After my marriage, I got so focused on giving my full attention to my husband and son, I almost forgot about myself. The first four months post partum, my entire attention, and life in general, revolved around ensuring that my husband is properly attended to and my son well taken care of. I was in zombie mode as I work from Monday – Friday then on weekends, I maximized my time by taking care of Cloud when he’s awake and doing stuff for Jay when Cloud is asleep. Stuff includes doing the laundry, ironing clothes, sorting out our dresser, disinfecting the bedroom and trying to watch TV series with him.
I was perfectly fine with the set up until I came upon a book which has quote that I believed God used to remind me of who really am I and what I should do. I forgot the book’s title but I fully remember it’s main message : “To take care of everyone else, you have to take care of yourself.” That was a good wake up call for me. Yes, I am a wife and a mother. But above all that, I am also me. My marriage was not supposed to stun my growth as an individual. It should be an instrument to make me a better version of myself.
I must admit, my bout with borderline post partum depression was not easy. Doing stuff for my husband and son almost drove me crazy. I was not used to serving others. I hated sleeping late and waking too early. But I adjusted because I knew that it is part of my journey as a mother.
My life took on a different path. I started reading and blogging again. I started communicating with God again, and renewed my vows with Him. I also severed ties with people in my life whom I realized were just burden for my individual growth. My social life got smaller and quieter, but it also got better.
One of the most frequent praise I got after my marriage is “You look better now compared when you were single” and “You seemed to have matured”. Praise God and my husband for that. I always pray that I become a reflection of my partner and our relationship. So, as we strive to strengthen our marriage, I am also striving to be a good reflection of it. I firmly believe that how a wife looks like is a mirror of the status of their marriage.
My husband is also very supportive of my pursuit for self development. When I decided to become a self proclaimed advocate of millenial parenting (breastfeeding, babywearing, cloth diapering) he tried his best to learn the “language” also. He is my number one fan but he is also my budget officer, reminding me to stop/pause from hoarding cloth diapers and baby carriers. He would patiently review my blog posts and would criticize if there are points that needs improvement or statements that seems to be off tangent.
My pursuit for physical development was also strengthened after marriage. As I previously stated, I wanted to be a reflection of our relationship. Our relationship is strong, healthy, thriving and blooming. And so should I be. I must admit, prior to our marriage, I am not really conscious about my “looks” and I do not have any skin care regime or fitness routine. But I knew that the Lord wants me to look good inside and out. (This is clearly stated in the Book of Psalms and Proverbs). So I started developing a fitness routine. Just the basic sit ups and planks, and occasionally, running. I also started researching about skin care regime. I felt like a nursery (clueless) kid in the world of sun blocks, moisturizers, lip stains and creams. Again, many thanks for my husband. He acted as my “instructor”, coaching me how to do the routines properly ( hindi porke’t five minutes routine ang nadownload mo, five minutes ka lang din mag exercise, ulitin mo), choosing the right clothes for the right ocassion (overdress ka na naman. malaswa yan. ano ba yang suot mo) and the proper make up (ano ba yang nguso mo, mukha kang aswang, buo-buo pa yung foundation mo and my favorite “tingnan mo sa salamin, hindi pantay”).
Many would say that marriage seemed to be the end of individuality. I beg to disagree. Marriage is a tool for growth, individually and as a couple. It should not stop us from harnessing our skills and pursuing our passion.