Monday, March 14, 2011

Answering More Questions: On Mike, Marriage, and Maternity Leave.

Are you related to Danielle Bean?

(Danielle Bean is a superstar in the world of Catholic blogging and publishing.) Nope. She’s short and brunette like me, but we’re not related! I am ridiculously flattered whenever she shares one of my posts, though.

Did you ever think when you were younger that you wouldn't get married? [cause guys were stupid, or just always wanted to be friends, or you were just a sad mood?]

Oh, sweetie. I just want to hug you. If you are younger than 21, I’ll be honest and say that you probably don’t need to worry about guys too much right now. Of course, I’ve never been much of a casual dater (I always would rather spend time with my friends unless it was a relationship that was actually going to go somewhere, but maybe I’m odd that way), so you might feel differently. It often takes longer for guys to mature (Mike was 24 and I almost 20 when we met). Not all guys are stupid, and not all guys will want to just be friends. Keep your chin up and don’t get too disheartened; it just takes one guy. Just one.

To answer your question: When I was in my late teens, I went through a period where I didn’t think I wanted to get married and have a family, and in fact, never dreamed of my wedding and marriage the way some girls do. I simply didn’t really think about marriage (I banned the ‘m-word’ from our dorm room sophomore year of college) until I met Mike, and things clicked perfectly (clichés ahoy!) and I wanted to just be with him all the time, forever. Possibly because I didn’t have many boyfriends before him (um, one), but I was completely swept away by how strong my feelings were for him, how much I adored him, and how special he made me feel. I had made lists of what I’d want in my future husband, but when Mike came along; I realized he was more perfect for me than I could have even imagined a future husband to be. We’ve both changed so much from who we were when we first met, but we’ve, thankfully and amazingly, changed in similar ways. That’s not to say, of course, that things are perfect and wonderful all the time. A relationship changes and grows and gets less fluttery over time. But those flutters turn into a comfortable, cozy love that involves yoga pants, Psych on Netflix, and frozen pizza. There are disagreements and arguments and stubbornness, but there is also silliness and laughter and bear hugs. Marriage is one of the hardest things I’ve ever entered into, but also the most wonderful.

Why don't you post more about Mike? Give us an update on his schooling, hobbies, and how he is as a dad :)

Simply put, because this isn’t his blog and I feel like it’s inconsiderate to talk about him without his permission. Does that make sense? He didn’t choose to have a blog where he talks openly about his life to anyone and everyone. In fact, for a long time, he didn’t get blogging (and didn’t like that I did it!), but after meeting some of the people I’ve become friends with through blogging, I think he appreciates it more.

However! Since you asked, he is in his first year of a PhD program in counseling psychology and absolutely loves it. I’ve never see him so passionate, work so hard, or get so excited about the direction of his life. I am so proud of him and in awe of his newfound fire for justice issues. He’s always pushed me to be a better person, but he continues to educate himself and push himself even further. We’re both learning so much, even though sometimes I’d rather watch Rent than a film on Tolstoy’s life (which was, much to my surprise, enthralling and well-done). His hobbies are bicycling (he built a fixed gear bike), gardening, running (he has the longest legs ever), music (have I mentioned he proposed with a song he wrote? And our wedding favors were CDs of his music?), and most recently, reading, reading, and more reading.

I’ve talked in the early days about how wonderful of father Mike is, but I think what strikes me most of all is the absolute giddiness, deep affection, and absolute adoration of Gabe. He is just in love with Gabe. Words don’t really do justice to explain how awesome it is to see their relationship develop. Gabe lights up when Mike talks to him, laughing often. Mike is waaay funnier than I am, anyway.

What is the joyequation that you spoke about? Do you think that it is worthwhile?

The Joy Equation is a 30 day course for surviving the quarterlife crisis. It dubs itself “A 30 Day Guide to Living Life on Purpose” and aims to you “How to Tackle the Quarterlife Life Crisis, Gain Confidence in Yourself, and Love Your Life.” It’s a combination of journal prompts and audio sessions with a workbook, all aimed to help you determine what makes you happy.

The actual equation outlines the activities for each week and is:

Joy Equation

Since I have a small baby and work two part-time jobs (both out of the home and my design business), it’s taking me longer than 30 days to complete. I find it incredibly worthwhile, though, and have really enjoyed the time focusing on myself and my joys, particularly at this point in my life. It’s a very well-done program, and the creator, Molly, is a true doll. I recommend to anyone (particularly women) who aren’t satisfied in their current career, are looking for more contentment, or just dream of a bigger things.

do you ever eat meat? even a bite?

Not unless it’s an accident. I’ve been a vegetarian for six years now, and the last time I ate just a bite of meat was a bite of pepperoni three years ago. Hehe. We were doing a wine tasting and the wine made me think pepperoni was more delicious than it is, so I took a bite. Mike has teased me about it ever since. Though, we do eat fish once or twice a year if someone prepares it for us. I consider fish meat, though many do not.

is the 3 month mat leave typical in the USA?

The Family Medical Leave Act gives some (not all) employees up to unpaid (!) 12 weeks of maternity leave – not quite three months. Many, many moms go back after just 6 weeks, which I simply cannot fathom. I started working at Starbucks 15-20 hours a week when Gabe was two months old, but the schedule was such that I hardly missed out on any time with him. Maternity leave in this country is absolutely atrocious, and we deserve much better.

how far does Mike have to drive everyday to school/work?

His school is his work, and we live about two miles from it. It involves several gigantic hills, but he rode his bike when it was nicer out. He’s also taken the bus to school (twice with Gabe!), but generally just drives.

if you could buy a new car tomorrow, what would it be?

Prius. The gas mileage makes me salivate. (Mike wants to buy an old Volvo and fuel it with biodiesel.) Our Honda Accord gets about half the gas mileage as a Prius. Womp womp.

Got a question for me? Ask away!
blog comments powered by Disqus