I like the "my roles..." thing. As an aside, I've been wondering internally, if/when there is a point when the order of the first two flip? Just me being "deep" ... or something like that.
To answer your "aside" question - never. Love your wife more than your children. You want your kids to know how to treat a woman and how to be treated by a man. You also want your kids to leave the house when they are older, not your wife.
You chose your bride, you don't choose your kids.
If your children know that you love their mother, they won't doubt that you love them, but if they don't know that you love their mother, there will be a kernel of doubt about your love for them.
Soli Deo Gloria
Makes sense... but then there is also the argument that my wife and I "chose" each other, but our child was entrusted to us by God. I know that part of this is going to sound horrible (and is not indicative anything actually going on in my life)... but my love for my child is totally unconditional. My love for my wife is built on trust and is very strong, but I don't know that it could never be broken. I pray that it will never be tested that strongly.
It seems silly to ask "which do I love more" - at this point in my life, I feel more connected to Petra than to Natashca, but who is to say that will never change as Natashca grows up and develops her personality. I know that Petra and Natashca have a stronger bond that Natashca and I, but that only makes sense, given what they have been through together and that they spend more time together.
I'm sure that I'm just over-analyzing the whole thing. It's what I do. Damn you for making me think! ;^)
You are correct when you write -
"but my love for my child is totally unconditional. My love for my wife is built on trust and is very strong, but I don't know that it could never be broken. "
and that is exactly why your love for your wife needs to be stronger than that love for your child. Do you see what I am saying? You don't make a choice about your child. At some point, they will be their own person, have their own world, and you will have an ever decreasing part of that. If you make it clear in your actions that your relationship to your wife is paramount, you will be teaching them a most valuable lesson. THE most valuable lesson. More important than how to use money, to read, to do math. Our relationships are our most important treasures. How to treat, no, how to serve people is the most important thing we can pass on to our kids.
Love your wife more, it takes more work precisely because it is a choice. Also, your life will be all the more pleasant. I look at the incredibly profound words from a very unlikely source - Torii (mis)Spelling - on this matter. Her father, Aaron, told her outright that he loved her more than he loved her mom, and her mom was in the next room and overheard. That, right there, colored the relationship between them, and we all know how nasty that got. (maybe you don't, and I don't really know why I know that, but, uh, yeah, Amber gets People magazine, and that is why I know - not that I personally follow…)
Anyway. I am blogging about this exact deal - can I use our conversation? I won't use names if you would prefer. www.betterhusbandbetterdad.blogspot.com. I have been too busy to update it for a while, and I can't update it from work, but this is exactly the type of good, two way conversation that I want for the site. I plan on linking it to my wedding site, too, as a resource for new husbands and husbands to be.
There is one role that I left out, but not really on purpose. It really should be first but I don't exactly know how to put it - small "c" christian - worshipper - jesus-freak - zealot - the whole God, Family, Football thing. Love God first, give Him your best, the rest will fall into place. I am coming around to that idea more and more each day. I can only put my faith in one of three things - the world that surrounds me - myself - God. The world is so out of my control. I can only control my reactions to it. I am horrified by the thought of putting faith in myself to get by. God seems to be the logical choice. But, you see, it doesn't fit into one word.
Soli Deo Gloria
So, you want a couple to say, "Wow, Wade really Phlogged us!"? Maybe. Could be a marketing thing. Get married and get Phlogged! ;^)
Older than dirt? Wow, I thought we were still newlyweds! ;^)
Oh yeah - dirt.
As for your prices. What do you want to make? What is that price that in four years, given an increasing number of weddings that you would be doing each year, you would like to be at? Think about where you want to be then. Now set your price at that point. This will do two things. A: Force you to live up to it. B: Build your business slowly, but at the right price point. Amber is having a difficult time with this idea, because she, and everyone that she knows, wouldn't spend over $1900 on a photographer. I have to tell her that I put my price right on the web page, so those people that call me already know how much I cost, and are willing to pay it.
Soli Deo Gloria
A friend of mine has started a biz as a wedding coordinator and has been throwing contacts my way. Some of her clients don't have a big budget, so I keep hearing from her that my packages really offer a great value. For a weekend, plus a handful of nights worth of work, what I'm charging now, really isn't bad, considering it's something that I love.
4 years... I guess I have a hard time visualizing that far. Heck, I thought I'd be part owner of Candide Press by now, but a new house and child tend to change life a lot. There are so many things that I would love to do. Printing is one. The Apple Store is another - sounds sad, but I really do love my time there. If I ever thought it could pay enough, I might consider going full time, but I doubt that is a possibility. I have another gig that I'm starting doing online tutorials. I'm doing a series on FileMaker Pro. It's little 2-3 minute screen captures with a voice over. It's fun and the money is really good, so there is a potential for a career there too. Photography is another passion. I'd like to think that if I really wanted it, that I could "make it" doing that, but I'm too guttless to make the leap. (see above note about mortgage, kid, etc)
So, right now I have 4 passions that could be careers. One of them is, and three are hobbies... And all of them are suffering because of the others. Not to mention the time it takes away from family. I guess I'm a work-a-holic or something. I just really enjoy all those things and the fact that people will pay me for it is bonus. And lately, the fact that people will pay me for it has been a necessity. Energy bills just blew my mind this winter and we found out that we are going to lose our renter in May/June-ish. If you know someone looking for a townhome to rent, let me know.
Wow, I'm really getting deep with the emails today. Not sure what is up with that. I really should get some work done at my main career...
Pricing - please do not allow yourself (and this is as much for myself that I say this as for you) to think that because you love something, it diminishes what you should receive as compensation. Think about the four hobbies that contribute ever so slightly to your income. If you price yourself as a pro, you don't NEED to accept work. You take it when it comes, and it sustains you through when you aren't working. If you don't price yourself correctly, you will soon NOT love it anymore, as it is work that you HAVE to take - and you may feel as though you cannot say no to anyone. That is what is unfair to yourself, to Petra, and to your daughter, who's name always seems to escape me. (Natashca?) Charge what your time is worth. Actually, think of it this way - what is your daughter's time worth. How much should you get paid to leave her with mom for a Saturday? And be completely honest. Then charge that.
Soli Deo Gloria
That makes a heckuvalota sense. Please do use the conversation if you feel, but I would prefer to remain nameless in this case.
Just curious... why do you say "small "c" christian"?
But, yes, there has to be a good word for what you are trying to say... I understand.
So as to be unaffiliated with any one church. I consider myself Lutheran, because that is my upbringing. That is the capital - L - which is, in my view, largely affiliated with human religions and with outward appearances, and I so wish to not worry about the outward appearance of my faith, except that it reflect the inner truth (and it really does - the truth I live is less than that which I profess, which is less than what it should be). So, small "c". I am nothing, Christ is everything. How do I live that? How do I profess that which is greater than my ability to profess?
Soli Deo Gloria
necessary as neighbors. I have the best ones ever. Joe and Tonya, you
are the best.
What can I be doing, especially given what has transpired over these
last two weeks, to be a better husband? Whew, that is a good question.
I think, at this time, a better question would be - "how can I better
understand?" or "how can I be more involved?"
I am accompanying Amber to her initial interview tomorrow. I need to
be there, as I have really felt out of the loop, lately. I want to
partner with Amber in her treatment, as I need to be able to help her
as much as possible. I will get as much information as they allow me
That should be a good start.
Soli Deo Gloria
Today is the gloomiest day of the year, according to a study - I don't know who put it out, but that is what I heard on the radio this morning. In actuality, I should be right there in the "glooming", as it were. However, I seem to have a preternatural ability, lately, to shunt away gloominess, and embrace happiness. I think part of that is in acknowledging the crappy and not trying to hide from it - as a really big part of me wants desperately to do. But, what is, is, and so I might as well get on with it.To quote the sooth-sayer Michael Strahan, speaking of yesterday's NFC Championship Game, played in bitter cold (-2 degree temp at kickoff) "If we gotta be in it, we might as well win it". I am definitely in it, so what else is there to do, but win it, right? How do you win something where, at best, you are an observer? I feel (wait, I actually am) so out of the loop as to what is going on with here treatment, etc. That is so very frustrating. A bright light at the end of THAT tunnel, however, is the fact that I will actually participate in checking her in to the program that she is entering tomorrow. This will be such a good thing, as I will be there (I can't be a part of the interview, but I will be in the building) when they conduct the entrance interview and directly after, so that I will be able to hear what the doctors and counselors are proposing for treatment from the start. For nothing more than peace of mind, that information will be invaluable.I have to accept the fact that this is something that I can have no direct influence on. All I can do is accept the fact that she is in treatment and wants to come home and wants to be with me and the kids. So I need to do whatever it is that I can to facilitate that, to allow it to happen as quickly as possible. A friend at work says the best thing I can do for her is take care of our kids. Well, yeah, that is about the only thing I CAN do.I need to hear from other people who may be going through this. How do we help each other deal with the acute loneliness that is inherent in going through this process? I have a great stable of really cool neighborhood friends that are pitching in as far as the most difficult part, in my mind - logistics. My Daycare Provider - Actually took my kids today (MLK day, so Amber was supposed to be with the kids, and Sarah had the day off), instead of spending the day with her daughter (its her second birthday). Her backyard neighbors, our friends Joe and Tonya, have picked up our kids a couple of times, and I need to ask them to pick them up on Wednesdays for a time now, as I have to work late on Wednesdays, and Amber won't be able to do that for a while. Thank you.Family has been very important, as well. My sister and her husband brought their kids over this weekend and cleaned my house. All I asked her to do was watch my kids so I could go see Amber, but they put on their aprons and the house is spic and span! Awesome. My brother has offered to help in whatever way he can. I have to think about what that might be, maybe this weekend he can come over. My oldest son is spending time (coincidentally, I might add, the timing here was fortuitous) with his maternal grandfather and his wife in Minot, ND. Also might be going to my parents in Williston, ND, this week for a few days. This has been really good for him, as well. He is growing up so much, just in these last two weeks, to hear the difference on the phone. He is actually having conversations, not just saying what he is told to say, which is great to hear - another milestone, I guess!Brecca and Declan have been so good. We are blessed with children that have the temperament that they have, very easy-going, life is a river, I am the water type of flow. There are times, like this morning, where independence slickers to life, and over-all, that is good, but my fuse was very short this morning, and so I was very short with Brecca for no really good reason - which I realized and immediately apologized to her for, but, you know, she is such a great kid, and to have yelled at her like I did this morning does nothing to help the situation. I really need to remember that, and I have, up till this morning.Prayers, please - I don't ask for much, just a quick prayer for my wife and children - that she find healing and that they flow through this period like water.WadeBe anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and earnest pleading, together with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.Phillipians 4:6
an email to Amber's dad.
Amber says she talked to you. I saw her on Sunday, and she looks really good. I think she misses the kids, and they miss her, but…
I ask her to describe it to me. It is very difficult for her to do, and for me to understand completely, as I have absolutely no frame of reference here. I can only access it mentally by the term "helpless", which for your daughter MUST be frustrating. She told me that in your talk, she could tell you kind of felt like you wanted so bad to just say "buck up, and get on with life!". She understands. I told her I have felt - feel - the same way. I wish she could just understand that every day can be a happy day if you choose it to be. Every situation that you are in is just that, a situation. Not something to cause you anxiety about. I want to tell her that, but I know that that is not what her problem is, and I am not going to be able to help her in that way. I can only pray that she gets the help she needs, which she seems to be getting - that the help she gets allows her to function, if not on an even better level than before - that I understand what is going on and am given the opportunity to partner with her in her "therapy" by asking salient questions and understanding the answers and implications.
It seems, from her conversation with you, that that is the tack you are taking as well. I can't think of a better one.
Soli Deo Gloria