What is Marriage to You?

People have different opinions about marriage, just like having different versions of definition for love. To others, marriage is a life of compromise and hard work. To some, it should be all about love and trust and respect.

anete-lusina-146471I agree to everyone, and the most important thing to know is that marriage is a variations of complex combinations of different species. It is dynamic. It changes based on several things – cultural background, environment, resources – so many things contributes to it. What works for other might not work for some.

That’s why it’s very important to feel secure about the relationship with your spouse first. It is hard enough to have someone else judge your marriage that having your other half misunderstood you would be too much. The perfect thing before entering this life is to know and love your partner, and accept the love that he/she offers you. lizzie-guilbert-15050.jpgBuild a relationship based on love, and by love, it means, unconditional, no judgement, no leaving other baggage behind. You may be an addict before, or a suicidal teen, or an awkward brainiac, and no one seems to understand your struggles. It’s important to find true love on a time when you have already found your love and self-worth, because this would give you courage to open up all that you were that makes who you are now (though it should be clear that it doesn’t mean who you were defines who you are).

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Three or four years before I met my husband, I was a total wreck. I had fun around, and I party hard. I spent all Friday nights drinking until morning comes. I smoke, I date a lot of boys, I spend my income buying drinks for my friends. I don’t look around to meet the next person who would love me. I go around town to meet useless people, those who you only know the name for that night, and forgets the next day.

The day my soon-to-be husband walked in on my life, it wasn’t that magical. We were colleagues. We could feel each other building a good friendship, but not more than that. We’re two different people. He was in a serious relationship, I was in a lost state. That year, I didn’t know who I was, what I want with life. I mostly feed myself from what my friends and my officemates would like: they like branded bags, I do too; they like shoes and make up, that’s also my thing. I don’t have a personality, just a list of what I wanted so that I could fit in with everyone. It is not so bad, though. It sounded like peer pressure, but I knew, with the right motivation I could get out of this insecurity anytime.

hernan-sanchez-172307Then, I dated the love of my life, who was a totally different person than me and my friends. He grew up in a rural place, while I am a city girl. We have different definitions of luxury, dates and spending habits. Those seem so important to me back then, but when we got together, it was just something that can easily be set aside.

Being married to my total opposite, some would say I’m just settling; it’s a lot of compromise on my side, which rooted from our deep love to each other. Actually, not everything needs compromise. It’s just like we already go had a flow with each other. We quarrel and bicker all the time: at home, in the car, at the mall; but it’s just small stuff and nothing that requires us backing away frommadi-robson-113922 our vows.

For me, marriage is not a series of compromise but an acceptance of who the other is, and somehow, lovingly and with all your heart, your other half becomes a part of who you are. You would like what he would like, and he would do the same. You have to go to a party, and he already knew that his part is to drive you to the gate. He would want to go to the gym every day, and you have to spend an extra hour alone with your kid, and it’s okay. It’s doing things without having to worry that your partner might not have understood why you liked it. You know that it’s not a big deal.

 

People would say, oh, but you’d lose yourself for your spouse. Well, not really. Every day is a constant change of who we are. I believe that there is something in each day that contributes to our growth into becoming the person that we will be the next day. Who you are now might not be who you would be tomorrow. So, everyday, I am a changed person, not for my spouse particularly, but more for myself. And being okay with this fact and accepting this is what matters to me. I am a work in progress, and I wouldn’t have been me today if it weren’t for my family and for the people I’ve met along the way. As long as I know I’m worthy and I have brains and I add value into this world, that I also contribute to the change of our home (for the better, always for the better), then I am proud of becoming a changed person.

Writing in buns,

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Opinions, Belief, Decisions Post Marriage

In this era of advanced technology and open-minded society, I am often conflicted towards how I should react to certain things. What should my opinion be? Of course, everyone wants to be in on the what’s right and what’s good: against racism, go pro-life, be a feminist, be a vegetarian. These things, to many, are no brainers, which is the same for me.

Then I became a mother, and a housewife, and suddenly, I’m on edge about my opinions.

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I know that you can change whatever you’ve said at any time, but no one really likes switching sides, especially those who takes one  only when it’s comfortable for them. That is why I never talk about being against something that I’ve never tried. It’s just like food, for me. Never say never until you tried it.

  • WM/WAHM vs. SAHM

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To stay or to work, that is the biggest question of all. You’re lucky to be at peace doing any of the two. Each has their different struggles, but I can say, they have the same solid amount of guilt that could make or break your family. I have been a working mom for a good 2 months after my maternity leave, and I feel horrible at work for not being there for my child. I think of him every minute of the day.

Then I stayed at home. It feels great, it looks great. I can sleep when my child is asleep, I play with him all day, I tend to his needs. Sleep, play, needs, sleep, play, needs. It’s a cycle, it’s an everyday routine. Going out and talking to my neighbors at times would be the highlights of our day. And poop. It was all I could think about, and all I could share about with my husband. “Oh, his poop is a bit greenish today. Yesterday, it was all corn. I’m guessing tomorrow, it would be orange-y and nutty.” The worst part is feeling guilty for not being able to bring home regular paychecks. I don’t have anything to budget, and I would have full-on guilt once I splurge on a sachet of facial wash. I don’t need one, I’m just at home!

An opportunity came and I became a Work-at-Home mom. I thought that would be the best compromise to my dilemma. I get to earn money and add income to the family, but still be with my child. I can tell you, though, that landing a home job that suits your own time is a long shot. Unless you’re willing to have your neighbor adapt your son for 8 hours during the day, without any interruptions whatsoever, or your boss could stand talking to you over Skype with a wailing baby in your arms, then, yea, sure, you’re the luckiest then.

  • Taking full responsibility over family budget.

fabian-blank-78637As a stay-at-home mom, this, for me is still sensitive. I still dance around my husband’s paycheck, not knowing if I should ask for it or just let him take the reign over. We do groceries on weekends together  (that’s our weekender family date), we eat-out or dine-in together, we buy our needs together, so all expenses, we do together. Sometimes, I would hear myself reasoning that I don’t actually need to get the money if he’s just always going to be there to provide everything that we need. He’s like a walking wallet, really, and as long as I know how much money we have on our savings account, I think, we’re good.

But there would also be times when I’d be pissed when he never tells me he already got his paycheck. Then I’d ask nonchalantly to take the budgeting task for the house. Don’t get me wrong, though, my husband is a great guy, and he agrees with me on days like this.

  • Rent, Mortgage, or Live with Parents.

wesley-tingey-182281This is, of course, a big deal with other marriages. Where would you live once you tie the knot? You thought, Millennials are so smart, even with money, that they’d already acquired homes for themselves, enough to secure them a roof over their heads for the rest of their lives, most of the articles I’ve read tells exactly the opposite. With new “necessities” that people “need” to buy, Millennials tend to struggle from earning enough money to purchase a house.

Renting may seem the easiest choice for newly weds, which we also considered before, but because we know how it feels like to be broke, it seems unpractical to spend money on something that is temporary and will never be ours.

Then, we looked for houses available for mortgage, and they were gorgeous. The problem is the cheapest ones are in the province, which is 3-4 hours away from my husband’s work, and the drive to and from would be too much additional expense.

So now, we live with his parents, the cheapest choice out of three. But there’s too much challenges to conquer if you decide to live with your in-laws, and the first one is swallowing your pride. This choice is something that made us kept our car, and gave us chance to save up.

Even though I don’t like the sound of it, marriage really does changes a person’s perception of the world. Others might say: “You just approved that because your husband or your wife said so.” and I would be left thinking, are they correct? But then again, what’s wrong with it? What’s wrong with seeing things differently after being in a commitment with another adult who you would be spending  your life with? If my husband had persuaded me to think differently now, in a good way, and as long as he had valid reasons to believe such things, why wouldn’t I agree to it? The man I chose to marry is someone who does everything for his family and the people he loves. I trust him and his opinions because I know that he puts our son and our family first before anyone else.

Writing in braids,

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A Month Recap – February

This love month is a good month to not only celebrate our love to our partners, but to also analyze our relationship, the way we give and receive love, the way we show and say it, and the times when we mean it, (because every married people knows there would be times when you just don’t like your partner).

It’s not always butterflies, agreed. And you can’t expect your spouses to be in full-on romantic mode 24/7. I can’t even ask mine if it only for a whole day.

But it doesn’t really mean it’s not there. When I became a mother, I also realized that showing love takes more than kisses and laughter. It has to be a lot of little things that you put together to create that huge masterpiece, like a painting that needs all the colors, even your least favorite shades of grey or black.

When my son cries, I try to assess the situation first: is he hurt, hungry, sleepy? Is there something that he needs that I need to provide. Most of the time, he would cry out of just simply feeling sad or miserable. A loving mother in me wanted so bad to comfort him, tell him it’s okay to cry. But also, I wanted to discipline him, knowing that he needs to realize that there’s nothing wrong and that it’s not always alright to cry.

I avoid telling him to stop, but I explain the scenario to him, hoping he’d understand what I was saying. It’s not for me to have a quiet time, but for him to better himself, understanding the situation and reacting in a proper way.

Same thing goes with marriage and love. Most of the time, I tend to tell my partner to stop getting excited or angry or sad. He would also do the same. But I realized that a better way to approach our emotional turmoils is through asking more, understanding the reasons why we feels such ways.

I thought, I cannot just ask him to stop being mad, because I definitely would not want him to just order me to pause my anger if it were me. There must have been more behind our times of feeling peeved. Bad day at work? Horrible traffic? Whatever could have cause that negative emotion, we must realize that it could affect our vibes at home. Of course, no one could just flick the off switch to feeling mad or down, but it would be better if we would also understand why we feel such and is the reason good enough to drag the family down.

This emotional understanding became another way for me to be mature about our relationship. I used to bring in too much tantrums pre-marriage era, but I definitely can’t be that spoiled girlfriend anymore. Ok, maybe I engage on mini-tantrums but that’s just every now and then. Everyone deserves to have an off-day, let off some steam.

This month, I also reflected on the topic of romance. I can’t help it, I’m a die-hard romantic, and I have loved the ideas of huge gestures and surprises. If I were a guy, I’d definitely be every girls’ dream boyfriend on Valentines.

When my husband and I were in our 2nd Valentines, and he’s got nothing but a visit to the mall, we came up with a reasonable compromise to always celebrate the occasion even in the simplest form. I made him a list of all the kinds of dates that we should do. Then, we got married. And suddenly, Valentines and dates doesn’t seem as important as before.

One might think: “Well, there goes an unhappy woman married with an unromantic man. She’s bitter and doesn’t want to show it.”

Honestly, I envied my friends photos they uploaded last Feb. 14. I even cried, thinking, “Oh my God, my husband doesn’t have flowers or chocolates, and he has no intention of doing anything tonight.” Then, he started the car and asked me out on a date. We drove all the way to Nuvali, with him being patient, trying to survive the Valentines traffic going to the only romantic place for the locals in the south.

You might really believe the quote: Romance dies after marriage. For me, though, it just took a higher level of compromise and comprehension. When I got married, I realized romance isn’t just huge gestures of love, flowers, chocolates, dates and all that. We would spend a whole day fighting about something small, and then went to the room to actually talk about why we’re mad at each other. One time, we would go out and walk for hours in the mall, and we take turns entertaining our son – I would go to a cafe with our child while he looks freely for a shirt, and he would bring the little one to the toystore while I look for my make-up. He would try his best to clock out of the office or deal with clients as fast as he can so he could go home early. These things, believe it or not, brings butterflies to my stomach.

What can I say? I’m an easy woman to please.

Writing in braids,

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Love Challenges to Surrender

I remembered my first ever serious relationship. I was in college, and I were a different person then. I was so thin, so depressed, so alone. Funny how I had a partner and I have never felt so left-out. I had no friends, my parents hated the way I acted, I don’t have time to talk to my siblings.

Of course, you know that that guy wasn’t the one I ended up with, but it’s so funny how I was so sure back then that we were meant for each other. The thing is I think it’s just that I was so afraid to lose him because without him, then there’s no one left behind for me.

A decade after, I met my boyfriend turned husband. We have fights and struggles along the way. But oftentimes, we’d just be chilling out, eating and bonding and watching movies without me worrying that after our date, there’d be a huge fight.

I realized that if the love is right, everything will fall into place. So we should not settle on a relationship that gives us constant fear and depression. No one should live a day worrying about something in their life that can be changed.

But what if, you say, you were trapped in a relationship that keeps you struggling for air every single day? Let me ask you something, do you really think that if a love was meant for you, God will give you so much problem just keeping it? I don’t think so. Let’s try to clarify some of the relationship problem.

 

My parents don’t like my boyfriend.

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Photo from Modern Family. Site here.

For this, you have to weigh things. For many of us, most of our parents have given up their dreams just to give us a good future, to have a diploma, or good clothes, or a shelter. On that note, do you think if they doesn’t like our boyfriend, it’s a question on their judgment? Mind you that they have been in our situation, they have mingled with a million more people than we are. That why I don’t think that it’s not worth ripping your relationship with your mom & pop just because you think a you’re better off with your boyfriend than your family.

 

I’m going away.

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Photo from Modern Family. Site here.

If you were give the best chance of your life to work abroad, then make the long distance thing work. It’s not as hard as before, especially now that we have all the facilities in our hands. Make use of the Internet. But if something in your mind is telling you that it won’t work, then that means you either don’t trust him enough to leave him, or you don’t trust yourself. I mean, let’s get real real here, because being real is being fair. If in the end, you two are really for each other, then you’re bound to meet again one way or another.

 

Someone loves someone else.

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Photo from Modern Family. Site here.

Again, being real is being fair. There’s no point in holding on to someone who feels very passionate about another person aside from their partner. It never really works out, unless both of the parties love other persons. But that’s pointless!

 

He’s cheating.

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Photo from Modern Family. Site here.

It really is your choice if you can forgive. But remember that with forgiving, you also have to forget. You cannot have a relationship with someone who you would have to take care of  and then always bringing up the cheating issue. It’s good if you can work out on the relationship, if he can promise you he’ll never do that again. But with that note, you also have to let go of that mistake, because you also have to take care of yourself.

 

All of this, you have to think of what will happen after so many years. Do you think it will still work out? Do you think it’s worth saving. I tell you this, though. RELATIONSHIP DOESN’T NEED SAVING. It should be easy and fair and full of love. All of the mistakes are easy to forgive, and you will easily forget or let go of those issues that you have, because if not, it will bulk up and eat you up inside. And remember, what is the point of having this relationship if you can’t see yourself spending your life with this man. With that thought comes the responsibility of taking care of the family, and that would not work if you also have to take care of your partner in every single thing that he does.

 

Writing in buns,

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A Month Recap and What to Come in the Year – 2017, January

Kong Hei Huat Choi!
The yuletide season is never over until the Chinese New Year arrives, well, that’s as far as my family is concerned.
This month marks my first year anniversary of being a stay-at-home mom. There are so much emotions that went on last year, and a lot of changes.
This year, though, we were greeted with unending possibilities and opportunities. I can only celebrate as much as what the year of the hen would bring. Included in the celebration is my first year of finally learning how to work out WordPress and have (for the nth time) updated and gave a new look to my blog.
I also celebrate the continuity of my first ever fiction story, publishing every Thursday’s. Here’s the first episode. I, too, am excited for Margo’s love life and I can’t wait to write everything I’ve ever imagined about her.
Together with my son’s milestone, I am glad to share as much information as I could, hoping it could help new mother’s, like me, out there. Thank you for all who visited and read the blogs. I know so many sites that could have written so much better than I do and could provide more insights. I could only share what I have experience, what I have used, what I have had, with just enough, sometimes less, resources. This just proves that financial capability is never an excuse to be a bad parent.
Also, within 2 years of being married, I’m also excited to write more things about being a wife, I mean, how I am as a wife. Sometimes, I wonder if my husband and I are the only couple who do certain things, with certain rituals, and would always ask if other normal husbands are the same as mine. Well, please help me figure that out once I wrote about it.
I hope you enjoy the few things I’ve written as a start of the year, and here’s to seeing more of each other! I am always on cloud nine whenever I see your names popping out of my email inbox, liking my posts, it’s so overwhelming!
Remember that I’m not just here to talk about myself. If there’s anything you want to discuss, just leave a comment or email me.
 Writing in buns,
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Start Something

Admittedly, it’s because of many wrong decisions that led me to a mediocre family life. I know that there’s a lot of other reasons that connects me to the now, but I am a firm believer that everything that happens to me is all because of me.

I don’t want to enumerate those thousands of mistakes I’ve done, because as much as it wasn’t important anymore, it also is just unnecessary.

So now, as I start this blog, I begin to accept the fact that though I’m in the middle of my journey as a wife and as a mother, I can hit reset with my mindset. That can only be done if I do something new for TODAY.

You can, too!

You may not have that 2-bedroom house that you would have want to plan for a re-painting, or that car that you would want to start to drive around the village, but you can start. Think of something small, something little but would give a lot of meaning to your life.

  • Always wanting to start a corporate business? Write a mock-up business plan.
  • Interested in improving your dessert making skills? Try an easy no-bake cake recipe.
  • Dreaming of writing a book? Create a blog.

It doesn’t have to be something grandiose. Just make a plan to try something first. Everything else will follow, especially if it’s doing something that leads you to your dreams.

Writing in buns,

Momma J