which has been helpfully placed next to the door) and you're good to go.

Write A List

Particularly when you're first starting out with a new morning routine it can be extremely helpful to write down what you want to get done. You could even write times next to each item so that you have a guide of how long you should be spending doing each thing. No more getting distracted reading your book and then realising you need to be out of the door in 5 minutes! This tip can also work for kids! Just pin a chart up on their wall that they can tick off when they have brushed their teeth, made their bed, got dressed etc.

Morning Time Is Family Time

If you're rushing around like a mad woman in the morning, you're missing out on one of the best bits - family time! Slow down a little and take the time to enjoy your kids before they shoot off to school. Actually sit down and eat breakfast as a family (which is made all the more easy when you prep the night before like we've already discussed!) My rule is the second my daughter wakes up I will stop whatever I am doing (besides peeing - that I can finish haha) and go and give her snuggles.

Put Some Beats On

It is a well-known fact that upbeat music can wake you up and lift your spirits. Try playing your favourite tunes - preferably happy, get-up-and-dance type tunes - and having a boogie with your kids. It will be a great memory that they will always look back on. It's much better to be the crazy mama who danced in the mornings than the stressed out mama who rushes everyone out of the door the second they wake up.

Learn From The Best

I've really struggled to prioritise my mornings in the past. It wasn't until I took Crystal Paine's Make Over Your Mornings course that I really began to make the most of those early hours. This lady is THE QUEEN of morning routines. If you are looking to really nail your mornings and create an intentional routine that is moulded specifically for you and your family, you will absolutely love this course! If you’d like to purchase it and create your own kick-butt morning routine you can do so by clicking on the link below. I don’t promote anything I don’t truly believe in, and I can promise you that it has completely changed the way I look at my mornings. I would 100% recommend trying it out.

So, what does my morning routine with my eleven-month-old look like?

  • I get woken up by my beautiful daughter at about 7 am. Sometimes it's earlier and very rarely it's later (it's a good day if it's later!). I used to get up before her and my husband when she was a tiny baby because she would sleep until about 9 am and I absolutely loved having some time to myself before entering 'mama mode'. Now that she's waking earlier, is a lot more of a handful AND I'm back at my full-time job, I make sure to get every second of sleep that I can.
  • As soon as I wake up I change Élise's bum. I then take her into the living room and let her play with some toys while I make myself some much-needed coffee. Coffee is my friend. I love coffee. A lot. I then like to watch YouTube videos (though at the moment I am watching Crystal Paine's Make Over Your Mornings E-Course instead) for as long as bubba is happy playing. I also get my to-do list written while I'm in full on motivated mode. If I leave it too long, it just doesn't happen.

You can download the daily docket that I use to plan my days right here!

  • After ten to fifteen minutes bubba is about ready for her breakfast. I make her up some porridge and I try to remember to eat myself as well. I've gone far too long skipping breakfast, and it's really not good for my metabolism. A favourite breakfast of mine is greek yoghurt with granola, berries and honey. Nom! I pop Élise into her highchair and feed her with one hand and myself with the other. Mamas are amazing multi-taskers, don't ya know?
  • After breakfast we have playtime. This is my favourite part of the morning because I can see the cogs turning in her little head as she explores things with me. It's our little mama-daughter time, and it is priceless. Once I feel like I have spent a good amount of time playing with her, I'll set a timer for 20 minutes on my phone. This motivates me to get my chores done. I basically try to beat the clock and get as much done as possible in that short amount of time. Just 20 minutes of cleaning is a whole lot less intimidating than the thought of cleaning the whole house.
  • Finally, it's time for bubba's nap at about 11 am. I'll give her a bottle of milk and put her down, which then gives me an opportunity to tidy up the mess that she inevitably has made. I'll then wash up from breakfast, get myself washed and dressed and then, if I'm lucky, I'll have enough time for a cuppa tea before she wakes.

Fancy seeing it in action? Well, that's good because I made a video just for you!

Now It's Your Turn!

I want to know what YOUR morning routine looks like. Share what you do in the morning below for a chance to be featured in a blog post! Let me know what you do to ensure your morning runs smoothly, and how often it actually goes as planned. I look forward to hearing from you! Now it's time for me to go and make another cup of coffee. Becca, out!

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WELL HEY THERE!

I'm Becca! I found myself flung into the world of changing nappies and trying (and failing) to run a home when I was just 20 years old. I started Nappies & Nail Polish to help others out there who are struggling to find their inner domestic goddess.