‘Happy Anniversary’ – Is it?
I could put a picture of my wedding day on instagram and wish my husband Happy 8th Wedding anniversary along the lines of ‘ love you more today etc etc’ But that wouldn’t be honest; and the one thing I always try to be is honest. The point of my blog is not to create a smoke screen, the life I present here is my reality – warts and all.
So if you’re out there reading this having a shitty time, thinking ‘Fuck why am I still married, this is not what I wanted, this is not what I thought my life would be’. Then I’m here to tell you you’re not alone. Lots of people will be/ are feeling this way. It’s just lots of people present a very different life on the internet to the one they are actually living. Cinderella has a shit load to answer for & FYI, you’re doing great.
The truth is I’m astounded we’ve come this far, and it was/ is not without its trials and tribulations. Marriage in its day to day is in essence is a bit of a shit comedown after the engagement and wedding day buzz (well for me anyway). Once the confetti has settled and the dinner service has been put away to gather a sufficient layer of dust real life kicks back in and in the ordinary you have to work at it. Getting comfortable with one another is a nice way to put neglecting one another. When life becomes busy your spouse tends to fall to the bottom of the to do list (quite literally in many instances) add children in to the mix and well let’s be frank here’s where it all goes tits up (or should that read tits down).
All joking aside co-parenting is one of the hardest things a marriage can have thrown at it. I was not (am not) a life planner prior to getting married. At no point did I sit my husband to be down and chat about how he planned to parent our potential future children with me.
We didn’t chat about our views on religion, would we bring our children up as Christians? We didn’t chat about schools, clubs, pushy parenting vs the laissez-faire hippy approach, who’d get up in the night? Who’d work? who would deal with the childcare??? We just didn’t plan to be parents. The biggest single thing you can do in life together – and we just went gung ho into it.
In fact the only mention of children I made pre-marriage was the frank discussion we had when I told him it was unlikely I would ever have children naturally, and I didn’t know if I could have children. So therefore if being a baby Daddy was a deal breaker in his future plans, I was ok with him walking away now. Poor dude said he was fine with or without and we soldiered on regardless with the I do’s.
Now, I think, because of our lack of planning about children, we wing it. We have mini-parenting board meetings in front of the children about what to do next (we know we’re not meant to do that but we’re crap at putting it into practice). Or we snipe at each other when the children are in bed about the way in which one of us dealt with a certain situation; where the goal posts are and, more importantly, who moved them.
So no gushy Instagram post, no ‘I love you more today than ever, so pleased I married my best friend’ from me this year.
Just an honest, I’m still married to you. High five, that didn’t look possible at points, lets pitch for 9? (I find these days small goals are easier to work towards, like today I’m going to wash up and feed my children, not necessarily in that order).
Here’s the letter I’d write to my husband if letter writing was our thing, it’s not so instead I’ll just pop it on the internet:
Happy Anniversary my dear old thing. High five we’re both still alive, 8 years done is an achievement that didn’t look possible at points. Lets pitch for 9? or 10? I’d rather aim for 10 if you’re ok with that? As you know I’m not a fan of odd numbers!
There are glimmers in amongst the chaos that remind me why I said yes 8 years ago; you still have an ability to flip my tummy with a look, when in that split second I feel 18 again, foolish, heady, hopeful. All be it those looks are few and far between in the bickering and baiting we seem to do these days.
I appreciate all you do for us as a family, to keep a roof over our heads, and keep us clothed and fed.
I’m aware you do it all for us and not because you simply love work. But please appreciate everything I do for us as a family too.
I don’t need a gold star for unloading the dishwasher or getting the boy to school on time, but I would like some acknowledgment that this stuff is hard too. Juggling all this with a job makes me feel resentful at times, I do admit.
Or perhaps this resentment is aimed more at society, in general, for placing no importance on my day-to-day activities; and sadly you bear the brunt. I am not just a house-wife; I am not just a mum; but I do get that that I am seen this way by society.
But not you, please not you, please see the ‘me’ you married, the ‘me’ who once danced on tables in a basque, the ‘me’ who laughed a lot and loudly. The ‘me’ who waxed regularly and always wore make-up. The ‘me’ stealing the limelight in that wedding photo wind in a veil, ready to fly, remember her???
Its corny but Ellie Golding has us about summed up: ‘We’ve had our share of mistakes, But all your flaws and scars are mine, Still falling for you’ – 15 years in B and undoubtedly your flaws are my flaws.
I imagine the teenage years are going to be a challenge for us and our very different outlooks on parenting – maybe we should discuss now our stance on: curfews?, underage drinking?, sex?, porn?, university vs. the school of life?, how long the lead is going to be so to speak? The fact I will not parent our daughter any differently to our son.
It may take a while to agree on this parenting task list – I imagine we have little chance of getting a gold medal in marriage without doing our homework prior to this phase?
Let’s stick at it for as long as we can muster hey B? And if we do go out, let’s go out in a blaze of flames and passion – preferably in an even year 😉