Despite being in our thirties, I think myself and Papa Bear are relatively traditional when it comes to our marriage. We’re not stuck in the 1950s though, with himself the bread winner and me tied to the kitchen sink peeling spuds. We’re quite the team when it comes to our relationship as well as our parenting. When our marriage hits a blip or life throws a curveball, we have a natural way of finding our way back to the straight and narrow. We never read a guidebook, although there are many! We value each other as well as our marriage. And no, every day is not perfect, and yes, somedays we want to throttle each other, but running away is never an option. I realised a lot of the qualities that makes us “Us” are not new. Not new age. They’re relatively old fashioned but certainly still relevant.
Lately I’ve found myself talking about relationships a lot. And it’s not because Papa Bear and I have hit a personal milestone. It’s more to do with the fact that being a family of bears takes its toll on even the most stable of relationships. It’s hard. We know that. We’re up against quite a lot when kids come along. Intimacy, conversation, time for each other stalls. And Hollywood doesn’t help. The Hollywood Ideal lures us into a false sense of security, almost as though it’s not necessary to work on our relationships daily. But we do, oh we really, really do.
I sound incredibly pretentious and righteous with the title of this post. But the fact of the matter is, myself and Papa Bear are together 17 years last week. We must be doing something right. I was a teeny, tiny 17 years old when I met him, meaning I now literally know him half my life. I’ve thought of this day quite a lot over the last almost two decades. Knowing, and loving him (get a room!) for half of my life feels like such a huge achievement. He has been by my side for so long and I can’t imagine life without him. We were young when we met, young when we married and we’re still young. And we’re still together. Against the odds. Because everyone figured there would be odds. That we were too young. That we wouldn’t last. Well, we did. And we are. And I put it down to three things.
This week on In Conversation With, I had the pleasure of speaking with the beautiful Julie from Fab Working Mom Life. Julie is a working Mom, a blogger and a mother of one. I know exactly the daily grind Julie goes through as I’m a full time working Momma Bear also. It can be very difficult to keep the house and home going and ensure you’re not neglecting yourself, your partner and most importantly your children. But some how we manage it, and sometimes we need help. Julie’s blog is fantastic and I feel like I can relate to a lot that she says. Keeping our identity in parenthood is so important. Read on to see what Julie has to say on being a working mom.
Ahhh the Daddy Tag Challenge! I’ve yet to be nominated for the Mummy Tag Challenge – I’m clearly clamboring for a nomination here! – so I decided to jump on the bandwagon and nominate Papa Bear for #TheDaddyTag! A clever challenge issued by the very wonderful Frenchie Mummy. I was tempted to do as Frenchie said and make the answers up for B but he was very happy to oblige and take part. Check out his answers to the Daddy Tag Challenge. Of course I couldn’t help but add my own little tid-bit too!
Today, Momma Bear and Papa Bear have realised something. Something that has crept up on us as we’ve lived and loved our days. Something that really shouldn’t have been so shadowed and hidden. And yet, it feels as though change came knocking, unlocked the door and gracefully let itself in without us knowing. Today, change gave us a bruising. A slap, right across the face. Almost a wake up call. Don’t miss these days, these hours, these seconds. They will soon blur.
Finally, after almost a year, B and I went on a date! After last weeks post on Parenting Can Be Lonely, the timing of our date couldn’t be better. It’s so important to look after your relationship as well as the kiddies. Since time as a couple is now limited, every chance we get should really be jumped at but we’ll be the first to admit that we don’t take these golden opportunities. Luckily, for us, Star Trek: Beyond was just about to hit the cinema and as massive Trekkies, we pushed the parental guilt aside and scheduled the grandparents in for some much needed babysitting. Muchos Gracias! Our date was not without a few hiccups. We’re clearly quite rusty but it had its highlights too.
I’m not talking about when you bring a newborn home and the world suddenly seems very big and very scary. Or when the weight of responsibility for a beautiful helpless human lies heavy on your shoulders. You feel so alone because you think you don’t know what you’re doing (when really you do!) I don’t mean when the excitement of the first few weeks dies down and suddenly friends and family visit less and the house is quiet and looms large with its multitude of tasks. And I’m not talking about the loneliness that comes with being somewhat isolated on maternity leave when you wish after the old norm of the daily grind which included adult conversation and hot cups of tea with colleagues.
The Grandparent Bond is strong, supportive, and beautiful to watch grow. I have an amazing relationship with my parents. I love and respect them to such an extent that I simply can’t put it in to words. I look up to them for everything and place them high on a pedestal whether they like it or not. When I say these things to them, my Mum would answer, “We’re not perfect”. But I think they are.
June is our wedding anniversary. We are married ten years – it’s our Tin Year. B has always made me laugh. He’s one of those guys that is scarily funny. He’s so quick with his comebacks that you can’t help but think, “How the hell did he come up with that one?” I remember sitting on the ‘phone chair’ – a large imposing wicker chair with padded cushions which is long since gone – talking to B on the corded phone in my parents house when I was seventeen and about to sit my leaving cert (end of school exams in our neck of the woods). I was laughing so hard that when I got off the phone my sister who is seven years older than me asked, “Is he really that funny?”