More Than Serving Tea


20 Things I Learned Through 20 Years of Marriage

Trust me. The math actually works out. Peter and I have been married for 20 years. Some lessons were easier than others. Some are still in process. Some require a lifetime. I’m grateful beyond words, but this is a blog so words are required.

Here are some lessons about myself and about life through marriage learned in no particular order.

  1. I can be a selfish, whiny brat. Ask Peter.
  2. Planning a wedding is easier than loving and honoring your spouse in sickness and till death. (And I had one heck of a wedding.)
  3. Seek out marriage counseling early and often.
  4. Make new friends as a couple.
  5. Make new friends as individuals.
  6. Fall bowling leagues actually last through spring.
  7. I am far too practical to enjoy romance but apparently not so practical that I can’t enjoy sparkly things.
  8. Subwoofer/laser disc/DVD/Blu Ray is a love language for some people.
  9. I thought I married a mind reader. He did, too.
  10. Love is a verb. It is a choice. Everyday.
  11. I do not like “traditional” gender roles when it comes to cooking, cleaning and child rearing.
  12. I like “traditional” gender roles when it comes to shoveling, mowing or cutting down large trees.
  13. I do not like my husband associating with men who refer to parenting their own children as “babysitting”.
  14. I do not like associating with women who call what the fathers of their children do as “babysitting” .
  15. Sometimes you have to go to bed angry with each other because it’s better to go to bed with the understanding you will talk later than to argue when tired.
  16. Men aren’t the only ones who enjoy sex, think about sex or initiate sex.
  17. You really are marrying into a family, not marrying the individual.
  18. Children should not be the center of your marriage.
  19. The Church needs to talk more about healthy friendships and marriages because the world around me is still shouting louder and more effectively.
  20. It never hurts to say, “Thank you” and “I love you” for no other reason than you mean it.

Happy 20th anniversary to me and Peter. I am so glad I laughed through “Wayne’s World.” I am sorry it took me so long to stay awake (and then thoroughly enjoy “The Holy Grail”). I don’t think I will ever stay awake through “The Purple Rose of Cairo.”

 


Working Mothers: You Are Not Crazy

*Note: I wrote this a few days ago, and then I hesitated to publish this because it seemed whiny. Well, it is. Sort of. It’s my whiny and I’ll hit “publish” if I dare to.

All mothers (and fathers) work, and it is hard, rewarding, amazing, humbling work.

But this is for those of us mothers who also have a job outside of the home.

Am I crazy? I’m not trying to be superwoman, right? We aren’t crazy. Today is just one of those days. Please, someone out there tell me Β you know what I’m talking about.

In the past few weeks I have spent a few extra hours talking, laughing, crying and raising my fist in solidarity with other working moms who are scheduling meetings around nursing schedules and feedings and school pick-up and drop-off times while I was juggling a sick kid at home during a home office day and conference calls.

Just this morning, both my boys claimed illness before I had had a chance to make myself a cup of coffee. My husband had to go into the office by a certain time and since my office is downstairs I got the delightful job of trying to gently cajole and then outright threaten them with cancelled play dates to get out of bed.

Boys 2, Mom 0.

Maybe they really are sick?

I try not to get angry at my husband as he leaves. I know he worries about the boys, and he feels bad that I have to stay home and reschedule meetings and phone calls, write deep and moving blogposts, close the books on a training seminar day, finish some work-related reading on leadership and diversity while tending to two boys who will spend the rest of the day complaining about being bored because the fever never materialized. And in the midst of that I can’t get past the crumbs all over the counters and table and floors, but I will manage to get past the clean laundry sitting in a pile on the couch.

I’ll just move it when I need to collapse later.

I try not to get angry that when he comes home he gets to “help” me, which I know he doesn’t mean it Β in that way but when I’m tired and cranky (for those of you with young children, you will still have tired and cranky moments with teenagers because by then you are older and have a lower threshold) I can’t stand the fact that he gets to “help” me as if the expectation is that it’s all my job – the kids, the home, the job outside of the home – and he gets to help.

I remember a few times having to listen to both men and women marvel at how Peter managed at home with the baby and then the two kids and now three kids while I traveled. One person even used the term “babysitting”.

Babysitting?

Fathers do not babysit their own children!

And while I do have fun on my business trips (if you love what you do and respect and enjoy the company of the people you work with and for work can be fun), it’s still work.

I try not to get angry, because we both have chosen this lifestyle and agreed that for the time being I will bring in some bacon and fry it up in a pan even though as a woman I need to work 23% more to earn at the same rate as my husband. I try not to get angry, but I certainly have moments where I feel crazy. Today is just one of those days.

And to top it off, I gave up nail polish and candy for Lent…

Gotta go. The little guy is hungry.