Archives For Decisions

Why I Chose a Home Birth

olive chan —  March 9, 2015 — 6 Comments

Choosing a home birth was not an easy decision, but I’m glad we gave it a try.

“Redemption” is probably not the first word that comes to mind when you think about childbirth. But for me, it was. The moment I realized I was pregnant with our second child, I wanted redemption. My experience of birthing my first baby was pretty tame as far as birth stories go, but there were elements that made it a traumatic experience for me.

I gave birth to my first baby in a hospital and I came out of that experience feeling unheard, disempowered and simply run through the system. I wanted to do it differently the second time. I wanted to actually experience birthing my child the way I was built for it.
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[This is a guest post by Randy Hamm from The Marriage Mentor. He has been working with premarital and married couples for over 10 years.]

“Um, to be honest, what would we talk to a mentor about for 6 hours?”

I had just explained that I usually recommend a minimum of three, 2-hour sessions (for a total of 6 hours) for premarital mentoring. The bride-to-be (let’s call her Kate) on the other end of the line couldn’t imagine needing to talk for so long about their relationship. I had them complete an online assessment, and once they began to see their assessment results, they decided that it couldn’t hurt. Halfway through the second session they, specifically the guy (let’s call him Will), commented how much they enjoyed the process: exploring their differences, looking at the families they came from and their styles of communication. Now they are eager to get to the next topics of discussion (finances, sexuality, kids, etc).

I’ve seen dozens of couples in the Vancouver area make discoveries like this.
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Why do men decide to become stay-at-home dads? Recently, I, along with 3 other dads in Vancouver, were interviewed by Fairchild TV for their documentary on the rise of stay-at-home dads in recent years. According to Statistics Canada, men now account for 12% of stay-at-home parents (compared to just 4% in 1986). This blog post isn’t about arguing whether stay-at-home dads are on the increase, or whether this phenomenon is over-hyped, it is about exploring the reasons why men decide to become stay-at-home dads.
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“Give me one good reason to have a child,” two of my friends recently asked me on separate occasions. Each had been married for about two years and were now thinking about whether or not to start a family. They could come up with many reasons not to have kids: the cost, the declining condition of our planet, the total life upheaval and the loss of personal freedom among others. But they weren’t so sure about reasons for having a child. Continue Reading…

Earlier this year, Tim wrote a piece about looking for the wrong person to marry. “Thanks for writing this,” responded some readers, “now I know who NOT to look for. But I’m still left with the question, who DO I look for??” It’s a great question.

“You just know,” is probably the most unhelpful answer of all time. But if you took a poll of married people on how they knew they wanted to marry their spouse, that is a common answer you might get. Maybe if you were a very intuitive decision maker, you would just know (and if that’s the case, this article is not for you). But for the rest of us, although I don’t have all the answers, here are some factors that might be helpful when considering whether the person you’re dating is someone you’d want to marry. Continue Reading…

Olive’s rating: 5 stars out of 5

I absolutely loved this book. Parker Palmer did an excellent job of painting a picture of what safe communities of people look like and how they help individuals toward living an undivided life of integrity.
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Olive and I were thinking that it would be very meaningful, in our 30th years of life, to write a book together outlining the major choices we’ve made in our 20s and how it has shaped our lives. Now nearing the end of my 30th year I realize the goal of writing a book was a bit too much, so we’ve decided to write some blog posts instead. Olive has started writing about her choices in her blog series “Finding my Voice: A look back at the Defining Decisions of my Twenties“.

20defining decisionsHere are my top 20 Life-shaping choices I made in my 20s. In November I took a poll from our readers to see which choices they would like to read about the most. The idea is for me to start writing about the ones people are most interested in. Here are the results, and the links to the decisions I’ve written about so far. I will be continuing to write this series through this year.

1. Embrace my Depression [realizing the gifts that depression brings] – 26 votes (Part 1 and Part 2)
2. Learn My Boss’ Job [how to spend my time at work]
3. Decide the one things I will die for [how to find passion in life] – 17 votes
4. See a Counselor to discuss depression, pornography and other things – 13 votes
5. Take responsibility of my spiritual growth [stop relying on my church for my growth] – 13 votes
6. Create a 5-year plan for my life – 13 votes
7. Go into marriage trusting God more than trusting Olive or myself – 13 votes
8. Find my calling in life [taking Sabbaticals to find my purpose in life] – 12 votes
9. Ask myself the right question [from “what should I do?’ to “who should I become?” to “who am I?”] – 12 votes
10. Spend time with people who are going somewhere in life – 12 votes
11. Learn to tell good stories and ask good questions – 12 votes
12. Define my goal for dating: Dating for clarity vs Dating for marriage – 10 votes
13. Decide my family will be my friends – 10 votes
14. Use words to give others courage [what I learned from Ken Shigematsu] – 9 votes
15. Think Bigger [what I learned from working with Leonard Buhler] – 9 votes
16. Incorporate Rest and Solitude into my life – 9 votes
17. Listen and understand before making suggestions – 7 votes
18. Find mentors, friends, and people to mentor – 7 votes
19. Live with margin in my life – 7 votes
20. Look for Convergence in my life [living an integrated life] – 6 votes

What defining decisions did you make in your 20s?