Fever

Baby fever, that is.

Is it just me, or are babies suddenly everywhere?

It comes in waves – this completely impractical urge to have babies RIGHT NOW despite the fact that we, you know, have no money, are both in school full time, and frankly, are still a bit too selfish to commit to a small, needy child. We still have some traveling we want to do, a lot of school debt to pay off, and definitely want to buy a house before we expand our family, so we know kids aren’t in the cards for at least another 3 years.

But try telling my irrational uterus that. It wants a baby, and it wants it NOW. Sigh.

How do I make it stop?

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The Best Day of Your Life

Originally written shortly after getting engaged – Summer 2011

There’s a lot of noise in the wedding planning world about the expectation that your wedding will be “the best day of your life”. Scan any major wedding website, magazine, or even advertisement and you’re sure to stumble across this phrase, (or its cousin – ‘the happiest day of your life’) at least half a dozen times. To me, this sets the standards pretty low for the rest of your life (not just beyond the wedding but before it as well). I’ve had a pretty awesome life to date, with some pretty phenomenal days. I haven’t exactly been sitting around twiddling my thumbs waiting for a man to come along and marry me so I can get my life started.

Don’t get me wrong, I am excited about the wedding. I’m excited to wear a pretty dress and plan a fun event and celebrate surrounded by all of the people we love most in the world. But it’s a superficial level of excitement compared to the depth of excitement I feel for the rest of my life. I am excited about scrimping and saving for a downpayment together while we daydream about our first house (a cute little place with a big kitchen, lots of windows, plenty of character, a big ramshackle porch, a little balcony, and lots of land, please and thank you!). I’m excited to set common goals and work together to make them a reality. I’m excited for the adventures we’re going to have – the roadtrips, the DIY projects, the new hobbies we’ll inevitably try, building our little life together. I’m excited to travel and explore our world together. I’m excited to drag home our first real Christmas tree, and decorate it with whatever pathetic collection of mismatched ornaments we can manage to scrounge up. I’m excited for the day we bring home our first pet, maybe a rescue dog from the local shelter. I’m excited for the day we decide we’re ready to expand our little family. I’m excited to read all the baby books, do all the pre-natal classes, and generally overprepare like I always do for everything. I’m excited to bring that little addition home, and feel the intense love, exhaustion, enthrallment, and awe that comes with having your first child. I’m excited to create and develop our own family traditions, and figure out how we work as a unit. I’m excited to grow together, and challenge eachother, and learn from eachother.

People often talk about their dream wedding. This dream may involve a villa in Italy, or a grand ballroom, or a quaint rustic barn in the countryside. It may involve a designer dress or matching glittery converse sneakers or that perfect vintage veil you found on Etsy. It could have a monogrammed aisle runner or cute little flower girls carrying a sign that says ‘Here Comes the Bride’ or a hip rock band that gets the crowd dancing all night. All of that’s fabulous and fun, but my dream wedding? It’s a day full of joy. A day overflowing with the excitement and promise of our life together. It’s a day where I feel giddy knowing I’m committing to share the joys and weather the challenges with the most kind, wonderful, loving, respectful man I’ve ever met.

So am I excited about the wedding? Yes, of course. But putting it up on the pedestal of ‘best day of our lives’? No thanks. I’ll be happy with our wedding if it’s another wonderful day to add to the many wonderful days we have had and will continue to have in our life together.

Post-wedding editors note: This is exactly how the wedding turned out to be. Another wonderful day to add to the many wonderful days we’ve had and will have together. With a little extra surrealism and love thrown in for good measure.

Babies Are Scary

I may seem to be jumping the gun a bit talking about babies, but as I’ve been asked dozens of times since getting engaged/married when Husband and I plan to have kids (a. none of your business, b. not any time soon) – this topic has been on my mind.

As always, the fabulous blog A Practical Wedding/Reclaiming Wife had some perfectly relevant content for me today. There’s a lot of popular assumptions and stereotypes about how having children will impact your marriage, and the general social norm that’s paraded around is that kids will ruin your marriage, you’ll lose your identity, never have time for your husband, and you’ll generally become a motherhood martyr. I call BS on that one, and thankfully, so do a lot of wise, intelligent women out in the blogosphere who are actually living motherhood right now.

Which brings me to Liz of Happy Sighs who recently wrote a series on her blog about her early experiences with motherhood called “Babies Are Scary”. Despite the title, it’s not what you think. There’s 5 pieces in the series which touch on the realities of equal coparenting, sleep deprivation, the impact of babies on your marriage, what it’s actually like to stay home all day with your baby, and the fear of the unknown that accompanies parenting. What is most appealing about the pieces to me is that Liz subscribes to much the same view of life that I do – which is that your life is what you make it. I don’t care how cliche that saying may be, I think it’s one of the most important lessons people need to learn.

Anyway, let’s hear it in Liz’s words, you can check out the series here.

On Marriage and Work

And no, this isn’t about balancing marriage and your career.

An interesting discussion cropped up on A Practical Wedding the other day about the concept that marriage takes work. It’s a concept that’s fairly well-known in our society, but what does it really mean? Meg (the head honcho of A Practical Wedding) kicked off the discussion with a piece of advice she heard in her 20′s – “If it’s right, it’s easy”. It’s a piece of advice I 100% agree with, but I need to elaborate on what I mean.

“Easy” doesn’t mean your relationship is completely devoid of conflict or disagreement. It doesn’t mean you never argue or lose patience. It doesn’t mean life never throws anything incredibly heart-wrenching your way that you need to get through.

But it does mean that your conflicts are handled rationally, without spewing insults or festering anger. It means that when you lose patience, you are humble enough to apologize. It means that when life gets tough, you’re stronger and more capable of handling it, because you’re together.

Easy means your relationship feels like a partnership that makes you feel empowered and ready to face the world and go after your dreams. If it feels like anything less, if it saps your energy instead of renewing it, defeats you rather than empowering you, it’s probably not right.

All relationships will have periods that feel like work. When money’s tight, or you have a new baby, or some external stressor is imposing on your relationship, there will most certainly be times when it feels like more of a struggle than usual, but those times should be rare. The majority of the time, a healthy, happy relationship should feel easy, lighthearted, and joyful. In the slightly over 4 years Husband and I have been together, it has always felt easy, and always felt natural. When we first said I love you only 2 weeks into our relationship, it was real and genuine and natural. When we moved in together 6 months after that, there were no ‘define the relationship’ talks or complicated transitions or struggles to adjust to the others constant presence. Again, it felt natural. We didn’t need to define the relationship because we both knew exactly what it was.

In the 3 and a half years we’ve lived together, our relationship has been joyful, steadying, and empowering. I’ve tried more new things in the time we’ve been together than I likely tried in all my years combined before that. New foods (anyone who knows me knows this is a big deal for me, I’m the pickiest eater on the planet), new music, new hobbies, new ideas. I finally summed up enough confidence to get my driver’s license. Husband has started to pursue his career goals, and developed the confidence to break out of his comfort zone. Our relationship doesn’t define us, but it gives us the freedom and sense of empowerment to try new things and become the best versions of ourselves.

To sum up, I’m going to borrow a quote from one of the commenters on the discussion at A Practical Wedding, (who unfortunately goes by ‘anonymous’), who said: “The good kind of relationship work is like tending a lovely garden or putting effort into a well-loved hobby. The bad kind is like, well, fixing a toilet that breaks every day or having to put in overtime at a telemarketing job.”

Nothing sums it up better than that.

Here We Go Again

So. Another blog.

I’ve had a few over the years. I still have one, in fact, that I share with my husband – we write about DIY and food and fun stuff like that.

But what I’ve been lacking in all my past blogs is a place where I can just share my thoughts and musings on any topic, without the restrictions imposed by having a theme associated with your blog. I’m in a place in my life where I really want to be able to write about whatever strikes my fancy on a given day.

I’m also at a point where I’d like to be able to write a bit more freely than I can on a blog where I’m very open about who I am – thus making the blog very much a part of my public identity. As a result, for now at least, I will simply be known as Mrs. Jobson on this blog, and my husband will simply be known as Husband. I may change my mind about this further down the line, or I may not.

I’ll be posting a couple of posts from my past blogs to kick things off around here, but after that, I’ll be posting all new content, whenever the mood to write strikes.

Cheers,

Mrs. Jobson