Our first year of marriage was filled with the sweetest wedded bliss we could have ever hoped for. We were young and working our way out of a mountain load of student loans but we were so happy just being together. I look back on that first year with such fond memories.
We would spend our Saturday mornings lazily drinking coffee and reading before making brunch and sipping mimosa across the table from one another sometimes until the early hours of the afternoon. On summer evenings we would walk hand in hand the short distance from our house to 12th avenue south and past the store fronts, eventually finding ourselves sitting on the patio of one of the restaurants sipping on a cold local brew, deeply immersed in conversation. Celebrating our first holidays together was filled with so much fun and excitement as we picked out our first Christmas tree and decorated it together while creating our own traditions and also incorporating some family traditions in.
Our first year was sweet and so special in a thousand ways. The unspoken and often unknown expectations that we each carry into marriage were absent our first year, I think most of the expectations I did feel were self imposed. What I imposed on myself wasn’t anything horribly damaging or detrimental but if I could go back and tell myself as a new wife a few things, this is what I would tell myself.
He knew he didn’t marry a gourmet chef & doesn’t expect you to be one
I love to cook and that’s one thing Justin loves that about me. I could spend hours in the kitchen, chopping, stirring, measuring, seasoning, simmering, I just love every part of it. He never had any expectations of what I cooked or how often I cooked. Each week I spent hours planning our menu, shopping, preparing, and cooking for each meal. He was delighted, always verbalizing how wonderful dinner was, always thanking me.
Somewhere along the was I created an expectation for myself, that I keep it all up.
What I wish I’d known is that, he didn’t think he married a gourmet chef and he would have been totally fine with eating Easy Mac and take out Chinese food.
2. The dishes can wait, go be with your husband
Out of the two of us, I am definitely the type A and tidy one. I hate when the sink is piled up with dishes, there’s laundry waiting to be done and the house is cluttered. I take care of most of the housekeeping tasks, the cleaning and laundry, by choice and because, he can tolerate a lot less tidiness than I can. But as a new wife, I wish I had let some of it slide. I wish I’d left the sink full of dishes more often. I wish I’d sat down with him on the couch and talked or watched TV instead of tidying up.
The dishes can always wait and I wish I’d chosen to let them wait.
3. Be who you are because who you are is enough
This one is the biggest one I wish I could go back and tell myself. Marriage makes you the best and worse versions of yourself and I wish in the midst of all that I held to and felt completely free to be who I was. It’s easy to get wrapped up in what we want to be, what we think we should be, especially as a new wife.
My husband married me and he loved me. He didn’t choose anyone else, he didn’t want anyone else. Being me was simply enough.
Looking back, I wouldn't trade our first year for anything but if I could go back, I think knowing these 3 things would have impacted our first year in incredibly positive ways.
So stop what you're doing and go make a memory. Take a thousand pictures and write down your stories so you can look back and remember. The dishes can wait. Easy Mac is a perfectly acceptable dinner. Be who you are and be together because both of those things are, quite simply, enough.