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Parenting through Rise-filtered glasses
As a new parent, you might find yourself cut off from some of your usual social outlets, stuck at home for long stretches of time with only the baby for company. At this time, family and friends can be more important than ever, providing support and advice to boost your confidence and help get you through the tougher days. If your friends and family live far away, or if you don’t have face-to-face access, online social media can help you and your partner feel more connected to the outside world. Emotional support and positive feedback from other parents can also be invaluable as you figure things out [1] [2]. Social media can give you access to this, but it also helps you stay in touch with old friends who keep you connected to the parts of your life outside your parenting role [3]. Beating loneliness with online social interaction Your baby is always going to be your first priority, but these other social connections are important. As humans, we need to have meaningful relationships with each other – when we disconnect socially it can affect our health, making us more stressed and more likely to get sick, and affecting our sleep and concentration [3]. Social media can help you feel less isolated but it’s important to pay attention to the way you use it. Parents who actively engage with friends on social media tend to feel less stressed and more positive about their role as parents [2] but people who just spend more time on social media without engaging tend to feel more isolated, not less [3]. The difference here is between use and interaction. We’ve all spent time staring into our phones, refreshing our social media feeds in the hope that something new will come up. But this isn’t going to help you feel more connected when you’re knee-deep in baby wipes waiting for your partner to come home. You’ve got to reach out and engage with people if you want to experience the positive effects of social media. Turning off the filters It’s also important to keep some perspective on what you see through the lens of social media. We all know that Facebook life isn’t real life, and that nobody ever looks as good as they do on Instagram, but it’s easy to fall into the trap of seeing things through Rise-filtered glasses and believing everybody on social media is having a better time than you.  If social media is your only window into your friends’ lives, you might start thinking they are living happier, more connected lives than you [3]. Try to remember that you’re only seeing an edited glimpse of what your friends want the rest of the world to see. When your social networks start making you feel worse instead of better, take a step back and have a think about who you could reach out to for a chat. It’s the social aspect of social networks that’s valuable, so the next time you find yourself mindlessly scrolling through posts, send a message instead – ask for advice, vent your feelings, or just tell someone a funny story about your day. The empathy, advice and humour that you come across online can give you a life-affirming confidence boost and make you feel better about how you’re getting on as a parent [4]. You might even want to start by making a post here on Click.   References [1] Madge C., O’Connor H. (2006). Parenting gone wired: Empowerment of new mothers on the Internet? Social and Cultural Geography, 7, 199–220.[2] Bartholomew, M. K., Schoppe‐Sullivan, S. J., Glassman, M., Kamp Dush, C. M., & Sullivan, J. M. (2012). New parents' Facebook use at the transition to parenthood. Family relations, 61(3), 455-469.[3] Primack, B.A. et al (2017) Social Media Use and Perceived Social Isolation Among Young Adults in the U.S. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 53(1), 1-8.[4] Fletcher, R., & St. George, J. (2011). Heading into fatherhood—nervously: Support for fathering from online dads. Qualitative Health Research, 21(8), 1101-1114.
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Long-Term Relationship and a specific hobby
1 down vote favorite I've been a part of a happy long-term relationship over the past 4-5 years, and we've been engaged for some of that. The relationship started when I moved to a new town, so I left a lot of my life behind, including a certain hobby. We're currently pretty settled, we have a few pets and live together in the same house. The 'hobby' has a reputation for being an expensive one, but I'd always been stingy with it and didn't spend anywhere near as much as others often do. Fast forward to about a year ago, as I started to feel more and more comfortable and settled I brought up the idea that I might pick the hobby back up again. The response I got was at best mixed, and the ensuing argument ended up with my partner saying how they just "hate" the hobby, citing the associated expense and the fact that I'd changed a lot since I last did it. Honestly I don't consider myself to have changed at all since I regained an interest (passion?) in the hobby. If there is a more fundamental or reason than that then it's never been mentioned. I feel like I don't understand the problem they see. These feelings seem to have been exacerbated by the fact that I'm now out-of-work, and while I wouldn't spend anything financially on the hobby given that fact, I receive responses like 'I'm not happy to be paying the rent if you're going to waste your time on [hobby]' if it is brought up again. As a result of them making me feel bad about it, I've essentially been committing time to the hobby in secret, while they're at work etc. I feel incredibly guilty for more-or-less lying to them like this, but I feel that I should have a right to pursue something that makes me happy and being secretive about it seems to make us both happy. Subsequent times when the hobby has just randomly come up in conversation, my fiancée has been extremely derogatory, but I didn't say anything other than nodding my head essentially, as I didn't want to re-open the issue even though this was making me feel pretty awful. For context, this hobby is a competitive card-game, which I already have my old stuff for didn't even require money to start in the first place. Essentially I have no idea what to do. If I'm frank and honest with them then I'm afraid it will all end, and I feel that we're so good together and settled. I feel like I don't want to have to cut out a thing that I really enjoy because of my partner's seemingly irrational hatred, since it would also cut off a significant portion of my friendships from where I first lived. I feel so guilty for how I'm acting because of this, and just want to have an honest relationship again, but I'm afraid that will never happen again with them. It feels like just cutting myself off from the hobby would fix everything, but it's a social hobby and I find it somewhat difficult to start friendships in other ways. Does anyone have any advice?
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Help I don't know how to react or what to do
Okay, so I have been in a relationship for 1 and a half years i am pregnant and due in Jul. My significant other has other children from other women (which I can handle) I have been battling with my emotions on a subject that has been haunting me for almost a year now. My hunny's X wife had been informed that there were bed bugs at her job the middle of last year, well i guess not thinking anything of it until her daughter (his daughter) was sleeping on the couch many months down the rd and woke up with bites all over her. Turns up she found out she had them. Not really taking any action to solve the problem, I found out and being the freak that I am about pests I tried to take every precaution that I could without saying hey well the kids cant come to the house (even though that's what I wanted to say) I didn't want to be considered the bad guy, but I also don't want the bugs at my home with my kids. Well needless to say i said how I felt numerous of times stating she needed to do something about it before it became out of hand and it spread(but nothing was really done) so now this woman has an infestation I have the bugs because of course the kids as well as her would come over to my house. I don't know how to react or what to do, I don't want my immediate family to get them. I have been spraying and reading on how to take care of the situation, but as soon as i feel like i have it somewhat under control i feel like they are just bringing more over!!!!!!! Help!!!!! Just some opinions, suggestions would be great. I have not reacted how deep down inside i would like to because i dont care for confrontation i have spoke out in a nice manner but obviously am being ignored by not only her but my boyfriend which is her x husband.
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Disaster in love...
Hi everyone, I've been asking questions about my relationship with my boyfriend. Recently we have been having very rough days together and this has been going on for about 2-3 weeks now. Everytime we meet up we usually have an argument/ disagreement and if it cools down, it's only a matter of minutes before another one starts. We used to be completely happy together and arguments and disagreements were never really a thing for a long time but recently they have been coming up so frequently that it's just pushing us apart. We still love each other so we keep trying to come back and work things out but if we come to an agreement, something else happens so we're back to square one. We have both come to know God, he has only recently converted, about a year now, and I with quite a number of years in the faith. I help him and guide him as best as I can but something seems a little weird. Firstly, we know that whether we believe in God or not, love is very important. We must care and have compassion for others. Before he was with God, he had this quality where if I was feeling down he'd stay with me and talk to me and just be loving and caring until I felt a little better and everyday for a couple days he'd check up on me and see if I had improved or what and of course when someone makes you feel loved and like you matter to them it's like a healing in itself. But fast forward to today and he just says that if I'm down I need to go to God and tell Him everything, don't rely on him, 'he's just the support'. And frankly, I'm not sure he understands what support means anymore. I understand we take our troubles to God but didn't God also put people in our lives to be a physical support for us? Didn't God teach us to love one another and love each other as ourselves? Another thing I also had on my mind was when he said he loves me. When I was feeling down he said he loved me and although I just wanted to say 'how? you don't show it anymore. I feel like you love me just by word of mouth', I just said it's nice to hear that. He asked but what about God's love for me? I told him that it was different coming from a person and then questioned 'how?'. He was saying that there isn't a difference between hearing that you're loved and then knowing it but feeling it after, it's just a different approach. I don't understand what that meant but now it makes me wonder, does he even know about being in a relationship and loving a person? He said to me that only if God directs me to him then I can focus on him. And I understand he wants me to put God first but is he right or am I supposed to be able to talk to him as well? From my understanding God would want me to speak to him about my troubles so we could work on them together and we could overcome them but I just don't understand how to get through to him. He also said that he's not going to assume otherwise unless God tells him so which makes me feel really lonely and hurt that I'm just left like that with God alone and no support from him. I don't know if it's me or maybe my relationship with God or something else but I love him and when these things happen I feel physical pains in my heart, I sometimes hyperventilate and feel light headed, I feel pain in my head and there's a tightness and heaviness in my chest. He doesn't know about all the effects I get when he's like this with me apart from the pain in my head, tightness in my chest and on the rare occassion heart pains. I feel like fully explaining everything will cause another explosion with him. He'll just tell me go to God and don't tell him about it but he doesn't understand that the reason I get those effects is because of the lack of his care and love. I tend to take these issues on we have quite heavily and with the stress and hurt built up it's just overwheming and I get these effects. I'm sort of in a grey area when it comes to understanding what I should be getting from him and what I'm demanding too much off. Am I asking too much? Am I just too attached? He's been my first everything so anything negative really affects me when it comes to him because I love him with my all. I just feel like I'm in a pit with no way out, with no direction or anything. Also, can someone explain to me how is it possible that before he knew God he was very compassionate and caring and now that he tries to fully rely on God, he's gone so cold on me and I'm left feeling unwanted and neglected by him? For God he would do anything, he'd even cut out activites because it's taking away his time from God, but when I ask him to, I just need to have understanding. I'm feeling very low and alone right now so any positivity would be greatly appreciated. Can you please tell me what I should do or say to get through to him? I don't want to be harsh and I don't want to breakup with him because in my heart I feel like he just needs an eye opener but I just don't have the words to do so. I just want him to know that he's hurting me and I need him to be the way he was.
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Just confused...
Just a question about my relationship with my boyfriend I have that's left me lost. I recently posted a question I had about him due to feeling distanced and feeling avoided by him but we worked that out and I told him I needed some time to cool off because what had happened was really driving me insane and was stressing and frustrating me too much. He agreed that I could leave to calm myself down but then when I came back he'd try making some time for me and making changes that we had spoken about. So now after two days of just keeping to myself trying to clear my mind, I see him online and I message him (and please bear in mind that this was 3am his time). Our conversation didn't last long, but I did have the belief that he'd be happy to see me but it turns out it didn't really matter too much. He was just playing games all night long. Now here's the thing: when we're on good terms and we spend time together and he has to do something he makes sure to leave exactly on the dot and he plans time in advance to be able to do those things, he organises well. But now that we haven't been together much lately he seems fine to just lose time and stay up all night just playing games as if that's the only thing he has to do. And please also keep in mind that after a couple days of no communication with him, I message around 3am his time and the conversation is so dry and only lasted a couple minutes and at the end he didn't even respond to say anything, he just ignored me and kept playing for another 2 hours until he decided to go offline and go to bed. He always has time for everything else except me and when I tell him that he tries to convince me and says no that's not true. I don't even know how to explain what I feel. Another thing that I should probably mention is that I helped him find God. He has been attending church regularly and he's truly engrossed by everything to do with God. He even tries reaching out to people as much as he can and spreading the word of God and I'm truly grateful that He does that. But sometimes when I think about that I wonder.. 'How does he attend church, read the Bible, pray, speak to memebers of the church, try his best to live for God and not understand that he's hurting people around him. How doesn't he understand that it's hurtful and kind of rude to just ignore someone? Is his games so much more important than me?' I know he'd say no but I feel sometimes that he loves me just by word of mouth because his actions speak differently to me at times. He can make time for his family, for errands, for friends, for anything. Just not for me. And if he does, I get a few minutes of conversation that he isn't even really into and just end up being ignored. For the time being, I'm just gonna leave him alone and let him come to his senses, I think I'm done with always having to remind him and being stuck in a loop of the same things. But is there any way I can approach him or do something to make him wake up? I'm so sick of having to always be on the receiving end of this and I just don't know what else to do to get through to him.
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no time for each other and nothing left in common
Hi, i've been married to my wife since 2012 and we met in 2007. We've got 4 great kids together (3 girls and a boy) and last year we bought our very first house together (previously rented) which is a 4 bed in need of total renovation. Since March 2017 when we got the keys I basically worked all day at my job and then went there until the early hours of the day until we moved in at the end of October last year. My wife has always commented how we've not got anything in common for a while now and looking back at my interests I can agree that they differ from hers completely. She is 1 of 6 kids (No.5) and although her family leave reasonably close, they never really help out with the kids as they either have kids of their own or they work full time/have other responsibilities. I'm an only child, I don't have a relationship with my Dad and my Mum is a professional musician so I don't see much of her but we do talk all the time so thats all good. Anyway, it was my daughters 8th birthday last week and she wanted a garden party and as our garden was a mess, we decided to update it with some decking which yours truly did and this took up a lot of my time. On top of the house projects, in February we rescued a 4 month old beagle pup, which was supposed to be a family pet but has basically come down to me and my other daughter to look after. There are other things but to sumerise them my life is basically like this :- Mon-Fri 9-5, full time job. Saturday AM i take the kids swimming, Sunday AM, dance competitions. Tues nights - kids dance rehearsals, Wed night - Brownies, Thurs - Rainbows. this basically leaves Mon/Fri/Sat night free as Sunday is ironing and school. Our of these 3 free nights, i've been working on the house be it inside or in the garden and i normally finish after 10pm each night. Oh yeah, and then I have to walk the dog! My wife on the other hand looks after everything else such as the cooking,cleaning, looking after the kids if i'm not there etc but her life is just as busy as mine albeit child focused. I'm sure that when the house is all finished we'll have more time for each other but in the past year we've been out once together. I've lost touch with all my friends and she spends all her free time on facebook. She told me last night she wasn't happy with me and ended up storming off as I don't talk to her and she's lonely but from my point of view everything that takes up all my time like the decking, dance rehearsals, swimming and the dog were all sorted out by her and then she left it to me. for about 2 years she's also had minor medical niggles which have ranged from headaches, to ulcers, to tummy ache to foot ache etc and when I get home from work i hear about whats hurting her today. It's now got to the point when I don't want to talk to her as all I hear is complaining about everything. What do I do? I can't stretch myself any thinner and anything i'd consider talking to her about is either minor compared to her life or just not on common ground between us. It's hard to want to listen to someone that moans all the time about life but I don't want to break up as she's a good Mum to my kids and does a good job keeping on top of the house. We just don't click any more. Any suggestions?
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What does a healthy relationship look like?
The million-dollar question, what does a healthy relationship look like? There are many perceptions to what is a healthy relationship, and of course, what works for one couple might not work for another. A healthy relationship requires work from both partners to help each other improve and grow within their partnership as well as growing as individuals. Here are ten signs that you are in a healthy relationship: 1. Maintaining the love For some, falling in love is hard and takes time while for others, falling in love happens within the few first dates. Whether it takes you longer or not, falling in love is easy. Maintaining that love and creating a long-term relationship is the hard part. Changing your expectations of what love is, is a vital aspect to being successful in your long-term relationship. In the beginning, love is all roses and becoming one, otherwise known as the honeymoon period. But, there will be inevitable changes in your relationship that will require you and your partner to climb many hills and mountains. If you can overcome the challenges that you have to face, it is a good sign that you are in a healthy relationship. 2. Accepting the little mistakes You get to a point with your partner where the little things slip your mind. Hanging out the washing, filling up the car or forgetting to pick up the chicken for tonight’s dinner. Healthy couples will accept that we all screw up sometimes and that it’s no big deal. On the flip side, if you think “they don’t care about me that’s why they forgot” or something similar, then it’s a sign that you still have some things to work on. 3. Working as a team not competitors Having a competitive attitude is a strong personality trait, but, keeping it outside of the relationship and acting more like teammates will make your relationship more sustainable. Having a bit of competition with each other in a fun way is perfectly normal, but sticking together on decisions and your future is a sign that you are able to get through the tougher times that you will experience. 4. Throwing out the stubbornness and accepting responsibility Like most people, I always wanted to be right during any small discussions or even the big arguments. I would fight my corner for as long as it took. But, as my relationship developed and as I grew as a person, I realised that being right or trying to shift blame is not always the most important outcome. Pointing the finger or blaming your partner is an unhealthy relationship method. Instead, talking about the problem whether it is financial, house related or something within the family, looking at both partners contribution to the issue is the more mature and honest thing to do. Sometimes, putting your hands up and accepting your part is a quicker solution than going around in circles with each other looking who’s to blame. 5. Feeling secure Jealousy is a natural feeling when you love someone so much. But, jealousy stems from being insecure within your relationship. Having that feeling of loyalty and trust takes time and again, hard work. But, when you no longer feel paranoid or insecure, you have reached the epitome of love. Both partners should make one another feel so loved that there is no reason for one of you to have suspicion or unfaithful thoughts. Again, it takes time, but working on it together will create a healthy relationship. 6. Going out of your way for each other Whether you have been dating for 3 weeks or 10 years, nice gestures and romantic surpises should never go a miss. Putting your partner as your priority and not feeling bitter about it is a huge sign that you are in it for the long run. No one ever gets tired of being spoilt by their partner, even by the small things such as cleaning the house, cooking dinner or taking the dogs out for a walk. It doesn’t always have to be expensive jewellery or a big bouquet of flowers every time. By having a natural feeling that the world is no longer just about you, but more so about the happiness of this other person who you are sharing life with, then you can count yourself as someone in a healthy relationship. 7. Talking openly - even about the sore subjects From money to desires, being able to talk honestly and openly is the key to a healthy relationship. If you can’t tell your partner your true feelings and aspirations, then who can you tell? Healthy couples are the ones who trust one another with deep thoughts, even if they can be upsetting. 8. Allowing change and recognising that it is a good thing Life changes every single day. Embracing these changes and allowing your partner to live life as both an individual and as one in your relationship is essential. Healthy couples recognise that the person they met years ago is not going to be that same person for the rest of their life. Allowing each other to grow as individuals and supporting each other’s life choices is an important part to your relationship. Encouraging each other to start new hobbies or search for a new career path shows that you have a strong interest in the wellbeing of your partner. Communicating any changes that come your way and allow change to take its course is a sign of true partnership. 9. Recovering from the fighting Does the perfect couple fight? Yes. Does a healthy couple argue or disagree? All the time. Painting the perfect and healthy relationship as one that doesn’t fight is far from reality. All couples fight and discuss, its natural and in fact, necessary. Knowing what pushes each other’s buttons or how to calm one another down is an important part to learning more about each other. Constant fighting is of course, not a good sign and perhaps a good time to think and communicate whether the relationship is working. But, arguing in a healthy relationship will be the type where you don’t have to be disrespectful or hurtful to one another. For example, resorting to name-calling will lead to no sort of true communication. Couples who love and understand each other won’t have to use this technique to get their point across. However, if the odd word slips up without you meaning it, then the other must understand the difference between fury and honesty. 10. Your fears are reduced The feeling of support and security can reduce your fears massively. Also, having someone you trust can push you to face these fears. From being able to go on the tallest rollercoaster knowing you can hold their hand or going back to university to pick up another degree. Having that persons love and support makes us individually better people. Facing fears together creates new experiences and opportunities. A healthy couple will know when to support you and when to give you that tiny push.
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