I am a preparer. I like to prepare physically and mentally before something new enters my life, or a change occurs. When we decided it was time for us to start looking into buying our first home, I wanted to know the ins and outs of the deal. I asked as many questions as humanly possible (which probably sounded pretty dumb at the time) just to get some base knowledge of what we were getting our selves into. And of course we got the technical answers (the rates, the insurance, down payments and all the other information that makes you feel like you are signing your life away) as well as the opinionated ones (the "you're too young to buy a house", "are you sure you can afford this?" "you have no idea of the responsibility you are taking on"..."OH just wait until something breaks. YOU have to fix it"). All the responses were appreciated, but none the less made us question our steps. Was it the right time to take the plunge? Do we know what we are getting our selves into?
I felt a lot like this when we were thinking about having children, too. You see a fresh-yummy-smelling-baby just a cooing and giggling and your ovaries are like YOU NEED ONE OF THESE. But then you see a new mom (or a seasoned mom for that matter) who looks worn out or disheveled just from tending to the many needs and demands before 10 am. And suddenly you think... "EH, I think I could wait a little longer." Not to mention the comments you get - "wait until your 30s!" "you will never get to sleep again!" and again, "you have no idea of the responsibility you are taking on".
I think that exact tug of war happened in my brain for a while. After all, when we started seriously talking about trying, I had only being working from home for a short time. I hadn't even figured out where all I wanted to take my business yet it seemed, so how were we going to attempt to navigate through parenthood?! Honestly, I still feel that way at times, but I also have a huge sense of peace that this is the right timing. Well, it's happening - so obviously God has a confidence in us that we have yet to tap into our selves.
That doesn't eliminate the fear though. The fear of failing in so many ways. As a mother, a business owner, a wife, a daughter, a friend- the list goes on. I think the biggest of them all is my fear of failing as a wife. And I think that is because I see so often spouses who lose touch with one another after they have children.
I know I will be hard on myself as mother when our little one gets here in less than 3.5 months, but I also know that I will love him so much that my will to keep moving forward will prevail and carry me through. But in my marriage, I worry that I will forget about my husbands needs and our needs as a couple, a unit, the two people who started this journey in the first place. I am passionate about my marriage and wanting it to glorify God, but I come from divorced parents and see many families close to me what revolve around everything except the sacred relationship between the husband and the wife. That devastates me and makes me overly aware of the state of my marriage and where it's headed through this new stage of life. Which is also why I value articles like this one so much.
But I say all of that to make this point: We need a game plan of who we want to be before our children enter this world. A foundation with a clear floor plan if you will. Sure, we will evolve and change - circumstances/people never stop changing - but I want my husband and I to build our family on a strong foundation so that when our children enter the world, we know what is most important. Which in return helps us to be the best God-fearing parents, spouses, friends, etc. we can be.
From a business/branding standpoint, (I love it too much not to make a connection to it!) it's about building a strong brand before we develop the collateral. You need to know what your business is about, what it stands for, and what is is going to do, before you start creating business cards and brochures right?! To me, in my designer-minded way, it's the same concept. And it's a sequence of steps that help you prep for success.
My husband is not as serious-minded as I am. In fact his light-hearted attitude is why I think we are perfect for each other. He balances out my intense-ness! So getting him to sit down and discuss these details of our life/marriage before baby D gets here are not always the most comfortable conversations. BUT it's still important and if it means a lot to me, he is all for it. I think this is where my intense/emotional nature pays a positive role in our relationship. Sure I can go a little over board, overreact and cry a little more than necessary, but it's only because my heart swells when I think of how much I adore my husband and the family we are building together. It's a good thing to be able to feel those feelings and share them. And I think it's what is going to help prepare us both for whats to come.
(Side note: When I say "..prepare us both for whats to come." I do not mean that we think we are prepared for all the uncertainties that parenting brings. In fact, I still rest in the advice to have NO EXPECTATIONS, because you never know how it will change your life until you are right smack dab in the middle of it. Instead I mean, that we will know where our priorities lie. Will we always "follow the plan"? Probably not. We will fall. We will mess up. We are human and we will make mistakes. But my point here is that if we have a solid foundation to fall back on then I believe we can always come back to that place and rest - together.)
A lot of prayer will be happening between now and then (and even more so when the little bug gets here!) but nothing beats flat out communication to me. Here are just a few questions Zack and I will be answering together in my prayer journal to get on the same page and continue to establish our solid foundation.
What is our game plan for date nights and time away just for the two of us when the baby gets here?
How will we handle difference of opinion on parenting and conflict in general in front of our child?
How will we communicate to the other if we feel like our needs our being neglected?
How will we support each other personally and professionally in the midst of caring for our child(ren)?
Questions for fun:
Where do we see our selves in 5, 10, 15, 25 years from now? (Personally, professionally and as a family.)
What is our favorite thing about each other?
What makes you so confident that your spouse will be a great parent?
Those of you who have children, you are brave warriors. Any advice for us newbie parents?
The current Daybooks covers have LIMITED QUANTITIES available and once these are gone, I will not being doing another print run of them! I have some really exciting (minor) changes that I am making to the content of them and some new covers which will soon be revealed.
I will be releasing the next round Humbled Heart Daybooks late this summer. I had high hopes I could release them around the time I did last year (early November), but due to some really huge blessings this year (and you all selling me out a time or two) I think that will be moved up. It's hard estimating quantities, but God's plan for these books was much bigger than we were prepared to dream. So, after a 10 pm business meeting (aka sitting on the floor of my office with my husband) we decided not to do a another print run and settled on the notion that..
• We are really excited about the changes being made and can't wait to share them with you SO why not just do it a little bit sooner than originally planned!
A huge thanks to YOU for reading and supporting our shop! I think we both (my husband and I) are still in shock that this "plan" worked out and that it continues to grow despite the obstacles. But of course God is all over it, and your loyalty is too. So thank you for that!