I was asked to write some of my thoughts down on Naia’s journey and the changes that she has affected in her life. What it means to me and what it has been like from my perspective.
Let me say first that I am not a writer. I’m not a person who shares my feelings about most things, and if I do it doesn’t really make sense to anyone but me anyway. I make an effort now to follow Naia’s example and hopefully I do a decent job.
When originally she told me about the changes she wanted to make to her lifestyle, I was skeptical. I knew she was in a bad place and I agreed that she needed to make some changes to become happier, but a complete “lifestyle change”? To tell the truth, I didn’t know what to think. She talked about going back to basic priorities and modeling from the 1950s housewife. It seemed like a lot of drastic changes needed to take place and it would be hard to keep up the behaviors once they did change.
I needn’t have worried. The new lifestyle change has been almost an “across the board” success.
Let me tell you what I think it means, or what I choose to get from it. I think it means focus on the family. Back in the 1950s I think there was a much bigger focus on the family. Being successful and having accomplishments were important but more often than not those things included the family. There was much more societal honor and responsibility. It was a time where people worked hard and the family was important. If there was a movie night, the family packed into the car and went to the drive in. If you went out to eat, the family went out to eat. The mother was the family anchor, the heart if you will. She kept the family functioning and moving.
When the decision was made I saw where Naia was. She had a growing business, one that she had wanted to open for a very long time. She worked a day job making decent money, which she used to help float and expand her business. She had a nice place to live and nice vehicles in the driveway. Money and time were readily available to head out of town most weekends. She was also completely miserable. She had many of the nice and important things that many of us are fooled into thinking that we need to make us feel satisfied.
Why was she unhappy?
She has always been a good mother. We have two wonderful boys that for the most part are well behaved and healthy in all aspects. They are smart little whips and she has done a wonderful job with them and I can honestly say that I am proud to have her as the mother to my children. The boys seemed healthy and happy, but I have seen a marked improvement in both children since this lifestyle change has started. Mommy is around more, and she is more invested in their daily lives. Her shop/relationships/responsibilities kept her so busy that she didn’t know what she was missing out on. How many people have the same issues with their lives today? How many children and parents in this same situation?
Her focus now has changed from whatever things were super important to family first. She is no longer so busy that she doesn’t have time or energy for her children. There is more togetherness, doing more family activities, and even sitting down and eating dinner with her family. Not much grabbing food on the go, or eating out anymore. Instead she plans her menus to a degree and makes sure there is healthy and good food for her family. She has started really baking and cooking things in the home, and let me tell you as a recipient of her cooking…. It is awesome!
She gets up early and makes breakfast for her children. She helps them get ready for school and out the door. When they come home she asks them about their day, perhaps over a snack. She helps them with their homework. She makes sure they have a good dinner. They don’t get sugared food or snacks, or even much salty foods. They don’t watch much TV. For the most part there is very little electronic stimulus in their lives. If they get bored, go outside and play! Many nights she will read to them stories such as “Charlotte’s Web” or “Pinocchio”. While she does have many other responsibilities and jobs to get done, she makes her children and the household a priority.
I have seen a marked improvement in the children’s behavior and moods. Even she seems to smile more and be much happier to me these days. There is much less focus on monetary things or accomplishments. I have noticed there is much more focus on family, and spiritual growth. This makes me personally happier as well. She has had to make many sacrifices, but I really haven’t caught her complaining about many of them.
I cannot say there have not been bumps in the road or everything has been perfect. Nothing ever is. What I will say is that I support her and this road she travels down, and I am extremely proud of her for who she is and even more for who she is trying to become.
Let’s talk about my thoughts about this whole thing and how it has affected me. If you are wondering, it has affected me. First let me tell you my thoughts about the 1950s and a man’s role in it.
Morals had meaning. Honesty, fair play, personal honor and respect (especially for elders) weren’t just words. Kids were taught both at home and school that these were good important things that they needed to incorporate into their lives. Kids watched their parents live by these, and learned from examples. I think this time was the last time that generational values were passed down to the next generation effectively on a large scale.
Role models were held to a higher standard. Sports players that got into serious trouble would effectively be ridiculed and lose their positions or be put on probation. I think parents were many times held up to a higher standard also. Mothers and fathers were role models to the children and had to act like it. There was much less blaming something or even society that we hear every day today.
Family was also more important than today. Divorce was less frequent and many times couples would work harder at marriages to avoid a social stigma attached to it. The woman many times just took care of the home, and the man had the responsibility to provide for the family. It wasn’t unheard of for the man to take a second job or keep a job he couldn’t stand to make sure his family was taken care of. Family first and then yourself was actually take seriously back then. I also think the children cared for and respected their parents more than they do today. I don’t know many people now days that don’t think they are smarter than their parents.
To me personally, I now take a bigger role in my children’s lives. I try to think about how they see me and what they will learn from what I show them. I want them to have personal honor and morals that surpass what I had growing up. I work hard to teach them respect and as they grow I will try to impart to them the value of family first. Family first has become a more important part of my life because of what the positive effect I have seen from Naia and my children. I personally started my own journey quite a bit ago and seeing Naia’s has strengthened and helped shape my own into something more positive and helped show me how important it is to have the proper priorities in my own life.
It has been over 6 months since she started down this path. I think it will be an interesting journey, and I can’t wait to see where it leads.
I asked him to contribute how he felt about the past six months. I did not direct his words. They are his and his alone.