The second year of our marriage was actually pretty good. We both had salaried jobs that we loved doing and it was the year we decided we were ready to try for a family. (Which also means Simeon’s marital struggles decreased dramatically. LOL.) In all honesty though, I had been on birth control before that and going off of it completely changed me. It was the happiest I had felt in a long time. For some reason, the pills stabilized my hormones in a way that did not allow me to feel any emotion with depth. So the happy feeling was nice. There were moments that were not the best…we still struggled with finances and how focused Simeon should be on completing college at this point. There were many times I felt like I was the responsible one in the relationship and remember sitting in Simeon’s office crying wondering how in the world we could have a family together when I could not even be as involved as much as I wanted as a teacher, because my husband needed my help volunteering at the church and catching loose ends. (Time management was not his biggest strength back then.) You know what God told me? I was in a small group one Wednesday night and I heard God tell me that I should take joy in picking up after my husband. Say WHAT!?….WHAT? I don’t know about you, but there are times I know God is talking to me, because I certainly would not have thought of some of those things on my own. To explain…He showed me in my heart how we are a partnership and the fact that I saw everything Simeon may have missed doing what he was supposed to be doing was a blessing. It meant we had two sets of eyes and nothing got missed and we both benefited from it. It didn’t mean he was inept…it meant God gave me the ability to see what needed to be seen and to do what needed to be done with my talents that Simeon hadn’t caught with his. You see, my husband really cares about people and helping them. I am not so gifted as to want to sacrifice my time for other people…I like lists and organization. It is hard for me to decide between spending time with friends or washing dishes. Ridiculous. Together we work pretty well.
That fall we found out we were expecting our first baby and had fun with everything that comes with that. It was a ridiculously easy pregnancy. At 6 months pregnant though, my husband was asked to resign from his job. Thankfully, they extended the insurance for us while he searched for another job. Umm, that space was a little rough. Apparently, we had different ways of job hunting. Mine was – get outside-fill out an application at every place I could. Simeon was MUCH. more. selective. It infuriated me, but he interviewed and was able to get a really great job starting after the birth of our daughter. That job is still blessing us today. Guys just have instincts I don’t get.
Little Anna came along. I tell you what…that was an adventure…but since this story is mostly about Simeon and me, we’ll save birth stories for another time. Simeon was very supportive during the birthing process though I do not think I ever succeeded in getting him to read a single book about it. When it came to feeding the baby at night, he insisted she sleep on his side of the bed so he would wake up in order to hand her over to me to feed. As time went on, it became evident that Simeon was not endowed with the same maternal instincts to wake up in the middle of the night for crying babies. We also became aware that we were not our best selves in the wee hours of the morning when there’s a baby exploding out of diapers (and she only peed on Simeon…always) or when the baby would not quit crying. And by “not our best selves”, I mean there were some pretty choice words exchanged for people who were rarely heard cussing most of the time. Dishes piled high and chores were neglected a little more frequently. Our little first born seemed to need a lot of attention so our evenings were filled with supper, movies while entertaining Anna, a ton of nursing, and sleep. Our favorite was to grab Chinese take out. It was like a little date night at home while Anna complained through “tummy time” exercises. It did wear on us a little though. I went to work 6 weeks after Anna was born and had to fit in times to pump while at work, pump/nurse late at night, and more in the early morning with no place to comfortably pump at work. By 5 months, I contracted pneumonia and was hospitalized for a handful of days. Anna was cut off from nursing and was weaned. It really made me sad for her and I think it was hard on both of us. By time Anna was 7 months old, we got the news that baby #2 was on the way.
I cried as I talked on the phone to my mom about being pregnant again so soon. I knew that everything was REALLY going to change with having two of them. We were not where we needed to be financially and rent had increased. We did what I swore we would never do. We moved in with the in-laws.