On the eve of our wedding, my mother wrote us a letter. I have it somewhere deep in the memory box, but the sentiment was this: put each other first. In the mix of all that life throws at you, it’s easy to stand together and to put all of the people around you first; you are a team after all. A few Christmases ago, Will and I were building up our wedding photography business, just starting out, in the process of buying a house and twenty weeks pregnant. Needless to say, we were not keen to spend a lot on Christmas, it felt like one of those times you say to one another, maybe next year. On Christmas morning Will handed me an envelope from my favorite spa. That’s nice, I thought, he bought me a massage. What I opened wasn’t one massage but twelve, one for each month of the year going forward. I had a prenatal massage every month of my pregnancy and it was magic.
(above: breakfast in bed and my pimping Christmas shoes from Will)
Of course I am not suggesting that presents are responsible for keeping the marriage healthy. And I am by no means suggesting that we have a perfect example of a marriage, we are learning just like everybody else. It was just a lovely, memorable example of the surprise of such a thoughtful (albeit what felt extravagant) gesture; it was a celebration of our pregnancy and a way to unwind after each wedding of the following season.
And, while there are no hard and fast rules, and I would so love to hear everybody else’s two cents, there are a few things in the day to day which I think work well for us:
We are very much on the same page with what we wish for in life and we revise this all the time. I mentioned this in yesterday’s post and I know it sounds very dry to talk about having a “plan” but I think the excitement over what is possible if we both put our minds to something is very uniting for us.
We play sports together. Silly as it sounds, we love being outside playing … like children. Our first summer together in Maine, we finished each night with a one on one basketball game (I had to get really good at three pointers because Will is so tall) before jumping into the lake. We hiked the start and end of the Appalachian Trail, went on regular cycling day trips and ran together. Nowadays with so much more to do, we try to keep up regular tennis games and it’s always such a lovely way to exhaust ourselves into giggles. P.S. we are not very good ;)!
I have mentioned this one before too but Will reads to me before bed every night (I know…) I think these little daily gestures/routines of doing things for one another are so nice, we try to keep a balance though of course it is never perfect.
Last and perhaps most important, my favorite thing to do is to hang with the baby together. In the beginning when we were in “survival mode” and so sleepless, we did a lot of tag teaming so that the other one could get some work done, brush teeth, etc. Now that we’re in a more regular routine (and to all the new parents out there: you do get there), we carve out time for the three of us just to “kick it”. There is nothing more enjoyable and uniting than being there together when the baby does something new. The delight and twinkle I see in Will’s eyes when watching our child is reason enough to stay together for a lifetime! xx