Lesson #1: Vacations rock.
Seriously, they do. Take one.
Lesson #17: Merging finances isn't hard, it's just annoying at times.
Since I'm still in school and the husband is the sole-bread winner, merging our finances wasn't too difficult. We spent an hour signing papers and voila! I'm attached to his account and mine was soon to be closed. Joint accounts all the way. For us, there was no alternative. However, being the spender of the relationship, talking to the saver of the marriage is tricky sometimes. Its a little (more than a little, sometimes) annoying to discuss every financial decision with one another. But that's the selfish part of my personality talking. I know, in the long run, it's better to make decisions together so neither of us is blind sighted. Plus, we help reel one another in, which is always good for our pocketbook.
Lesson #54: Baby families rock, but they're work to make.
I've talked about it before and I'll say it again... drama goes with weddings like cookies go with milk. Yesterday on APW, wedding undergraduate Nicole was talking about the two extremes of family relationships that seem to emerge in the course of wedding planning. On one hand, you've got the fluffy loveliness that accompanies a close family and on the other, you've got the dreary heartache that can be attached to families that ain't so cuddly.
We happen to fall mostly into the latter group. Although our issues don't stem from ideological differences like Nicole's, they still stink. We've come to learn that our new family has to be priority. And trust me, that's a hard lesson to learn and an even harder thing to constantly keep in mind.
Like Nicole notes, it's extremely tough to balance the boundaries created by the families we came from with the ones we're trying to create for our own family. Thankfully, I also find this difficult process to be one of the most rewarding parts of marriage. I love being connected to my family of origin while having them realize that we're creating our own family that has its own needs. Because the needs of our new family often clashed with those of our other families, we've constantly been emerged in a dialogue about what works for us, what absolutely doesn't, and how we respect ourselves without disregarding the needs of our families of origin.
In a lot of ways, it reminds me of the guest list drama we went through before the wedding. (Ugh, the guest list. Shoot me now.) Every side had an opinion but ultimately we needed to make it work for the two of us. We were made to feel as though we were being selfish, we were put on guilt trips, we had to deal with crying mothers, and pissed off relatives, but at the end of the day... it was our wedding. Not theirs. Just like this is our family, not theirs. If we don't prioritize our needs, we'll never be happy. So it's a constant balancing act.
Just my luck. I was never one for juggling.