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As Texas plunged into single digits with multiple days of a windchill below freezing, millions found themselves stranded with no power or water. Living along the Gulf Coast we have weathered hurricanes and endured power outages for much longer periods, but somehow this seemed different. Maybe for those of us close to the shoreline it was the unusual sight of snow we experienced as opposed to the natural disasters we usually face that arrive with rain, wind, and sweltering heat.

Our son and daughter (in law) were finally able to take a long-overdue honeymoon to St. Lucia in December. Cecelia interned one summer for a travel agent so naturally called the company to book their trip. What an incredible experience they had, and I was reminded WHY using a travel agent is worth the expense. Fees range depending on the service, but most charge between $300-350 to plan a vacation somewhere in the Caribbean Islands. 

Q: I will be a new mom soon, and I have been preparing for life “after” a newborn. There is a lot of information on raising babies, and how dads can support mom, but I cannot find much on how moms can support dads. A lot of my mental preparation has been around my marriage. Specific questions: How do I preserve my marriage? How do we embrace the changes? How do I maintain my husband as a priority when we have a tiny human demanding everything? How can I help my husband bond with our new child?

Want to set your children up for success? Then look no further than the habits of successful people you know, whether that be in the corporate world, media, or within your own circle of friends. Experts agree that there are certain common traits all successful people possess. This is great news because it means we can emulate those leaders that have come before us. 

How can you tell if someone will be successful? When I was in high school, they still had a category for a graduating senior titled: Voted Most Likely to Succeed. How, at 18-years-old, could classmates look at someone and say, “Yeah, I think they will be the most successful person in our graduating class.”

Many of us grew up learning multitasking was a hallmark of a productive person. While sounding good in theory, this practice has proven to be incorrect. Studies now reveal that multitasking is nothing more than switching back and forth between tasks and it lowers our productivity. Below are 5 points that deal with the facts behind project hopping and the lack of performance that occurs when we allow seemingly innocuous interruptions to occur in daily life.

The way my husband structures his day is different from how I organize mine, but there is one thing we both do. We start with a morning routine. I make coffee, read the news while eating my breakfast, and then dive into an hour of bible study. Once I finish, I pull out my journal and plan my day. About 2 years ago I discovered an organizational method that resonated with me.

Remember as children, during holidays, we would spend what seemed like hours creating homemade craft projects for our parents? It might be a paper Christmas snowflake sprinkled with glitter or a cutout heart for Valentine’s Day. We would address it: To: Mom or To: Dad. We would sign our name, and this become the gift we gave our parents. The act of giving is how we should view all letters, especially a thank you note. We may not be cutting out cute hearts, but when we take time to put pen to paper and share a little of ourselves with someone else, we are giving a part of our heart to another.  

People give to make you feel loved and remembered. Sometimes gifts are given out of obligation, but mostly they are presented to honor a special relationship or occasion. No matter the reason, we need to know how to show our appreciation. Here are my 7 tips to become a gracious gift receiver.  

Table manners seem to be the area in which I receive most of my questions, but it is introductions that have people the most baffled. After I explain the correct way to conduct an introduction, I often get that starry-eyed stare that tells me, “I really don’t understand what you just said.” To help all of us, I have broken down the process into a simple format. Before I proceed, let me say this. Do not let a lack of confidence in handling an introduction keep you from DOING an introduction.

I recently bumped into a friend at the store, and as we began talking, she expressed how she struggles with the holidays. When January rolls around, she feels like she somehow “missed out.” I understand this feeling because I, too, have often felt this way. Life was so busy with the preparation of celebration, that I missed the joy that awaited each of us this time of year.

Have you ever seen someone walk into a party that looked scared to death, unsure of themselves, and then watched them slink off to an obscure corner? Their body language screaming, “I wish I was anywhere but here!” Entering a room full of people that you do not know can be intimidating. I get that. Yet, your entrance is important in displaying overall confidence and portraying a strong image.

Giving a party, of any type, requires a great deal of work. If you have been fortunate enough to be included in a festive soiree, it is nice to arrive with a gift for the hostess. The typical present will cost between $15-$30, but there are less expensive things you can find at the local discount store.

  • Patti Hatton

Q/A Defining Role in Parenting

Updated: Oct 22, 2020

Q: How do you draw the line and define the roles in parenting. Often moms spend more time with the children than dad. We take them to doctor appointments, playdates, we handle their schedules and discipline more often. Usually it is because we are with them more. How do you handle it when the husband has different ideas on parenting and takes the approach, “Well, I’m their dad”? What language should I use instead of saying, “I know them best?” How do you resolve the tug-of-war?

A: The context of a parental discussion is to be considered when making decisions that are best for the children. I would ask myself why my husband might feel the need to pull the “I’m the dad” card. I think this is the bigger question. Does the husband feel the wife has an alliance with the children and he feels like an outsider? Is he trying to stake his claim as a leader of the family? The wife needs to consider the cost vs. benefit of including her husband in decisions, especially if he is trying to step up and become more involved in the decision-making process. If the mom is with the children more than dad, then there is no doubt the mom has had opportunities to make child-rearing mistakes AND learn from them. Has the dad been given these same opportunities to bond with his children, make mistakes with his children and grow and learn? I would also ask if letting your children follow dad’s lead when he is with them, as opposed to correcting your husband, even if there might be a better way, could be viewed as teaching your children disrespect for their father. Witnessing the battle between two parents can be damaging. A husband and wife need to create a unified front when the children are around. Wisdom becomes your friend as you seek an appropriate time to discuss options with your spouse. If the husband can see his wife as his partner, someone that is for him and not against him, he will welcome her input. But if the wife is acting out of a heart filled with hurt, or a place of arrogance because she feels she knows better, the issue will not be resolved by telling the husband he is not needed as a decision maker. This will only serve to divide the couple, which, ultimately, hurts the child. Parents that are united, even when mistakes are made, create healthier examples for children than parents that are divided, even if the “right” decision won out. And making a mistake as parents, united, also affords you both the opportunity to show your children you are not perfect, correct your mistake and ask their forgiveness. This teaches a child to have a forgiving heart (assuming the mistake was something the child even notices). We make mistakes, we say we are sorry, we forgive. As parents, stay united, and have discussions on parenting, when possible, in private.


Patti Hatton, MA, LPC

www.pattihattoncounselor.com

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