I sometimes wonder what would life be if we didn’t follow blogs, read magazines and books on parenting. Would we be as “knowledgeable”, as equip to raise our children? How would we learn about safety recalls and what the latest guidelines on sunscreen applications are?
I don’t want to generalize, maybe it is just the women that I surround myself with to perpetuate the obsession that I started as soon as I found out I was pregnant with my first. There’s a plethora of information out there and information, in my mind, is power. So to keep up-to-date, so to speak, I devout a great deal of my time to read about parenting and my children’s different growing stages.
Last month I managed to carve out some time to read for other purposes and I found a book by Jorge Bucay called To Love With Eyes Wide Open that had been recommended to me years ago. It talks about knowing yourself and your needs as you enter and you are part of a relationship. Though it is not a great literary piece, the message behind it touched me in a powerful way.
We often think that when we get married, we are “tied” to this person for the rest of our lives. However, we don’t take into account that people are constantly changing, evolving and therefore, my husband of almost 9 years isn’t really the same man I married almost a decade ago. Nor I am the same woman.
The book encourages you to find your passion and connect to it as a way to grow emotionally in an internal way so that then, you are ready to continue to give and grow in your life as a couple. This sometimes means looking for other people that are just as passionate about what makes you tick. The book reminded me that my husband can’t be everything to me because just as he had to find someone else to discover his new passion for jogging, I may have to find other people that share my passion for Latin American literature. It isn’t about excluding each other from certain activities but to know that even if we look for someone else’s company to share one of your passions, you can still go back to your life partner to share the ones that both of you enjoy together.
It goes without saying that as years pass by in a marriage, many things have to be reassessed and that we have to remind ourselves of that daily choice that is to stay together and continue to grow in a marriage and individually. If only there were as many magazines, blog and Facebook posts on marriage and how to love your life as part of a couple…
Ever since I read this book, I have begun to pay more attention to myself and how I chose to spend my time and of course, realized that perhaps I’m spending too much time and energy in “being a mom” rather than being myself: a woman in her 30’s with some forgotten passions that are desperate to be a part of my day; a wife who really wants to spend more time with her husband discovering the “new” things that he dreams about; a mom who besides making sure her children are fed and to school on time, also wants to spend more time coloring and playing with them.
So this post today is part a promise to myself of making more time for passions (like cooking, like photography, like reading, like having deep conversations with great friends…), part allowing myself some time this week to do something I really enjoy (writing this blog), and part a way to start a conversation about how our life would be if instead of having a monthly parenting magazine arriving to our door, we had one about life as a couple with tips and ideas of how to keep your identity while being a fun and loving wife and a caring and compassionate mother.