Breastfeeding, Pregnancy and Housework OH MY! My SAHM Update

SAHM
I’ve had the privilege of staying at home with my girls full time for the last four months. While life has been busy, it truly has been rewarding and lots of fun. It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to have my family and home be my main focus and responsibility. Many people believe the myth that being a SAHM means you get to lounge around all day, talk on the phone and eat snacks; where anyone would get such a ridiculous idea I have no clue!! For me being a SAHM means serving my husband and my children and taking care of home full time without the responsibility of full time outside work. Being a SAHM is work that I LOVE and ADORE doing most of the time but don’t get it twisted, it IS WORK.

Our girls are 2 1/2 and 8 months and it’s so cool to watch them grow and learn new things right before my eyes. Of course there is the constant challenge of learning to balance time with my husband, playing, teaching and disciplining the girls and getting things done around the house. Some days the laundry or the dishes don’t get done and I have to learn to be okay with that.

MOM

To ensure that I get rest and stay sane, I wake my girls up early so that they can be tired at a decent time for a nap and have an early bed time. There’s lots of cooking, cleaning, bathing, playing, disciplining, teaching, cuddling, bathing, tickling, reading and arts and crafts going on throughout the day. I start my day running and by the end of some days I haven’t eaten much, my hair never left my scarf and my body is aching but I go to bed still grateful for the chance to be at home and not in the work force.

BOY

Last November, my husband and I were surprised and overjoyed to find out that we were expecting another baby. Our youngest daughter was four months at that time. In the midst of my shock and mixed emotions, my awesome husband was happy and very encouraging. My husband reminded me that God was with us, we were a great team and everything would be fine. Now I am almost five months pregnant and everything with baby and I has been great. This week we found out that we’re expecting a baby boy!! We’re over the moon excited to welcome our son into our family this July.

To many people’s surprise, Elaina and I still have a great nursing relationship. It IS possible to nurse while pregnant. For me, nursing while pregnant hasn’t been any different from when I nursed my oldest daughter Elyssa. Many people, including one doctor, told that me that my milk would dry up soon after pregnancy and Elaina would refuse my milk but so far neither of those things have happened thank God. I believe that God will give me peace about when to wean her. My prayer is that she and I will both be okay with weaning when the time comes and it will be a smooth transition before our son is born.

The everyday challenges of being a SAHM plus being pregnant, nursing a baby and chasing a toddler makes for some very interesting, tiring days. But I most say that it hasn’t been as challenging as I thought it would be and I give all glory to God for that. God continues to give me the grace, energy, joy and wisdom needed to care for the girls and stay rested and healthy for myself and my son. The days that I have energy I pick different projects to do like cooking multiple meals, clean the house, do laundry etc, and the days that I don’t have energy, I care for the girls and make sure we’re all feed and safe lol. My husband is a great cook and has lots of patience so when I’m tired and short tempered, he steps in, cooks and cares for the girls while I rest. It’s a HUGE blessing to have a spouse who is helpful and selfless with a kind heart. I love you Eddie Willis III and I thank God for you!!!!!

As moms we go through different seasons in life, sometimes we work inside the home and sometimes we work outside the home; there isn’t a right or a wrong regarding this in my opinion. Being a SAHM is not for everyone and I would never say that all women should stay home with their children. Being at home full time requires a certain amount of grace and patience that I believe only God can give and it’s not for everyone! I have my Masters in Counseling and I know that my career days are not over. I love counseling others, helping them overcome obstacles and reach their goals. Let me just say that I loved my job. I was a Social Worker for nine years and I believed in the work that we did to help our community. The last year that I was working, I felt that the time was drawing near for me to close that chapter of my life for a period and start a new one. Now instead of heading to meetings and conducting sessions with families, I’m watching the clock to keep my girls on their schedule, helping them grow, learn and conducting playdates and I LOVE IT!

I’m finding that I have more time and energy for my husband which is awesome. On his off days, we spend time together with our children and without them. As I mentioned earlier, my hubby is a hands on husband and dad and he makes sure he helps around the house and with the girls. (He’s always fixing something to save us money. It pays to have a husband whose good with his hands!) He also pushes me to go out and take some “me time” or hang out with my girlfriends often. As you can imagine with me not having to deal with the stress and politics that come with working outside the home and him helping around the house, things have been pretty hott in the bedroom!!! That’s evident by our current bun in the oven! We’re a young happily married couple and we make time to enjoy one another! We’re determined not to get caught up in work and children and never take time to talk, laugh or love on one another. I desire him and he desires me. Team Willis all the way baby!!

I love photography and this past December I started my own business called J. Victoria Photography. I’ve worked with some amazing people and children and I’m having lots of fun! I’m still developing my skill and learning the business but I’m enjoying the process! I created a studio inside my home so I get to work from home doing a few sessions a week and it’s something I love doing so that’s really cool! I want my clients to have a great experience and receive good quality pictures at an affordable price. I’d love for my readers to “like” my J. Victoria Photography Facebook page and if you’re in Michigan, message me about our promotions and packages, please visit https://www.facebook.com/Jvictoriaphotography

If you’re a stay at home mom please be encouraged. I know some days you may not feel appreciated, hubby may not say thank you and the children may behave like wild animals, but tomorrow will be better. We must continue to seek our Heavenly Father and thank Him for providing us the chance to be home for this season and ask Him to continue to equipt us with everything we need while we are in it. Remember, you ARE a great mom and you ARE doing an awesome job!!!

Are You Up For The Fight??

Today I ask a simple question, are you willing to FIGHT for your marriage? When the communication is challenging, when the bills are stacked high, when the sex isn’t frequent, when you can’t seem to agree on the big or little things anymore, are you willing to FIGHT!!?! Marriage is a lot of fun but lots of work. Everyday isn’t perfect but we are to work hard to keep our marriages happy, healthy, HOT and holy!

I believe that marriage is forever. Whether things are good, bad, pretty or ugly, it is forever. Maybe one might say, “Of course this is easy to say when you haven’t been through a major storm,” but I see it differently. I believe that if you start out knowing that you’re in your marriage for life, when the storms come you won’t be as easily shaken and ready to jump ship. When we say “I Do” before God we are making a covenant and committment to trust God and remain faithful to Him, our vows and each other.  Today I ask you, will you continue to trust God and remain faithful to your spouse, your partner for life and continue to work, pray and fight to be happy? Please note that I am not talking about people staying in abusive, unhealthy or unsafe relationships. I’m saying that everyday won’t be happy, perfect and easy, but when you invest in your marriage (reading books on marriage, going to church, counseling, spending time together talking, praying and being intimate) you can get through anything together.

  1 Corinthians 13:3-7 Message Bible

   Love never gives up.
   Love cares more for others than for self.
   Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
   Love doesn’t strut,
   Doesn’t have a swelled head,
   Doesn’t force itself on others,
   Isn’t always “me first,”
   Doesn’t fly off the handle,
   Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
   Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
   Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
   Puts up with anything,
   Trusts God always,
   Always looks for the best,
   Never looks back,
   But keeps going to the end.

8 Tips to stay happily married

1. Walk in forgiveness

2. Learn to praise your spouse for what their doing good

3. Set aside time weekly to spend time together doing something romantic or fun

4. Don’t rehearse in your mind all the things your spouse is doing wrong, instead think on the things that they are doing good. Rehearse in your mind what you love about them. Philippians 4:8-9

5. Pray for your spouse daily. Thank God for them and ask God to help you meet their needs. 

6. Make time for sex and learn how to please one another.

7. Learn to communicate respectfully. Keep the communication going. Example: text, email or send love notes to let each other know you love and are thinking about one another.

8. Seek godly counsel during the rough patches and keep your family and friends out of your marriage. Godly counsel can be your spiritual mentor, other Christian couples, a Christian counselor etc You want to talk to people who will speak life over your marriage and not death.

Prayer for the marriages

Thank you Lord for every married person reading this post. Thank you Lord for giving them the grace to be strong and happy in their marriage. Thank you for sending them the needed resources and laborers to help them when times get hard. Lord I ask you to help them show their spouse mercy and help them to forgive daily. Help them to make their marriage a priority and help them to focus on meeting their spouses needs. During the hard times Lord, walk with them and guide them through the storm. Help them to be long-suffering and patient with their spouse as you are with them. Help them to laugh and enjoy their spouse like they did when they were dating. Thank you for the victory and fulfillment in their marriage bed, finances and communication. Thank you for all these things in Jesus name amen!

I DOUBLE DARE YOU TO BE THE BEST WIFE YOU CAN BE

A few days ago, I woke up thinking about my marriage and my family; what was going well and what areas I wanted God to help us improve. Naturally, I started thinking about what I wanted my husband to do and the Holy Spirit quickly put me in check and reminded me of what He called me to do. He sent me to 1 Peter 3:1-2. Ladies, after you read these verses, you’ll see that God’s calling all of us to consistently step our game up.

1 Peter 3:1-2 (AMP)

 1IN LIKE manner, you married women, be submissive to your own husbands [subordinate yourselves as being secondary to and dependent on them, and adapt yourselves to them], so that even if any do not obey the Word [of God], they may be won over not by discussion but by the [godly] lives of their wives,

    2When they observe the pure and modest way in which you conduct yourselves, together with your [a] reverence [for your husband; you are to feel for him all that reverence includes: to respect, defer to, revere him–to honor, esteem, appreciate, prize, and, in the human sense, to adore him, that is, to admire, praise, be devoted to, deeply love, and enjoy your husband].

When I read verse two, I immediately felt convicted. I do love and respect my husband but 1 Peter 3:2 broke down love and respect on another level!! 1 Peter 3:1-2 is telling us to submit to, respect, adore, prize, appreciate etc our husbands NO MATTER WHAT. No matter how we feel, if we’re too tired or too busy. Also, no matter if they’re doing all of the above back to us, we are to please God by walking according to His word and glorifying Him in our marriages. So for the rest of the week, I kept these scriptures in the forefront of my mind. It felt good to know that I was walking according to God’s word and it felt good to see my husband pleasantly respond to my extra effort to give him what he needs from me on a daily.  On day two I shared with my husband what I was doing and he said he noticed and appreciated my extra effort to be sweet to him. Then he said I was the best thing that ever happened to him. Of course his encouragement gave me extra fuel to keep going down the right path.

Wives and future wives, let’s make a decision today to not allow our negative thoughts, emotions, fears, past hurts or the worlds backwards views on love and marriage to take root in our hearts. If God has called you to be a wife, then He has anointed you with everything you need to be the wife He designed you to be. I know that in order for me to adore, prize, esteem, respect and admire my husband on a daily basis, I need a consistent prayer life. I am not perfect and neither is he, but walking in the flesh only hurts marriages; we all need to pray and continuously walk in the spirit.

Lastly, I want to be my husband’s BIGGEST CHEERLEADER!! I don’t want anyone to tell him how great, smart, handsome, hardworking or talented he is more than me. I want him to feel how much I love and respect him with every word that comes from my mouth. I want him to know that he can count on me to be respectful and patient with him. I want to him trust that he can always be honest with me because I won’t beat him down, I will only love on him the way the word of God tells me to. This is a high standard, but one that I will continuously work on and aim to live by. Our three-year wedding anniversary is this month. My husband is learning how to be the best husband and father he can be and I’m learning how to be the best wife and mother that I can be. 1 Peter 3 has given me a challenge and I’m up for it! Our families are our first ministries so let’s make sure things are taken care of at home before we go and try to save the world.

The No Wedding No Womb Campaign

I recently discovered the No Wedding No Womb Campaign and I have much respect for the message that Christelyn D Karazin is promoting to the black community. Ms. Karazin is the founder and organizer of No Wedding No Womb! (NWNW) an online initiative to address and find solutions for the 72 percent out-of-wedlock birthrate in the African American community.

As a social worker supervisor, daily I work with my staff to teach life skills and parenting skills to single mothers. Our clients are getting younger and younger and it saddens me to see a 21 year old woman with four children; the mom doesn’t have an education or a job, she doesn’t receive any child support from the fathers and limited family support. I believe that majority of women today do NOT know their value or their worth. If women knew that they were MORE than baby makers, they would have standards, take pride in their lifestyle and know that they deserve to be happy, healthy successful and loved, not hurt, angry and abandoned to raise babies on their own. The cycle must stop!!

I have a lot of respect for the NWNW campaign because their trying to educate the black community and break the cycle of black children continuing to be born into single parent homes. We must teach people about the importance of healthy relationships, monogamy, marriage and planning to have children. Gone needs to be the days of hooking up with people and shortly afterwards discovering that your pregnant. That behavior is dangerous, irresponsible and unfair to the children that continue to be born into broken homes. I am not saying that all children born into single parent homes are neglected, but studies show that children benefit from two parent homes. Every relationship/marriage doesn’t work out as planned but at least some people try to make those relationships work, even though they fail.

Here is a little information about NWNW:

  • What Is No Wedding No Womb?

No Wedding No Womb is a primary call directed to the black community to take action against the rampant births of children who are born without physical, financial and emotional protection.  It is a call for accountability for both MEN and WOMEN to be mindful of the huge responsibility and privilege they have when bringing a child into the world.

NWNW is a double entendre.  The phrase has two meanings.  The primary meaning of “wedding and wedded”, of course, is the marriage ceremony.  The secondary definition means “devotion.”  I chose “womb,” because that is the life source of children, it is the place that feeds, protects and nurtures the child.

  • Does No Wedding No Womb Seek to Bash Single Mothers?
  • Absolutely not.  NWNW calls for both MEN and WOMEN to put the needs of children first, and advocates that couples abstain from having children until they are emotionally, physically and financially able to care for them.
  • What gives you the right to do this?

I’m a baby mamma’ LISTEN TO MY MISSION: 65535 NO WEDDING NO WOMB-2.’  I do this for my daughter, and my daughter’s daughter, and all the children of our future.

To read more about NWNW and discover the answers to the questions below, please checkout the campaigns website

http://www.noweddingnowomb.com/

  • When you say, NWNW, are you saying that everyone should get married?
  • Is this just another abstinence program?
  • Are you bashing black men?
  • When you say, “No Wedding No Womb!” are you advocating that women get abortions?
  • Aren’t you being  judgmental?

**QUESTION** What do you think about the campaign? What do you agree of disagree with? Do you think the campaign will be affective?

If you enjoyed this blog post, I encourage you to subscribe to receive emails regarding future post. The subscribe button is located at the top left corner of the blog. Once you enter your email and hit “sign me up,” you will have to open your email and confirm the subscription. Thank you in advance for your support. Also please email the blog link to other ladies https://joannawillis.wordpress.com

Why Spouses Should NOT Hide Money From Each Other

I had a debate with my friends on FB about spouses hiding money from their mate and needing to “have their own” in case their spouse leaves them. It all started from a conversation that I witnessed while watching the Oprah Show. Oprah was saying that women need to have their own house, money, bills in their name and not combined them with their significant other. I don’t believe that married people should sneak around and stash money away just in case things go sour. Yes we should have our complete trust in God alone, yes we all have individual purposes to be on the earth and we need to pursue our careers, ministries and business. I believe that couples should have their own identities BUT when you get married, you need to find balance because you and your spouse have become one!!

I know that marriage is hard and nothing is guaranteed BUT the word of God is true and it does not change. My God promises me that I can have the desires of my heart. The word of God gives detailed instructions about marriage and the roles of husbands and wives. I believe that if couples keep Christ at the center always, are quick to forgive, communicate their needs and concerns, stay hooked up to one another, forsaking all others, they WILL have long-lasting happy, healthy and hot marriages!!

4 Reasons Why Spouses Should Not Hide Money From Each Other

1. In marriage you must trust each other 100%. Without trust you have nothing. If you can’t trust someone with your money, body, goals/dreams, children or your life, what’s the point of dating or marrying them?

2. Honesty and communication is a must. What if you found out that your spouse was hiding money from you in case he/she felt like leaving you one day? Instead of hiding money for a rainy day, be open and honest about what makes you unsure about the relationship so that you can both fight to stay in it, not plan your escape to get out of it.

3. Marriage is forever and if you don’t believe that, save yourself the money and time (both of which you could never get back) and JUST DON’T GET MARRIED! By saying that you have to put a little money aside each check in case your spouse leaves you or you get tired of him/her, means you never made up in your mind that marriage is for life. Yes things happen, people change and sometimes get divorced, but know that divorce doesn’t have to be  a word used in your house. Date for a good period of time, go to premarital counseling, seek God before you say I do, study what the bible says about marriage, husbands and wives, and if you think your ready, go ahead and jump the broom.

4. Before you get married, seek God and wise counsel regarding healing that you may need from past negative relationships. If you are still hurting from past exboyfriends cheating, abusing you, lying to you or even watching your father/mother do these things to your parent, you MUST get restored from that hurt BEFORE you get married. It’s not fair to sleep with one eye open on a spouse who hasn’t done anything to not be trusted. Don’t push your issues on him. Seek help and get whole so that you can be happy, healthy and free.

Stop Faking It: How To Be Honest About Your Needs In & Outside The Bedroom

Often times as women and wives, we try our best to please everyone around us (our husbands, children, friends, family, boss) and we continue to put our own needs on the shelf, this is a big mistake. As wives, it’s important that we communicate our needs to our husbands and teach them to satisfy us and meet our needs in and outside of the bedroom.

 

 

4 Tips On How To Communicate Your Needs To Your Spouse

1.  Pray about what to say and when to say it. Women, we know we can be bold, blunt and to the point sometimes, but when it comes to our husbands, we must take a sweet and respectful approach. When addressing concerns with men, timing and tone of voice is everything. Don’t meet him at the front door after work with all your concerns because you just couldn’t wait to let him have it. It’s important to slow down, take a deep breath and take your concerns to God in prayer. Seek God about what to say and when to say it. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you the words to help your husband hear your heart and not be embarrassed or defensive.

2. Be honest. If the sex isn’t what you’d like it to be, he hasn’t fixed the list of items that are broken around the house or he keeps forgetting to take the trash out, sit him down and talk about your needs.  He may think he’s doing ok in these areas until you tell him, esp the sex area.

Sex is meant to be pleasing for the husband and the wife. When we become one in marriage, our bodies are no longer our own, they are for pleasing each other. If you aren’t being pleased the answer is simple, teach him how to please you. In sweet seductive words and movements, show him what to do. He will appreciate the guidance because a good man aims to please his woman. If you fake it, you’ll never get where you desire to be and intimacy is a huge part of marriage; don’t cheat yourself!!

3. Be patient and calm while you share your needs. Compliment him first and don’t nag or use defensive words. It’s important to build him up before telling him where he’s missing it. Remember no one is perfect and the goal is not to make him feel bad, it’s to have an open, honest and productive discussion about each other’s needs.

 Organize your thoughts before you talk to him. Decide on the top two concerns you would like to explore. If the list of concerns is too long, the discussion may be too overwhelming for both of you.

Bonus tip

Don’t speak ill of your husband or marriage to your friends. It won’t do your marriage any good to always tell your girlfriends where your hubby is dropping the ball and never him. You never want to put your husband down to others, only lift him up. Learn to spend more time talking to God and your spouse about your marriage then you do anyone else. We don’t want our husbands sharing with their friends all the things that we need to do better so let’s show them the same respect.

If you enjoyed this blog post, I encourage you to subscribe to receive emails regarding future post. The subscribe button is located at the top left corner of the blog. Once you enter your email and hit “sign me up,” you will have to open your email and confirm the subscription. Thank you in advance for your support. Also please email the blog link to other ladies https://joannawillis.wordpress.com

Pregnant & Lovin It: Week 12 Mom & Baby Update

Good morning world! I am 12 weeks and a few days pregnant. With this being my first pregnancy, there is so many new things to learn and adjust too but my husband and I are loving every moment. I have been extremely blessed to have a very smooth 1st trimester. No morning sickness, extreme fatigue or pain. I haven’t had to miss one day of work because of the pregnancy so far. All of my doctor’s appointments have gone perfect also. We were able to hear the baby’s heart beat earlier this month and that was very exciting! 2nd trimester begins at week 14. In 6 weeks we get out 2nd ultrasound to determine the sex. I will be 18 weeks by then.

I am honestly still in a small state of shock that I am pregnant. I have wanted to have an awesome husband, a career, own a home and raise a family since I was a little girl and now all my dreams are coming through. We give ALL glory and honor to God. We know that it is only because of our Lord that we are blessed, healthy, happy and at peace. 10 years ago I NEVER could have seen my life going this way. Life with Christ is the only way to go. He makes all things new and He is so faithful!!

The pregnancy symptoms that I have been experiencing are: frequent trips to the rest room, lower back pain at times, hungry all the time and breast tenderness. I have a little baby bump now too. All the pregnancy websites say that between now and a few weeks, ladies grow a lot in the waist area. I purchased my 1st belly band to help me fit my pants more comfortably; I love it!! I try not to complain about any symptoms that I experience because I am so grateful to God to be able to carry a baby and prepare to raise a child up in the ways of the Lord with my husband. Eddie is so excited. He grocery shops, cooks and helps out around the house. He makes sure that I’m comfortable and eating healthy.  We read baby books and websites together and day-dream and pray about our future family. He took great care of me before pregnancy so now I’m being spoiled even more! I love it! Our parents, siblings, extended family, friends, church members and coworkers are extra excited, supportive and helpful as well. This is such an awesome time in our lives. I am glad that I am not sick and can enjoy each day. Thank you Jesus!

Easy Baby Life Website gives details on the baby’s development this week. Checkout some of the interesting info below.

The biggest thing for your little one this week is the developing reflexes. Fingers will open and close, toes will curl, even facial expressions will change. Your baby can both scratch his nose and suck his thumb!

If you move a specific way your baby will respond by moving as well, even if you can’t quite feel it yet. Muscles start responding to the stimulus development for a more natural movement for your baby.

The brain starts making hormones as well as the rapid development of the nerve cells while the kidneys start producing urine.

Actually, week 12 is the start of a critical development phase for your baby’s brain. Between week 12 and week 18 and later between week 24 and 36, brain development is particularly rapid and sensitive.

The placenta is functioning effectively and blood flows from the umbilical cord.

Muscles within the intestines also begin to practice contractions known as peristalsis in order to digest food later on.

The eyes of your new baby have moved from the sides of the head to the front where they belong, and the ears are where they belong as well.Just over 2 inches long, your little one is about the size of a and weighs close to half an ounce.