Happy 2nd wedding anniversary to us!
I thought I would put up a little post about how much our marriage means to me and a few things I've learned in the 2 years we've been married.
(Scroll down for some pictures of us when we were dating, engaged and some of our wedding pictures!)
Rambling / Advice
So. Marriage. I've been so blessed with the man God gave me. I constantly feel like he puts way more into our marriage than I do. It's not that I don't try or that I don't care, it's just that I feel so taken care of that I think there's no way I reciprocate that enough. But then, he reminds me that I do take good care of him. I think it's the small things. The foot rubs, the dinners, even just giving Charlotte a bath. I guess I always feel like, "Well of course I take care of Charlotte! I'm a stay-at-home mom. It's my job!" But he makes me feel extraordinary about it. He lets me know all the time that it's not just expected of me; that it's amazing what I do, and that he's really thankful for me doing it.
I definitely try to let him know that the things he does for us matter so much too. Sometimes I feel exhausted after a long day and then I look down and I'm still in my pajamas, in the AC, and I got to take a nap today. Tom? He's been working in the heat wearing thick jeans and big boots, and then he sat in class for two hours. And then he came home and made dinner. And then he put Charlotte to bed (which is no small feat sometimes). Having that mindset definitely helps me curb my complaining.
I'm not diminishing the hard work that is motherhood in any way, but a great way to stay thankful and feel blessed is to actually stop think about all the everyday things your spouse does for you and your family. Yes, your husband goes to work every day but don't forget to remind him how thankful you are for him and the work he does. Thank him. Do something special for him when he gets home. And husbands - do the same for your wife. Something as small as getting her some $4 flowers from the grocery store self-checkout lane and kissing her when you walk in the door does wonders for a tired mom. People say "don't sweat the small stuff" but...
you need to sweat the small stuff!
The small stuff is what keeps marriage fun and sweet and happy!
So I guess that was my little piece of advice. Now lets get into what I've learned in my two years of marriage. This is definitely not everything I've learned but a quick list of a few of them.
What I've Learned
- First, I learned selflessness and selfishness. I learned how to balance the two. I think both are essential in marriage.
Selflessness - being giving of yourself to your spouse. Like when you really really reallllllyyyy don't want to get up at 6:30am and make his lunch for work but you do it because you know how much it would mean to them if you did.
Selfishness - I guess I don't mean it in the traditional sense of the word. I wouldn't want you to book a month-long cruise by yourself, leave the kids with your husband and say, "Figure it out!" on your way out the door. No. When I say selfishness we need to go back to "small things" again. I mean, schedule one night a week or every two weeks where you get time to yourself. Alone! You get to go shopping for a cute outfit by yourself or just go to a coffee shop, sit, and read. Alone! Do whatever it is that makes you happy! That is definitely not "selfish" of you in any way - we all need our alone time, especially moms. But I'm using the word "selfishness" to describe this alone-time for the sake of wordplay.
- Another thing I've learned is that date nights are essential. If we don't have a date night at least once a month or so I start to feel really burnt out. Parents need time away from their kids, not because they don't love them, but because they love them. When mommy and daddy are happy and have a healthy relationship that is way better for the kids than if you were stressed out, over-worked, and you stayed in with them for that few hours instead of going out. That isn't to say that going on dates isn't essential for married couples without kids. It most certainly is! I'm just going off of my current situation - parenthood.
- Support. Your spouse needs your support. Tom tells me all the time how amazing it is when I encourage him. He recently (as in last week) graduated school and he said he couldn't have done it without my constant reassurance and encouraging words. I know that I wouldn't be able to stay at home with Charlotte all the time unless I got some praise every now and then too. You want to receive some feedback for your hard work, right? When you're in the middle of a huge school project and there seems to be no end in sight it's amazing to have someone cheering you on, right? Or when you're working really hard for that promotion at work and a coworker says, "You're totally gonna get that position." it makes you feel amazing, right? The same thing applies in life and marriage. Whatever your spouse is working on - encourage them! Don't spare any praise! Celebrate little wins with them as though it was the biggest deal on earth. It lets them know how proud you are of them.
- Communicate! This is something Tom and I constantly have to work on. It's so easy to assume things all the time. Before you make plans, make sure your spouse is on board. Don't assume they can stay home with the kids while you go out one evening. Ask them. Don't assume your wife knows you love her. Tell her. Don't assume that you can spend $400 on shoes. Talk about it first. Which leads me to this...
- GET ON THE SAME PAGE ABOUT MONEY. NOW.
Did you know the #1 cause of divorce in North America is money fights? If you're not yet married but you're going to be soon, get on the same page. Create a budget. Don't spend a dollar without talking about it first. One of the best things to happen to our marriage has been Dave Ramsey. Yep. We used his baby step system and we are now debt free and are on our way to saving a down payment for a house. (I'll make a post on this another time! It has seriously changed our lives.) This is not a get rich quick system. It's a get smart with your money system. It takes patience, lots of communication, and it may be stressful at times but it is so worth it. I cannot describe to you the feeling of having no car payment each month, no credit card payment, no furniture store payment and all the rest. Just go to his website and read about the system. I promise you won't regret it!
You can thank me later ;)
I hope some of that was helpful to you! I know what I listed might seem like common sense but sometimes it's harder than it looks/sounds.
Comment below with some things you have learned in your married life! I, as well as any site visitors I'm sure, would love to know what you've learned and what works!
Alright, no lets get to the fun part - pictures!
The Night We Got Engaged...
I hope you enjoyed a little peak into our relationship through the years! And I hope you took something away from the things I've learned in my two years married to the most amazing person I've ever known :)
( I love you, Tom. )
I hope you all have an amazing day!
My name is Hannah and I'm a lucky wife to Tom, and mama bear to two sweet girls - Charlotte & Rosalie. Coffee, lipstick, sunshine, and dresses are some of my favorite things! I love to blog about God, motherhood, "wifeyhood", food, health and much more.
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