Friday, January 20, 2012

How to Balance It All: The Newlywed Angle

Have I mentioned that I love the idea of guest posting for other fabulous bloggers just as much as I love sharing my space with other fabulous women?! I think this is one of my favorite parts of the blogging community, and today, I am lucky enough to be guest blogging for the always fabulous, Molly from Duchess of Fork!

Hi, Everyone! I'm Pam, a newlywed, late twenties girl from North Jersey who blogs over at Our Love Nest! I am so honored to be writing amongst all of these fabulous ladies this week, and even more honored that Molly asked me to hijack her little blog for the day!

For those of you who don't know me yet, I am married to B, we met in college, but didn't start dating until after we graduated (best idea ever, in my book). We dated for 3 1/2 years, got engaged in November of 2009, and were married in a beautiful fall, North Jersey wedding on November 5, 2010. B is one of the greatest men I have ever known, and, although it may sound a bit cliche', I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have married my best friend.

In the fourteen months that have passed since our wedding, we have lived together for the first time in a modest, one-bedroom apartment, started our family with the addition of an energetic black lab mix puppy named Riley, and bought our very first home. And, on top of all that? I have changed jobs twice, and started a business of my own. Life has surely kept us in the fast lane lately, and I hardly ever take the chance to sit back and think about how I am choosing to spend and manage the time I have.

You see, right now, we're a DINK couple. Have you heard of DINKs? I hadn't until my fabulous sistah-in-love introduced the term to me a few years back. It simply means, "Dual-Income-No-Kids." What does this mean for us? Well, we both work, don't have any kids (yet), and can basically spend our money the way we please. You know, after the bills are paid and the pup is fed. Right now, our time and money are pretty evenly divided into three categories: house money (for renovations/furnishings), fun money (mainly used for all of the clothes that I don't need) and money we spend going out with and hosting our friends.

We are lucky enough to live close to many of our college friends, so we are typically never without Friday night plans, which I love, but it sure does begin to catch up with you. Is there a certain age you're supposed to reach when you'll finally be ready to "settle down?" You know, start staying home on Friday nights and planning thinking about continuing to grow your family? Well, if so, I think the age (for me) is now. I feel like I've been juggling life, love, work and a social life for so long, that some of the balls are starting to drop.

I think my dilemma is with how I am choosing to spend my time. Each morning, I want to wake up early, work out for 30 minutes, spend the next 30 minutes reading a daily devotion, and then catch up on my blog reading while sipping on my first cup of coffee. But instead, I often sleep in later than I planned, and get distracted with things like emptying the dishwasher or switching that fourth load of laundry, and before I know it, my morning is over and I'm being pulled into the next thing. I'd like to schedule a weekly or bi-weekly date night, but often times, when Thursday night rolls around, I've forgotten and am lucky if we have time to squeeze in a movie on the couch before we head to bed and start all over again.

How do you busy Mom's do it?! Even though I'm the type of person who takes pride in productivity, I find myself admiring all the wonderful women I've met via the internet, and wondering how they have the time to keep up with their children, blogs, emails and work, let alone making time for their husbands or themselves! I guess what I'm asking is: do any of you young Mommies have some advice for a girl who is making plans to start her family, but is hoping to get a handle on my schedule in the meantime?!

Now, don't get me wrong, I chose this life, and I love it dearly, but there are days when some advice from a fellow tech savvy and busy woman would do wonders for me. So ladies, how do you try to balance it all?!

Thanks again, Molly, and don't forget to pop over and introduce yourself at my little slice of the internet!


Nina said...

LOVE THIS!! It's refreshing to meet bloggers who are in the same phase of life. I guess once we have children, we will just figure it out, just like our mothers did. I'm definitely not feeling rushed to get to the next step...I'm still trying to adjust to living with a boy!

Melissa at Tall Blonde Blog said...

You guys are too cute AND you got married on Mia's birthday :)

I think balance is tough for everyone, with or without children. With new phases of life comes new adjustments.

Working full time and being a Mom was very, very difficult for me at first, but now I love it(most days). Sure, are there days where I wish I could see my daughter more, absolutely, but this is the sacrifice I'm willing to make.

It keeps me, me.

Jill said...

Hi Pam,

I found you through twitter :). I have been married 30 years and have 8 children ages 6 to 26 and reading your post brought back those newlywed memories.

How do moms do it all? Well, we don't. There are "seasons" of life for different activities. You are in a season of life where you probably pay more attention to housekeeping details and, perhaps, spend more time shopping than I do (believe it or not...I have lots of helpers). You are busy with what you want to be busy with. If you really want to get up early, you'll do it...but there is nothing wrong with puttering around in the morning either! If you had a newborn right now your world would revolve around different things although after that first new born period you could quickly get back into what you do now if you think that is important. Usually friend-time changes a bit because you are spending more time enjoying your little person!Also, when you stay home a lot with is amazing how much time you have to get things done. Errands, shopping and "going out" use up a lot of time.
I do want to encourage you not to spend too much time with friends and not nurture your marriage. You SHOULD be changing your priorities as a married couple...because, well, you are're a married couple now.There is great blessing in establishing your own family.

More than you wanted to know, I'm sure! Just wanted you to know that I have lots of time to do the things I want because over the years I've prioritized with each child and I also have developed the discipline of saying "no".

I even wrote a blog post about "The Not-To-Do List."

Jill Farris

Lauren said...

Just started following!!! :) Y'all make an adorable couple!!!!!

Life As Wife said...

So glad you liked one of my Instagram photos so I could find your blog!!

Unknown said...

You've been tagged over at my blog!

Erin said...

Friend, all I can say is that life comes in SEASONS. When Kitty was a newborn I struggled just to feed her every 2 hours and get her on a napping schedule. There were days when those were the ONLY TWO THINGS I ACCOMPLISHED. If you told me that a year later I'd be blogging, shopping, doing a Bible study, freelance writing, running, crafting, and party-planning all while cooking, cleaning, and teaching her numbers and letters? I would have burst into just seems that impossible at first :)

The things is, God stretches you. First a husband. A puppy. A bigger house (which takes more time to clean & maintain). Then a baby comes along...then all happens so slowly, that you are able to re-prioritize and rearrange your life in order to make it fit. Things that were once important take a back seat to things that are now more pressing.

Right now two of my bridesmaids have FIVE KIDS. Could I do 5 kids right now? Heck to the NO! But *most* of the time, you don't get five kids all at once! Personally, I'm home more than a lot of my friends. We still do playdates, the zoo, Bible study, etc...but I've learned that the more I'm home, the more I get done during the day. By the time we put Kitty in bed, I make it a point to have everything else DONE so I can spend my evenings with Jeff. When the next baby comes along, this may not be so easy ;) But for now? I'm enjoying my season!