From time to time I will post something random that has nothing to do with food because I feel strongly compelled to share. Really, I know who most of my readers are and I know there isn’t many of you so you can decide whether or not to read on. In the end this blog is more of a creative outlet and a way for me to stay excited about cooking and how it changes my relationship not only with food but with my family.
My blog in some way always mentions my family because frankly I would be lost without them. They make me the person I am today and they help keep me on track even through the toughest of times. The reason I felt compelled to write today was because I came across an article “Marriage is about what you give- not what you get” and it spoke to me.
Jake and I are embarking on a whole new chapter of life— parenthood!!! In a few short weeks we will welcome a baby boy into our lives and I could not be more terrified and excited at the same time. We are tying up loose ends on a house renovation (again that my family and friends have helped every step of the way) and we are trying to learn as much as possible about being parents, keeping balance, finances and the importance of keeping your marriage at the top of the list. Through this journey I have been so blessed to have a husband who talks to me about everything- there is not one thing he does not know about me or my past- he knows the good, the bad and the ugly. He accepts who I am and I him- no questions asked.
Before we decided to try and start a family we talked- nights on end for hours, on whether or not we were “ready”, how we wanted to raise kids, what is most important to us and what we hope to change and pass down to our kids. Through these talks I learned about Jake’s upbringing and he about mine. I also learned about the sacrifices he made to keep me happy when we were just recently dating, when we moved in together for the first time and through buying our first home. I knew a lot of the things he did for us but there were some that left me speechless.
Jake shared with me that for a few months Jake spent his nights eating “sandwiches” and I use that term loosely because there was rarely anything substantial in between those two slices of bread. He did this not because he didn’t have his dad to help him out if needed but because he was sacrificing to get us to a better place, scraping every penny together to take me to new places and on new adventures. He pawned some of his belongings to pay for gas, he pawned them to pay for school and through it all I never heard a single complaint.
When we were living together I was in a full time job and he went to school full time to really concentrate and only took jobs on weekends or in the early morning to make ends meet. Not once did I hear him say he was tired or hurt. He sacrificed himself to bring us to another level in our relationship. We had a major fight in our first apartment that I for a while thought would be the end of us- I was wrong. At that point I knew Jake would be my one and only but it was my turn to “convince” him. It was my turn to care for him, to put him on the pedestal he deserved to be on since day one.
Our relationship shifted and I picked up more of the slack, not only financially but emotionally. Jake was going through an extremely difficult time dealing with things with his mom (another story for anther day- maybe) and he needed me and he needed my mom at the time to step in- which we did. Jake needed for someone to be on his side no matter what, that is what he needed from me most and that is exactly what I did. Sometimes I did a good job of that and other times I left a lot to be desired. In the end, over the years we learned that our life was about balance- one of us was going to be strong through some days while the other took some time to be taken care of.
Again, I am no expert on marriage- we have only been married for a few years. However, I can say that marriage has taught me that I can still be a strong woman and take care of my husband. Jake can be a caretaker and provider and still need my help. I recently had a conversation with my family about how our society is breeding women who are “alpha females” … and I don’t want to dig into if I agree or disagree but I do want to highlight the fact that because I married someone who gives more than he expects to get and therefore I do the same for him, I can be any kind of woman I want and he can be any kind of man he wants.
Marriage has been about sacrifice, adventure and learning for us. We learn something new about one another nearly every day- sometimes the things we learn are exciting and shocking and other times it is that Jake is newly allergic to bananas. Either way we learn that we continue to give our all to one another and we intend to continue that once Baby Spoon arrives.
I have been open with Jake in my worries that I will begin to put him on the back burner once our baby arrives because of my desire to be a mother. I think just having that conversation has helped us to be aware of what we both need as we move forward in our relationship. If we can talk about our fears and work through them together we can continue to give to each other. This pregnancy has been a whirlwind- we lost our first baby and that literally rocked our world. We had to learn a whole new way to cope and a new way of communicating about feelings. Now here we are and we have a healthy baby boy on the way (our rainbow baby) and we know our prayers are being answered.
So back to the beginning- marriage is about what you give. Marriage is about falling asleep while you give your partner a back rub after they have fallen asleep. Waking up your partner every morning because you know they hate alarms. Packing a lunch the night before so they can head out the door on time. Setting up the new crib on your own so that you can surprise them when they walk in the door. Marriage is about giving our all even when you feel like you have nothing left to give.