Tag Archives: Marriage

13 Tips On Love And Relationships From Smart Women

May 21, 2015

When looking for a life partner, my advice to women is date all of them: the bad boys, the cool boys, the commitment-phobic boys, the crazy boys. But do not marry them. The things that make the bad boys sexy do not make them good husbands. When it comes time to settle down, find someone who wants an equal partner. Someone who thinks women should be smart, opinionated and ambitious. Someone who values fairness and expects or, even better, wants to do his share in the home. These men exist and, trust me, over time, nothing is sexier.
Sheryl Sandberg

amyIt’s never overreacting to ask for what you want and need.
Amy Poehler

chelsea_peretti_mirror_RJEpkoF.sizedIf you text “I love you” and the person writes back an emoji, no matter what the emoji is – they don’t love you back.
Chelsea Peretti

mindy-kaling1As my mom has said, when one person is unhappy, it usually means two people are unhappy but that one has not come to terms with it yet.
Mindy Kalingstrayed

You cannot convince people to love you. This is an absolute rule. No one will ever give you love because you want him or her to give it. Real love moves freely in both directions. Don’t waste your time on anything else.
Cheryl Strayed

rosanneA guy is a lump like a doughnut. So, first you gotta get rid of all the stuff his mom did to him. And then you gotta get rid of all that macho crap that they pick up from beer commercials. And then there’s my personal favorite, the male ego.
Roseanne Barr

lenaIt’s somebody who gives you the space and time you need to do your work. Somebody who says, “You couldn’t do anything that would embarrass me. Just be yourself in a way that has integrity, and I’ll be proud of you.” I think women are conditioned to stand by their man and watch them make it to the top, but most men never believe the person they get into a relationship with is going to rise any higher than she was when they met. It takes a very special, evolved person to be able to deal with change within a relationship.
Lena Dunham

cherylDon’t be strategic or coy. Strategic and coy are for jackasses. Be brave. Be authentic. Practice saying the word ‘love’ to the people you love so when it matters the most to say it, you will.
Cheryl Strayed

sarahBeing single used to mean that nobody wanted you. Now it means you’re pretty sexy and you’re taking your time deciding how you want your life to be and who you want to spend it with.
Sarah Jessica Parker

meganSpend a few minutes a day really listening to your spouse. No matter how stupid his problems sound to you. 
Megan Mullally

lizPeople always fall in love with the most perfect aspects of each other’s personalities. Who wouldn’t? Anybody can love the most wonderful parts of another person. But that’s not the clever trick. The really clever trick is this: Can you accept the flaws? Can you look at your partner’s faults honestly and say, ‘I can work around that. I can make something out of it.’? Because the good stuff is always going to be there, and it’s always going to be pretty and sparkly, but the crap underneath can ruin you.
Elizabeth Gilbert

ellenSo many people prefer to live in drama because it’s comfortable. It’s like someone staying in a bad marriage or relationship – it’s actually easier to stay because they know what to expect every day, versus leaving and not knowing what to expect.
Ellen Degeneres

cheryl sandbergEveryone knows that marriage is the biggest personal decision you make, but it’s the biggest career decision you can make. Partner with the right person, because you cannot have a full career and a full life at home with the children if you are also doing all the housework and childcare.
Sheryl Sandberg

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Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2015

i like you

“Much has been said about love…” – Every writer trying to write about love

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Say what you will about Valentine’s Day, it has already been said before. Lovely, weird, silly, stupid, expensive, polarizing, fake, cliche — all those words are true.

It is hard to celebrate love without celebrating something that isn’t real. The love we see in romantic comedies, in Disney’s wide eyed princes, in reality shows with fantasy suites and cheap red roses–it is such a giant spectacle. At the end of the day, no one wants to raise their glass or exchange chalky hearts to that kind of love.

Real love is problematic, messy, covered in boring dinners and rehashed arguments on the quality of hand towels. Real love is not forever. You can be in love for decades and have it disappear. A boyfriend, a wedding, a ten year anniversary–they are not finish lines.

Real love is perpetual motion and constant work. The navigation of emotions and responses and honesty. The daily struggle against our selfish tendencies.

What I want to remember on this strange holiday is that the love worth celebrating is the love that stays even after the ugliest words and most shattered expectations. The love that fights, that fixes, that says all the words out loud. The love that keeps moving forward.

Like every other holiday we’ve made up, Valentine’s Day is what you want it to be.

May the love you seek find its way.

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Residency Tour 2014 (Hunger Games Pre-Show)

December 8, 2014

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We are leaving today for seven days which means everything we own has been crammed into Target bags and placed in the back of the van where I will not find it. Some things remain up front; snacks to be crumbled, toys to be thrown, a stray phone charger, and a book I will never, ever read.

The trip is part of what I’m calling Residency Tour 2014!, like a Leslie Knope wannabe. Unfortunately there are no binders or Rob Lowes. The tour schedule consists of places like Baltimore (MD), Allentown (PA), Danville (PA), Harrisburg (PA), Hershey (PA), Boston (MA), Portland (ME), Wilmington (DE), Albany (NY), Monmouth (NJ), and a hundred trips to the city of cheesesteaks–Philadelphia.

If you are new here, Austin is in his fourth year of med school interviewing for residency programs. I have conveniently put our timeline into an easy to read list in The End Of Medical School following an equally gripping post on Marrying A Student.

Today he interviews at Hershey, tonight we leave for cheesesteaks, and Thursday morning we head north to Boston and Portland to pretend we aren’t freezing.

For a long time I convinced myself that this trip would be a vacation and we would really enjoy ourselves as a family. But I’ve since lowered my expectations and am just hoping no one puts their hand through a wall. I love to travel, but as we all know, traveling with kids is simply parenting in a different location. Thank you Jesus for borrowed iPads.

After we return home next week, the interviews continue through January. Then we submit a list of programs ranked by preference while the residency programs do the same about those they’ve interviewed. Then a computer takes this information and spits out where we will live for six years to be read in front of peers and the local news. Kind of like the hunger games, but boring and nobody dies (except our spirits). #drama

This is all a big, long post to say: we’ll be gone for a bit and I’ll be blogging via Instagram with a few pre-scheduled posts here around Evie’s first birthday.

Pray for our fragile, delicate nerves as we embark on a weeklong trip up the coast with a three and almost one-year-old who is going through a “car seat stage.” If anyone knows a place in Boston or Portland to day drink, let me know because 18+ hours in the car with two toddlers is not for the faint of heart (I am faint of heart).

Here we go.

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Help

November 10, 2014

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No one in this room knows I’m a mother. Or a wife. I was so much smaller when we got married that my wedding ring doesn’t fit anymore. So I sit here in this coffee shop with my enormous 99-cent headphones like the nerd of the year and am anyone.

Just a girl, standing in front of a laptop, asking it to love her.

A few weeks ago I wrote an essay about wanting more out of life, which was really just me using seven paragraphs to say I need help with childcare.

Why is it so hard to ask for help? The words get stuck in my throat like a dinner roll I’ve inhaled without a glass of water and I’m left dry and weary. Mom pro tip: Ask for help and you will no longer need to slam cupboard doors to get your (secret) “point” across. The speeches I’ve rehearsed during angry cleaning are such a waste. I could have been listening to a podcast.

Before I had my first baby, a wise woman told me that “if this is going to work” I was going to need to ask for the exact help I need. Nothing more, nothing less. If the help is there, be thankful. If it falls though, at least you said it out loud. She said, “You will never get the support you didn’t ask for.”

It is so easy to give that advice. I don’t know how many times I’ve said, “If you want the cake, ask for the cake.” But encouraging someone else to be assertive, brave, and strong is a lot easier than living those adjectives out yourself. How quickly we play the victim.

Lucky for me, I didn’t marry a misogynistic narcissist. Austin is great (a feminist narcissist). It is my own issue; my own self-doubt and self-loathing and tendency to under commit. We live in a world with so much creative work at our fingertips that it is easy to be lazy. It is easy to leave our imaginations and originality behind with our Pinterest pins and the excuse that it’s already been done.

It is easy to feel insignificant.

The good news is that humans have been feeling like boring shmucks since Eve got tired of hanging out with Adam. There is always something to be said, to be created, to do. Asking for help to do it is simply one step in a series of a million steps. We are our greatest obstacle. Our greatest asset. If there’s one thing we can learn from Beyonce, it’s that hard work pays off– but also nannies. So many nannies.

I am writing this to you after two full hours in a cold coffee shop working on a memoir titled, “Carbs And Bon Iver: Thank You For Helping Me Write This Book” because I asked for help.

A small step, but also a giant leap.

We are always so close.

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Let’s Talk About Vasectomies!

October 21, 2014

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Do you want to know what guys love talking about? Vasectomies. Cosmo may think it has something to do with lace underwear, but no. Guys definitely love talking about testicular surgery.

I want to tell you that Austin and I don’t talk about having a third baby every week, but that would be a lie because we talk about it every day. No one wants to talk about it, but out it comes in various forms having to do with things like vacations and private school and most importantly how will we ever have time.

Practically we know it doesn’t really matter. If we have zero or three more kids, we will be fine and happy and make it work. But when two firstborn children marry each other, it is very hard for everyone to just relax.

The conversation often centers around the desire to be more than parents. We find ourselves routinely frustrated over not being able to pursue hobbies because the kids are constantly asking for refills of orange juice. Austin loves babies, but worries the stage of diapers and tantrums will seem unending if we keep the ball rolling. I know how he feels. There are many moments every day when I stop and think, this is all I can sanely handle. This is absolutely it. 

On the other hand, children are heart growers, birth is beautiful, and what about all those instagrams of newborns in sleepsacks?

Pros and cons, pros and cons.

Our plan has always been to wait until Evie is three years old and make a decision from there, but it is hard to push it from my mind. I want to know for sure if these are my last infant years. Will I really only have two little faces in the rear view mirror? Should I be keeping my baby bathtub? What if my robot arm birth control is giving me a disease? IS MY WOMB EMPTY FOREVER.

I have talked about the last baby before. From the beginning I have treasured our daughter like she is the last time I’ll ever kiss a soft baby belly, and yet I can’t help but dream about a Braverman-like crowd at future holiday dinners. I love my kids so much, why wouldn’t I want more? Won’t Waylon and Eva want more siblings? What other kind of humans could we grow!

Of course there are many opinions. Last week I read an article on the top ten reasons why you definitely should have a third child. A few days later, I read another post on why you definitely should not. Both used the word “selfish” and both made it seem like I was only one round of Clomid away from the best or worst decision of my life. It was confusing.

It is human nature to be curious about the what-ifs. I will pray for peace and Xanax. Best case scenario is that I will become more enlightened, or at the very least, more relaxed. We have time. We have two mostly nice kids. Hormonal birth control (probably) won’t kill me. What will be will be.

In the meantime, keep making babies and let me know how it goes.

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