Friday, October 29, 2010

On Absence and Hearts Growing Fonder

Coach and I saw each other 3 weekends a month for the duration of our engagement.  I was concerned that going from seeing Coach 3x a month for a very limited time that suddenly living with him and spending ALL of our free time together would be stressful.

It hasn't been stressful, but it is a huge adjustment, one I'm still adjusting too.  I need to work on spending more time with my family, but other than that, seeing Coach every day is a dream come true.

That's not to say that I don't thoroughly enjoy my Coach-free weekends.  Coach is in either Kentuckey or Tennessee today and tomorrow for a cross country meet (can't remember which, I just know he's in Cookeville, so wherever that's at!), and I have had a wonderful afternoon.  I had lunch with my granda, finished up lots of bachelorette party stuff for a wonderful friend's party tomorrow,  had lots of gabfests with girlfriends and I went couch shopping.  Now I'm eating Oreos in bed, finishing up a freelance script I'm writing, and watching an episode of Bones before falling asleep on Coach's awesome pillow.  And I'm going to sleep smack in the middle of the bed and hog all the covers.  I think I'll just sleep in my make up too, why not. 

Truly though, free time apart is so important for Coach and I.  I know he probably needs more than I do, so I need to give myself permission to leave him alone for an evening or so a week and hang out with my mom and sisters. 

Seeing him after he's gone for a while always guarantees a nice quiet dinner out or some lazy Sunday morning lounging.  Lovely all around.  Though tomorrow night he'll be picking an inebriated me up from a bar downtown in all my bachelorette glory, and there won't be anything quiet about that!

Is alone time important to you and your partner?  Because Coach would be a dead man for sure without it!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

On Procreating Pressure

My father-in-law is an elementary school principal.  He used to be a kindergarten teacher.

My mother-in-law works with early childhood development.

My in-laws lives revolve around little kids.  They want grandkids so, so badly.  The grandkid pressure started up mere months after we got engaged.  6 months before the wedding my FIL told me that he "wouldn't mind a bit if I walked down the aisle with a preggo belly."  At Coach's family's Easter get-together, my FIL publicly pointed out, in front of 50+ family members, that his brother has 7 grandkids and that it isn't fair.  My MIL is even worse.  Every single time we see them they want to know when we're going to provide them with grandkids.  Every single time it is a major focus of conversation.  It used to be funny, but it isn't at all anymore.

To make matters just a little more sensitive, I have known since I was 18 that getting pregnant was't going to be easy for me.  Coach, trying to help with the situation, told his parents all about my previously-private medical condition.  So they know all about it, which makes me really uncomfortable.  And to complicate things, that knowledge that Coach imparted to them has done nothing to abate the baby talk.

I've been very clear with my in-laws that I put my career on hold for their son, and that I owe it to myself to pursue my career for the next 4-5 years.  At that point they told me that "we were your age when we had Coach's oldest sister, and everything turned out just fine, what's the problem."

Nothing works with them.  They keep bringing it up, and bringing it up.  It makes me feel like nothing but a walking uterus.  It makes me feel like I absolutely no value to them except for birthing them a grandkid.  I know they mean well, but they have zero tact when it comes to this recurring conversation.  It makes me want to avoid spending time with them.

Normally with my in-laws, I chalk it up to them meaning well, and wanting the best for us.  I've come to terms with differing parenting styles.  I've stopped taking my MIL's backhanded comments literally and I've learned to give her the benefit of the doubt.  But these people know that I have medical issues that could very prevent me from ever getting pregnant, they know that I have stated very clearly on numerous occasions that Coach and I need to enjoy our time together after a year and a half of a long distance relationship before we introduce kids into the equation.  None of this gets through to them at all; it's so frustrating.  And every time they start in, I think about what's going to happen if I can't get pregnant, and can't give Coach a baby of his own.  Because he's going to be the best dad.

So yeah.  My in-laws won't STF about how they want grandkids like yesterday.  THANK GOD some friends of ours who live up there popped out a kid that she can go and visit.  I feel like I should pay them.

I know the next thing to do would be to bluntly but nicely tell my in-laws to please stop pestering us for grandkids.  But trust me, they do NOT do well with bluntness.  They're the beat-around-the-bush type.  Which clearly ISN'T WORKING.

Are your in-laws/parents on the warpath for grandkids?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

On Attractiveness

I'm terrified of not being attractive to Coach.

OK, not to make my husband sound like an ass, but fitness is his life.  He's a cross country coach for goodness sakes.  He doesn't expect me to look like a fitness model, but he does expect me to at least try to maintain some level of physical fitness.  The man thinks I look the hottest all sweaty in a sports bra and running shorts.  And it's not like he doesn't hold himself to certain standards either-he's a marathoner, he cares very much about being healthy.

I feel like I'm making him sound a total ass.  Please don't think that about him, he really isn't.  I've always known this about him-it's not like a bomb that he dropped on me post-marriage.  And I know that he will always love me, no matter what.  But I also know that he will not be attracted to me, no matter what.  To him I think it's a way of showing your partner that you love them-by loving and caring for yourself.

So I guess I shouldn't say that I am terrified of not being attractive to my husband.  It just means that I'm always going to be conscious of this.  And frankly, Coach would make my mind rest much, much easier if he would tell me that I look nice, or do-able, etc, but that just isn't him.  Though it does make the times he tells me I look beautiful/sexy/etc that much more meaningful.

Do you worry about being attractive to your partner?

Monday, October 18, 2010

On Intentions

I used to think that my mother-in-law was the queen of backhanded compliments.

The morning after the wedding, she told me that "she really didn't think that several of my ideas were going to work out, but it turned out so lovely after all!" and that "I can't believe you made it so nice when it was so cheap!"

These used to disgruntle me, but now I really don't think she means them maliciously.  I think it's exactly what she means.  Like, not thinking some of my wedding ideas would work..she had never seen a receiving line happen before a wedding before.  She had no idea if it was going to work out or not, but she genuinely thought it was wonderful.  And she and her family come from a much wealthier background than I do, so it was really tough for her to see her son have his reception in a rented hall and not a fancy ball room or pavilion at Forest Park.  She sincerely meant that I made something that looked nice/expensive out of a very limited budget.

She sent me an e-mail last week about the house Coach and I close on next month.  She wrote that "I can see why you like it."  Which, tone-wise, can sound like that is the one and only positive thing she could think of to say about the house.  But now that I know her better, I understand that she really means that she sees why we like it--the 10 foot ceilings, hardwood floors, open staircase, etc.  No harm or spite meant on her part.  I just have to be open minded and not get defensive when she says stuff.

Maybe it's the nasty, pessimistic side of my that used to jump to the conclusion that what she said sounded like it had an undertone of negative.  But I'm not blaming myself...taken one way, lots of what my mother-in-law says sounds really backhanded.  I'm just glad I figured all of this out now and not later.  Nothing causes more stress with Coach and I than family stuff.

Ever since being married (and now that that huge stress is off everyone's plates), things with the in-laws have really settled.  It definitely feels like Coach and I are really easing in to each other's family dynamic.  It certainly hasn't always been easy, but it is getting so, so much easier.

Do your in-laws say things that throw you off?  Is family a stress for you and your partner?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

On Procreating

Coach has always wanted kids more than I have.

I've always been so afraid of the havoc a baby would wreck on our lives-financially, physically (for me especially), relationship wise for Coach and I...besides the fact that I am not that great with little kids.  Kids have always seemed so limiting, so constricting.  I feel that having a child is going to cut down on our travel, on career options, on money, on everything.

Coach's friend D was down this weekend, with his wife and their new baby.  And when I held their son, and looked into his cute little face, I could see how it all could be so worth it.

My biological clock just started up in a big way.

How do you view kids in terms of your relationship?  Are you and your partner in agreement with how many kids you want, if any?

Monday, October 11, 2010

On Money

With this new job that I landed, I am the bread winner, by a pretty healthy margin.  Which is weird.

Coach is 90% in charge of our money.  He has an emergency savings account set up, an account to pay loans (such as car/student, and soon a mortgage!), a normal savings, a vacation fund, a gift fund and an everyday checking account.  We share all of these accounts, and a set amount from each of our paychecks is dispersed into each of these accounts.

It feels like we never have any freaking money, because it goes so many different places.  But when we need it for something, it's there, ready and waiting.  And Coach brought tremendous amounts of savings into our relationships....10x more than I did.  So even though I make more, he brought in so much to begin with, that it still feels hopelessly tilted in his favor.  Not that "who makes more" or "who brought more in" is very relevant, but I can't deny that I don't feel kind of sad that I didn't bring in more savings.

When I say "he's in charge" of our money, I mean that he is 10000x more financially responsible than I am.  And while I want to save for vacations and Christmas presents, money just goes through my hands like water.  I can blow $100 and have very little recollection of where it went.

So if Coach says that we need to put a set amount in savings, I'm going to do it, even if I feel pinched in terms of spending money.  Because if I want to go on a big shopping trip with my mom and sisters this winter, I guarantee that he'll extract money from one of those accounts so that I can go and have a good time.  And if I get laid off, or if he has to have a big surgery, or if something else bad happens, then he has money set aside that will easily get us through.  He's amazing like that.  I am so thankful that he is as good with money as he is.  Because I suck terribly at it.

How do you and yours handle money?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

On New Things

I've been really unhappy in my job for quite a while. I could go on and on, but to put it briefly:  There is zero room for advancement, I'm not doing what I want to do, I'm not using my degree, and the company is not on steady financial ground.

I've been applying for jobs steadily for months, and Tuesday I found out that I had landed an incredible job as a marketing rep for a wound care center.  It's ideal-I'll be convincing doctors, hospitals and nursing homes to send their patients to the wound care center I'll be working for.  I did a ton of research in to wound care centers, and they are really growing.  Also, the only other wound care centers in the region are in huge hospitals, and the wound care center I'll be working for makes the process so much easier and better for patients.  It's so much easier to "sell" something to others when you genuinely feel that its in their best interests.

So yesterday I went in to do some paperwork.  This one woman really runs the show, and she runs a super tight ship.  I was told not to be too familiar with the doctors, to respect the chain of command (in other words, her), that I would be expected to meet goals, what bonuses I could potentially earn, etc etc.

After that meeting, I was kind of a mess (sidenote: I'm on my period this week, which I am positive has TONS to do with all of this).  I had let myself get psyched out by the manager.  Weekly check-ins with her?  I go months without even seeing my boss where I'm at now!   Change is never easy, even if where you're at kinda blows.

I think this is the problem:  I haven't really used my Public Relations degree since I graduated in December of 2008.  I finally landed a really amazing "career" job, and now I'm freaking out that I'm going to suck it up.  And a hard-lining manager just freaked me out even more, I guess.

The really frustrating part was trying to tell Coach how nervous she had made me.  He just didn't get it.  He couldn't understand what the problem his mind, I had "fixed" the problem of my current, crappy job, and now I was complaining about the solution.  That old school "Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus" really isn't far off!  He finally got it though, and he grabbed my shoulders and looked right at me and said "they wouldn't have hired you if they didn't think you could do this."  Which helped.

I need to get over myself here.  Goals, check-ins, etc are part of almost any job.  And honestly, anywhere else I go is going to be better than where I'm at.  I need to stop freaking out and be ready to tackle this challenge head on.  I have to convince myself that I can do this.

Have you ever reacted like this to a new, scary job?  Is communicating with your partner sometimes more challenging than others?