photo by JWL Photography
Today, I'm taking a departure from my usual Wednesday Whim posts to write a post in honor of my wedding anniversary with this guy.
It's crazy to realize that we celebrate our anniversary as parents this year (I was secretly pregnant this time last year!). We really didn't have a specific timeline of when we thought we would have a child. We just figured it would happen within the first few years (thankfully, it did!).
Frankly, I'm glad we got to spend the first few years where it was "just us." This wasn't because we got to do a lot of traveling (work and life have been particularly busy) or have a crazy social life, but it was a time where we were simply lying around together, watching movies, having friends over and enjoying each other's company that I am glad we experienced. The simple things.
We're five months into this joint parenting experience and things have changed pretty fast. New routines. New habits. New language. Learning to be a parent has been the most challenging journey (for me especially), but I am stronger because I have my guy's support. I value the extra hands on duty from him and appreciate how happy he is to be a father.
When it was just him and me, we never wanted to take each other for granted. Well, with a baby on board, whatever sort of expectations we had for each other have only accelerated. Year one, year two and year three taught us plenty as we settled into marital life as a couple, but year four is teaching us to be an expanded family. As we continue to mature together, here are some things we feel has helped us so far...
- Be mindful.
Kinda goes without saying BUT, as baby takes precedence in our lives, we still need to respect each other's boundaries. He needs time for himself. I need time for myself. And we need time to be together. We give each other breaks from all things baby, we sneak in solo time when baby sleeps and we say "have fun" when one of us leaves to hang out with a friend. We are still individuals after all. Being a father and a mother are labels that help define us, but don't make us.
- Be especially loving.
We never leave each other's company without saying "I love you," but this is especially meaningful nowadays. As sweet, charming and adorable as baby B is to us, he can be quite a handful, too. The first months with him was a big whirlwind and things didn't go as planned with a lot of things we expected (they never do with baby, do they?). Remembering how much we care about each other really helped get us through whatever difficulties we faced together. Emphasizing how much we valued each other as much as we valued our baby kept us strong.
- Be kind.
Please and thank you have never gone farther.
- Be hungry.
Literally and figuratively.
It seems food is always on the agenda. As a couple, we dined out every week. But, with baby, we cut way back. We've always cooked meals at home, but we have been particularly creative with baby. Thanks to cookbooks (I vouch for America's Test Kitchen and The Smitten Kitchen), I have expanded my usual repertoire of recipes. I've even started to make my own baby food with my Beaba (more on that later!). While we haven't quite gotten to meal planning (yet), we are appreciating the art of elevating home cooking AND planning when to eat between all baby moments. (OK...and we indulge in take out, too. We are human and get lazy.)
As cliche as it sounds, we are also constantly hungry for knowledge.There's much to learn, and unlearn, during this growing phase. I'm learning to be less guarded, seek help when I need it and identifying what things will help my tiny tot grow. But, I'm also unlearning my desire to plan/control everything (since babies won't let you do that anyway). I know everything will eventually balance out, but hey, I'm a new mom and I'm type-A learning to incorporate some type-B personality.
- Be here. Now.
I think once you become a parent, you wonder about the future - A LOT. Even more than you thought you did for yourself. While this can become obsessive (guilty!), the husband and I have also appreciated the moments we have now. Baby B changes everyday and before we know it, he won't be baby B anymore. He'll be toddler B, preteen B, teenage B and then...adult B. Everyone says how quickly time flies with children. So we want to cherish everything.
Happy, happy anniversary to my goofball and nerdy husband. Life wouldn't be the same without you. And what a sad world that would be. Thank you for making life better, funnier and more exciting.