Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Confessions of a Newlywed: Things I Wish I'd Known Before I Got Married - Part 1

The Title of this blog is *ahem* borrowed from a book I read by Gary Chapman before Chris and I were engaged. One of my favorite parts of the book is when the author talks about how would be naive to believe that our childhood- specifically our relationships with our parents- do not affect the way we relate to our spouse.

Oh geez. This certainly could open up a can of worms, couldn't it?

Now, if you know me then you know that I haven't always had the easiest relationship with my Dad. Surprisingly that isn't what I want to talk about today. Today I'm talking about my amazing Mommy, and how her model of a strong independent woman shaped the woman I am today.

My parents split when I was in junior high. My Dad was already working in Manitoba when they split, so he set up camp there, while my Mom and I stayed in the house they had owned together. My two older sisters were both moved out at this point so it was just the two of us. I loved watching my Mom start to change small things here and there to fit her personal likes and dislikes. Slowly but surely everything began to change. Her wardrobe, the living room carpet, what we ate for dinner, and how she spent her free time. For the most part these changes were quiet and understated, except for every once in a while when she would triumphantly get rid of an old painting or coffee table and announce how much she always hated the old one. They felt like tiny victories. Each small moment like this culminated to a larger independence.

It was fun. It was a joyful time watching my Mom shed the old role of stay at home housewife and walk into a new world where she worked for a living and earned her qualification not only with money but with household duties as well. Her and I put together new pieces of furniture, painted the walls (as much as I begged for color; still white- but they really needed brightening) got rid of dated wall hangings and finally replaced those hideous curtains. I learned how to shut off a toilet, as well as all the water for the house. She taught me the basics with the furnace (how to change a filter) and the breaker box. In case of an emergency we could handle anything (Until the basement smells like gas, and you're forced to call the fire department... only to find out it was a false alarm... after they all show up with gas masks. Whoops!)

She was (and still is) the picture of a strong woman that can handle just about anything. Once I moved out on my own I was set. I had more tools than most single young men I know, and I knew how to use them. I changed my tire all by myself THREE times in my early twenties (Before finally I just bought a new set of tires, ha ha) Now don't get me wrong. I didn't just learn the skills that fill the gap for the absent male. I also learned that the best muscles were made by rolling out pie dough, and the most beautiful tan was obtained after a day in the garden. To this day some of my favorite recipes are comfort food that my Mom made when I was a kid (mmm hamburger soup!) My mom is an amazing woman AND made up for anything a man should do around the house. Super woman, really.

She taught me I could do it all.

Oh crap.

So... where does that leave Chris? Join me in my next post of this series which will be co-written by my amazing husband as we talk about how my ability to do it all had the potential to trample all over his role as the man of the house.

Linking today with Emily at Imperfect Prose:

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Thanks for stopping by :)


  1. I saw glimpses of my own mom in your post. My parents were not divorced but my mom was still free spirited and had a huge influence on who I am today. It's fascinating to think about how all of those experiences color who we are today and inform who we continue to become.

    1. Hi Holly, thanks for your comment! It is true, isn't it? So interesting how our families of origin shape and form us in ways we don't even realize

  2. Praying with you that God's will be done, His order established in your life as you allow Him to sort out roles in your marriage and life!