You and Me & Chasing Little G

Wife Talk Wednesday

#WifeTalkWednesday: Infertility Sucks

Wife Talk WednesdaySabra GilbertComment

So I've written before on #WifeTalkWednesday about how it sucks when people are invasive on your baby making plans, but I'm here to spill my guts about ours and mostly what fueled the previous article anyway.

When you've been married for over two years like Simeon and I have, people are constantly asking you when little baby Gilbert is going to come along. Which I was fine with when it started since I was hopeful that we would be announcing soon anyway. But then a few months went by, and then it was a year, and now Simeon and I are about to stare two years of infertility in the face.

That's right. Simeon and I have wanted a baby since about 5 months into our marriage. And here we are. Human baby-less,

If I'm going to be completely honest, I'm pretty sure that's why I've struggled to write on this blog in so long. Because the number one thing that I want to talk about, doesn't exist yet. I am dying to be a mommy blogger. Not a puppy mommy blogger (sorry Fox!) but a human mommy blogger. I also couldn't share this crazy bit of life truth until recently, when I really decided that it needed to be something I discussed openly and dealt with instead of just keeping it in and dealing with it personally.

Simeon isn't a big share-er person when it comes to such personal things. And he really didn't want me talking to anyone about our struggles for the longest time. Because HELLO baby making is INSANELY personal! And I don't blame him. But I suck at keeping things a secret. Especially secrets that really upset me to begin with. So we talked about me talking about it here and with those who didn't know that this was a struggle we had yet. And after a few discussions we figured it was something that was best for me. 

Infertility Sucks.jpg

Anyway, now that we have the whole backstory of why i'm coming out with this now, lets get back to the meat of the post/ Infertility sucking.

Infertility sucks. . .

because your are begging for a child. You see all the babies around you, in the blogging world and real. And you want it like crazy. To be a mother and wake up in the middle of the night with my baby. To be pregnant and feel those crazy kicks from inside of you. To dress up my baby in all the adorable outfits that I've put on my baby registry. (yes, I totally have a registry started, more on that later.)

Infertility sucks. . . 

because you become so ridiculously jealous of your friends who bring babies into this world. And when they make jokes that you don't want this in your life yet, it shatters your heart. You soak in the baby photos and all the funny little stories about how having a newborn sucks. And you wish they were your's instead. Then you feel like a horrible person for wishing that the roles were different. That you had a happy little accident on your hip instead of watching him on someone elses.  

Infertility sucks. . .

because you can no longer trust your own body. There have been so many times that I was so sure that I was pregnant. But I'm pretty sure that my excitement to be pregnant, I gave myself the symptoms that I was most begging for.  But for that, my own body has disappointed me so many different times. Even when i was telling myself there was no way I could be pregnant, I would still hold just a pinch of faith that maybe I was wrong. Maybe my body figured it's own nonsense out and had somehow ended up pregnant even though it wouldn't have worked.

Infertility sucks. . .

because it isn't the diagnosis. It's a symptom of something else being wrong. So far, none of my doctors has figured it out yet. But they also haven't spent much time trying to figure it out. So far, I've gotten a lot of "you're young, it can't be anything too serious. Here try this simple thing and your period will magically appear again." And it does. For a month and then disappears again. Which if you are trying to make a baby it is insanely important that your body cycle predictably. But whatever.

Infertility sucks . . .

because it shakes your faith in the one who rules your life.  It's easy to cast blame on someone who won't look you directly look you in the eye and tell you that you're full of it.  It's easy to avoid the messages that he could be trying to get to you otherwise. Avoid the bible. Stop looking at the faith inspirational instagrams that you love. Avoid the extremely strong in their faith infertility bloggers that you love. Ignore every prompting that is God begging you to come back to him and believe in his timing. Which is true. I do. One of my deepest sins is in believing that I can do what God can't. That I can will myself to be pregnant on my timing instead of waiting for God to bless me with a child. I stomp around like having a child is a right and not a privilege that God gifts. 

#WifeTalkWednesday: My Ovaries Aren't Your Business!

Wife Talk WednesdaySabra GilbertComment

One thing that has driven me nuts since getting married is that everyone seems to have an opinion on when you should start or shouldn't start a family. There are plenty of times that any comment, either positive or negative, could be incredibly hurtful. Especially on something that can be such a delicate subject.

That young wife you may be telling to wait could already be 11 weeks pregnant.

That 30 year old woman that you just told "isn't getting any younger" may have suffered silently through 7 miscarriages already.

"Puppies are such great practice, but don't be thinking about little kiddos yet!" to the woman who may have been "thinking" about those kiddos for the last year and a half unsuccessfully.

So many things that people say off hand to married (or unmarried!!) woman can be the worst thing that a person can hear that day. And if they are anything like me, possibly hold on to it for days on end letting it randomly bounce around their head. And these resonating words become etched on that poor woman's heart.

So I urge you today to remember that another woman's reproductive plan isn't any of your business! She may be your best friend, daughter, aunt, sister, sister in law, or even just a stranger on the street. There are so many different things that you are invading on other than just their baby plans.

You are inviting yourself to know of a pregnancy before the family is ready to share.

You are inviting yourself into the woman's story of waiting, loss. or indecision on when to have kids.

You are inviting yourself into the talks between a husband and wife on when they are going to expand their family

You are inviting yourself directly into the bedroom of a married couple, and you have absolutely no reason to be there. 

Don't worry. I completely understand why you have invited yourself into these places. You're curious on when you get to start planning our baby shower, or if you can plan a raging alcohol filled party and not feel guilty when I can't drink. But I promise you that there are better ways to approach the whole situation, other than your lightly veiled side comment.  And I beg you to use those ideas instead.

So what are your awkward baby related conversations? 

#WifeTalkWednesday: My Take on Godly Submission

Wife Talk WednesdaySabra GilbertComment

I didn't grow up as a believer in Christ or the Word. And with this I then grew up with my own views on how I wanted to be portrayed in my marriage when I was older. I didn't want kids. I was going to be a career woman. If my husband expected me to do all the "womanly" duties by myself, he was going to be in for a giant shock!

In my young teenage days, I was probably everything that was horrible about extremest feminists. Stay home with the kids? HAHAHA!! Having kids in general? HAHAHA!! Kids were a distraction. Staying at home is a joke. I was gonna be a strong, independent career woman!! Typical gender stereotypes were not for me. I could do ANYTHING a man could do, and probably do it better. I was determined to be the dominate in any couple. And if that was ever challenged in any relationship I was in, he got dumped pretty fast.

And then I was introduced to Christ. And the Word. And the way I had decided to live my life was challenged. Like, directly challenged by Ephesians 5:22-24.

"Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything." - Ephesians 5:22-24

Now, while I was obviously not a married woman at the time I started hearing about this, marriage and submission always seem to be hot topics in woman's bible studies and something that we hear about all the time. And at first, I hated it. Some bible studies will even ask you to start considering it in how you approach dating. Going against the mainstream trend of girls asking guys out and taking the upper hand in relationships. 

Like seriously? How was I supposed to do that?!? Let go of my control and let a guy control me? 

What I didn't understand was that submitting in the bible is a completely different version than what people call submitting today. I'm not supposed to just be below my husband and go along with whatever he decides.

We're a team, but every team still needs a team captain. Someone who is going to listen his teammates and consider their opinions in all decisions. And let them make decisions as well. When it comes to getting Fox, we were originally on different sides. Simeon wanted me to get a puppy, but he also didn't really want to get the puppy until we moved. I just wanted the puppy. But we listened to each other and compromised on not making a true decision until we met the puppies and saw if the owner would be willing to hold a puppy for us even though she had originally said first come first serve. (Obviously, other things happen and we brought him home that day instead!).

Woman are asked to submit because men are far more likely to take logic into a decision along with emotions, while a lot of women put emotion above all else. I know I do.  If it was up to me, I would have just barreled forward in getting this puppy without thought of how, what, when, or where. I would have brought him home with only a pintrest board of training tips and a trello board of puppy to do and to buys. Which would have worked about half of the time.  Simeon was the one who thought a few months ago that it would be a good idea to start saving money for our puppy. And holds me back from spending money on un-needed things. (you know, multiple sweaters, ALL THE TREATs & toys!) and instead we have gotten what he absolutely needs for now, with plans to slowly expand to the more fun stuff. 

We balance each other out.

Logic-wise, Simeon probably never would have gotten a puppy on his own. He didn't feel any emotional connection to the puppies until he had them in his arms. Puppies take time and money and commitment that just doesn't make sense if logic was the only deciding factor.

Emotionally, I would have dived right into puppy mommy hood and not worried about if I would have actually been able to afford it. Or without a game plan for the early puppy days. 

I brought Fox into our lives, but Simeon made the plans for him. 

Submitting is

. . . listening to my husband while he explains the logical points of our decisions. 

. . . listening for his lead in our Spiritual decisions.

. . . pointing out my side of any disagreement in a caring manner.

. . . loving my husband enough to softly point out his flaws and helping him grow.

. . . loving my husband enough to not hate him for pointing out my flaws and helping me to grow.

. . . realizing that I can't do this all on my own. That I have a partner to make decisions, changes, and take on puppy parenthood with. 

PS - Since I talked about fox so much, I thought I would throw in a few photos for you :)

#WifeTalkWednesday: Creating Habits with Your Husband

Wife Talk WednesdaySabra GilbertComment

The beginning of every year is when people start to try to  create new habits to better their new year. Trying to change something about yourself can be hard to begin with but even worse if the one person who is beside you all the time isn't supporting you. Though it is a million times easier when that person isn't only supporting you, but doing it with you! 

Though, obviously, you have to choose habits that your husband is interested in as well! This can be something extremely fun to brainstorm with your husband and can cover a plethora of things. Though sometimes there are so many options that you don't know where to start, so let me give you a few ideas!

#WifeTalkWednesday: Creating Habits with Your Husband

5 Habits to Start with Your Husband

1|| Daily Devotions Together

2|| Quit Soda & Over-snacking

3|| Work Out Together

4|| Read more

5||  Being Present & Turning off Phones

I truly believe that the best way to start creating a habit with your husband is to start with with a goal that both you and your husband are excited to get started. And one that you both see the benefits to start. If only one of you is excited and the other person is kind of hesitant, then it isn't going to be as strong commitment for both of you. 

Then you have to find a way to keep yourselves accountable for whatever goal you are both trying to reach. You can make it a competition: who can reach the highest step count each day, who can reach their water goal the most in a week (did you know that reaching water goals is really really really hard?). You can do the activity together: both picking the same reading time (like right before bed), working out together, or putting both of your phones in the same basket during a set time. You could also print out calendars and mark which days you remember to do something or what your goal is for each day.

Other than keeping each other accountable, you also have to find ways to celebrate when you hit certain points in reaching your goals! Maybe after a really good week of hitting water goals or meeting a weight goal, you can go get a celebratory ice cream cone. Finish a good book, reward yourself with going and buying a new book, or surprising your husband with a giftcard when he finishes his (the only way I can get Simeon anything is through gift cards! The money has to be already spent and very directed! :))


#WifeTalkWednesday: Balancing Different Spending Habits

Wife Talk WednesdaySabra GilbertComment

Welcome back to Wife Talk Wednesday! 

Today I thought I would talk about how Simeon and I try to balance our personal spending habits. I say try because there are plenty of times where, even with our systems in place, we argue about spending money and on what. And I know for a fact that it is a hot topic for many different couples as well. According to this article, about 30% of couples who argue about money end in divorce.

And since I for one never want to go through that, keeping a open conversation about money is key! Simeon is much more of a saver. He plans to save. He cuts luxuries to save more. Even when it comes time to spend the money on the things that he saved for, he is very hesitant to spend that money and looks for the best deal. (This all even applies to how he spends money during games so if you ever play league or any board games, watch out!). On the other hand, while I can save for things that I really really really want, I don't mind spending money if I want or need to. And little luxuries are things that I tend to hate to go without and I'm fine with spending money for a little convenience. 

As you can probably see, with these very different spending habits, we tend to disagree on how to spend our money, which was why a budget became such a big deal to us!

Before budget, it constantly felt like I was having to ask to spend money on myself or extra on groceries if anything ever came up. Simeon did his own budgeting on the side and was always pouring what he thought was just extra money into our savings. But it would always not seem balanced as I was the one who did most of the grocery shopping and paying the bills. 

It just never felt like it made any sense. I couldn't access Simeon's budget because he just did it on a post it on his laptop. And I had no idea the limits that SImeon was assuming for groceries and other things. So then Simeon would be frustrated when our bank account wasn't matching up with what he imagined would be our targets for groceries and spending.

And a spreadsheet on my computer didn't make any sense either because Simeon was a lot better at updating a budget on a regular basis than I was, and it frustrated Simeon to not  have a little control on the budget.

So we moved it to Google Drive. Lovely thing google drive! You can share documents and both make edits and see what the other is planning. But we still had the problem of me constantly feeling like I needed permission to spend money. As I've gotten myself through the majority of the last five years on my own, it felt like a giant pain to now have to "report" to someone to get what I wanted and do what I wanted.

And that was when I decided that our budget needed to be so much more than saving, groceries and bills. It needed to loosen up.  Make our marriage a priority instead of something that just lead to this budget.

So we added new categories. We each were given a monthly  spending budget (that you could use if you wanted or if you didn't), my blog & business were given a budget, and date nights were automatically counted in as well. Instead of these things being seen as EXCESS, they started being seen as something that we both needed. Simeon needing the structure of a tight budget, and I needing the freedom to buy something if I wanted or needed to.

And I would suggest this strategy to anyone who felt like money was becoming a big problem in their marriage. I Know that it has solved plenty of our own fights,though it has also lead to a few when one or both of us don't pay attention to the budget.

Budgeting has to be something that you work on together. Not just once a month, but constantly. 

How do you and your husband handle monetary disputes?