First Comes Love…

The inevitable happened. You remember that rhyme you used to sing when you were in elementary school, the one that went “first comes love, then comes marriage”? The thing that, in tradition, happens after marriage has happened to me.

My first thought was that I majorly screwed up, and I internally heard laughter at the joke (which I now relate to completely) that goes “What do you call people who use the ‘rhythm method’? Parents.”* My immediate second thought was “I’m married… isn’t this what’s supposed to happen?” My third thought was about how much tinier our 600 square foot apartment was about to become. Then I tried to stop thinking altogether and called the ob/gyn. It took a couple weeks for the morning sickness to kick in, and I am fortunate that it never got as bad as some women supposedly have it. I never actually got sick, but I got darn near close to it, and I was so tired that all I wanted to do after work was flop down on the couch and sleep (which I did on most days).

The exhaustion lifted slightly after the 12th week or so, along with the nausea. But I still wasn’t able to get happy about the whole situation. I’m Catholic, so I’m supposed to be all joyful about this little soul that God deigned to put in my weak human body. Man, was it hard to be joyful. Every now and then, the joy would come, but the next second I’d be back to kicking myself for what I perceived as ultimately a birth control failure. We should’ve been like one of those couples with great self-control that somehow manages to use NFP successfully for the first five years of the marriage, then has a kid in “God’s perfect timing.” Nope, we’re just regular people after all. The ideals have fallen yet again. So I have been contenting myself with the cliché: “Nobody is ever ready to be a parent. You just do it.”

I’m trying to tell myself that we didn’t fail and that this is in fact a great success (and, you selfish thing, you better think about all the people who desperately want children and can’t have them), but my perfectionist nature is reluctant to buy it. The reality is that now is the time to let go of my perfectionist nature once and for all. I’ve been telling myself that it’s OK if the dishes don’t get done the second after we eat or that the apartment isn’t going to burst into flames if I don’t vacuum exactly on schedule. Or if someone emails me at work, I don’t have to get back to them within the next five seconds. Not to mention that I’ll traumatize my son (and probably my husband, too) for life if I keep being such a perfectionist.

All this life-changing craziness started in April, which means a little more than I’m halfway there. Then in January, we’ll hopefully have a healthy, crying, screaming little creature to be responsible for, for the next 18 years and beyond. Scary? Hell yeah. Fun? Yes, from what I hear. But marriage is my vocation, and with it comes children, as the rhyme goes. So my life’s true mission has begun. 🙂

As a side note, I’m not sure what will become of this blog in the meantime and after January. I’ve been using it less and less, even though the actual desire to write has not left me. I won’t ever delete the blog, but I may not keep my own domain. I’ll try to post every now and then, but I doubt it will be regular at all. I want to try really hard not to be someone who only writes about their kid and/or posts pictures of their kid. If I was a kid these days, I’d be pissed at my parents for posting pictures of me on social media.

*NFP is not the rhythm method, but it still relies mainly on self-control, which fails far more often than we weak humans would like.

5 thoughts on “First Comes Love…

  1. Congratulations! You’re right – being a parent is both scary and fun at the same time. I write stories about inspiring marriages on my website. I think your story would be great to be featured on my website.

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  2. First of all, congratulations.

    If I may be bold enough (as somebody who has never had children and whose family almost never has children), I’d like to offer a few thoughts.

    Don’t worry about the size of the apartment. When I was born, my parents had neither money nor space enough for a crib, so I slept in a bureau drawer. Worked out fine, from what I hear.

    As for being “ready,” my parents were married for 20 years before I was born – – I don’t think they felt completely ready either. And, frankly, feeling completely “ready” for such an experience before you’ve ever done it might well count as arrogance. It makes sense to _try_ to be ready, but…

    Another thought from the example of my parents: As I said, they were married for 20 years without children, and I never asked if I was a last-minute mistake or a “it’s now or never” decision. What mattered, I always thought, was how they raised me and treated me after I was born, not what led up to it happening.

    (At my father’s funeral, I learned that I had been planned and hoped for, definitely a “biological clock is ticking” decision. That was interesting to hear, but it didn’t really matter.)

    Oh, on a more personal note, please do keep the blog even if posts are scarce for a while. You will probably want it again, more regularly, at some point. This is partly based on my observation of other bloggers who have had children, and partly that, my friend, I would miss you if we were permanently out of touch.

    Take care. Keep us posted when you can. Good luck.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words! My parents were married 17 years before they had me, and I was an “accident,” but after having me (and my brother, three years later), they said they wished they had more children/started having children earlier. I hear a lot of things about kids, but I never hear anyone ever regretting having kids. So I guess it will all work out. 🙂

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