What advice would you give to a Newlywed couple after your experiences during your first year year of marriage? What lessons have you learned?
KATHRYN: I think the most important lesson I got out of my first year of marriage is that you have to take your partner into consideration with all the important things -- like how you spend your money and time -- and be on the same page with life goals. John and I had to learn how to share our space in the house, how to share our money, and most importantly, our time. It’s a game of trial and error until you find what works for you! We had a lot of trouble sleeping together, because I move around in the bed a lot and snore, so we came up with a great plan: two separate blankets! This way he didn’t feel me moving around as much and he sleeps with ear plugs now!
I would tell other couples to not forget that their love and marriage is still fresh -- always make time for each other and plan lots of “date nights.” Make each other a priority as much as your career and always go to bed happy.
I had to learn to spend our money wisely as we planed for our baby and future together. It’s not about buying every little thing I wanted anymore, but saving for a rainy day. I’m still working on this issue, but having a child is really expensive and I want to be able to say I helped save up for his education and future, so I try not to spend as much.
Then there is the time we always try to make time for each other a a couple. We talk about our business together for 15 minutes a night and then retire on the couch and cuddle with a good flick!
JOHN: The lesson I learned was always think before you talk. This is the woman you love, the one you will spending the rest of your life with. If a family member gets involved with your relationship, always back up your wife. It’s also very important to have a romantic date night. And treat your wife like you did on the first date, and don’t forget to flirt with her.
How has your life changed since having a baby?
KATHRYN: Well life certainly has gotten busier since baby Dean came along. I am the sole caretaker of the baby and manage to work part time too. I take him everywhere with me, so before I used to get ready and run out the door, but now everything takes me longer. I have to get the baby ready, feed him, and then pack for our day. In the beginning it was hard juggling my time and daily house work and Glow Tanning salon, but now I’m starting to get the hang of things. A little less couple time and a LOT more family time. It’s changed for the best. John and I are working more as a team with both our business and family, and it has made our love stronger. With a lot of patience and team work we are both getting the hang of being a family now and are not so much newlyweds but familyweds!
We can’t just get up and go out dancing or stay out late, we always have to plan ahead and make sure we have a babysitter for “date night” or do things with the baby instead of just a fancy dinner and drinks. We both learned to put the baby’s needs first and spend a lot of time together, but also give each other time to do personal things like go to the gym or out with friends. We take turns going out for “girls night” or “guys night” to get a break from the every day stresses of being a parent, but we also always go out together every Friday night just the two of us for “date night.” And we have family day every Sunday. Life definitely got a lot busier, but the 2nd year of marriage keeps getting better and better.
JOHN: Our life revolves around Dean; we can’t just go out whenever we want. He has to be asleep no later than 7:30pm and takes naps throughout the day. We have to plan out our day based on his naps. It’s the best accomplishment I had ever done -- forget money or marriage (our marriage is wonderful) -- being a dad is a natural high. He’s a carbon copy of you and your wife. I wouldn’t change our chaotic new life filled with a home of baby toys (no longer with my toys) and no sleep for anything else. It’s definitely changed, but I think we are finally getting into the swing of things.
Is John still hesitant to baby-sit/change a diaper?
KATHRYN: John was really scared of staying home with the baby or handling his diapers/baths for the first 6 months I’d say. He was scared of taking care of a newborn or being left alone with him (but he still did it). Now that the baby is older and stronger, he has no problem staying with Dean and watching him.
JOHN: The first few months were hard for me. He was so tiny and fragile! I was definitely afraid I would mess up somehow. Now that Dean is 9 months and he interacting with me, I love taking care of him. I still don’t do diapers though.