Joanna Anastasia


10 things I learned in 10 years of relationship with my hubby

This year marks ten years since me and my hubby met and became a couple and I thought it’s about time for me to start writing about couple life. Because while we may not be your regular perfect instagram couple ( I don’t think we have an up to date photo together-without-kids to be honest, not to mention a romantic one holding hands and looking all cute) we are a pretty happy marriage of over 7 years, with three kids, two cats and a whole lot of crazy going on!

So today I figured I’d share with you the 10 things I learned over the years that I think are essential to a happy relationship :

  1. Don’t expect your partner to make you happy – this is so important, but yet we don’t hear it often enough. You can’t expect another mortal being to be in charge of  YOUR happiness . Your wellbeing and life satisfaction can’t depend on your partner. They can and will be in relation to him/her, but you need other activities, passions & interests too!
  2. Pick well because you can’t change a person. It might be a cliche but if you go in to a relationship with someone who’s never joking and never happy, always finding something to be upset about and usually in a bad mood- well then that will be your life. People can work on themselves but the overall mood and temperament usually stays the same. So pick well.
  3. Stay intimate. Your physical connection is the glue to your relationship, so sometimes it’s worth to overcome the tiredness and cuddle more! ( this is the tip for the tired mom of young kids.. I think we all know that sleep always wins but hey, you need to choose your couple connection over sleep from time to time!)
  4. Sometimes it’s good to let it go, stop discussing and go to sleep – Funny how most arguments happen in the evening once the kids are asleep – but it’s also the time when we are so tired we sometimes lose our rationality and become overwhelmed with emotions. From my experience, in the morning problems usually look much smaller and less important, and you might not even remember what you were so upset about the night before. So next time you feel like fighting late at night, just let it go and go to sleep – and maybe in the morning you will be less upset, or maybe your partner will understand you better after a nights rest!
  5. Do explain your point of view and listen carefully to his/hers. Always try finding a common ground, since you’re a team now, and you’re working together towards your goals and not against each other! So yes do explain how you feel and, do listen carefully to your partner. Listen how they change and show them how you change. Ask each questions even if you already asked those questions years before. People evolve and it’s important to check in with your partner and see who he/she becomes the new version of themselves. That way you can evolve and grow together- and not apart from each other.
  6. Say thank you everyday : thank you for making my coffee, thank you for thinking of that thing I forgot, thank you for putting kids to sleep etc. Even if it’s a normal responsibility of his, or a part of your family responsibilities, even if it’s something that your spouse does everyday – say thank you. Everyone likes to feel appreciated – and most likely your partner will show the appreciation back. And if he won’t, ask him to do so!
  7. Don’t make them guess. If you want something, just say it, ask for it, plan it, explain it. Your partner is not a magician to read your thoughts, but most likely a regular person who can be mistaken, who has his own likes and dislikes and who would happily make things for you – as long as you will verbalize your needs!
  8. Joke and laugh. When you’re tired and on the edge, joke. Laugh is the best remedy for almost anything. If you want to say a nasty comment or be ironic and sarcastic, better make a joke and forget about the nasty part.
  9. Have plans together outside of family/life-with-kids-plans. Even if they’re long term. This is a difficult one for couples with young kids as sometimes it feels as everything revolves around those little creatures! Just remember that at the beginning it was only the two of you, and most likely at some point it will be just the two of you again. So make sure you still have things that include only you two going on!
  10. Give each other freedom to be yourselves and make mistakes. This is probably the most difficult balance of all. Because as a couple that is also a family with kids, we are so focused on the neverending to-do lists and on how-things-should-be-done that sometimes we see our partners marley as people who should do things in a certain way. We might feel the need to tell them how they should care for kids, how they should deal with problems and how they should be helping us. But when you really accept each other’s quirks, ways and limitations you can only grow better together ( and avoid unnecessary fights ).

Now, I may not have some miraculous tips here, but if ever you wondered how people stay happily married with young kids, this might be the answer! Oh, and probably a grain of luck might have something to do with it too 🙂

Why being a new parent is like falling in love

New parent like falling in love

My three year old came back from daycare announcing to me, as if I knew nothing, that Valentine’s day is all about love and friendship. Looking at her all exited, got me thinking on how love changes us in the ways we never would have suspect before. I started to think about my relationship with my husband and about my two little girls.

And then it hit me, what an annoying person I must have been! On top of it more than once! I was thinking about the days when I was a new parent and I suddenly realized how similar I behaved to when I was freshly in love. And then I looked around at some of my friends who recently had their first child, and I noticed that we are all the same 😉

Really, when you think about it, it makes sense: being in love and having a child for the first time, are a life changing, intense experiences, that may and often do overwhelm. That’s why I think that new parents are a lot like people who fall in love! Actually, as a new parent you too fall in love, but this time, it’s your baby :).

1.Freshly in love: Conversational topic number one : your new loved object. You just can’t help it, every conversation turns out to be about your new loved one. Even talking with your friend about her dead cat, can be a great opportunity to add that your boyfriend loves cats! Actually, every subject is good to talk about your loved one!

New parent: Conversational topic number one :your child.

You just can’t help it, every conversation turns out to be about your child. People who don’t have kids will hear all about your baby poop: how big it was, what colour it had and how many times a day it happened, and people who do have kids will learn witch diaper cream they should be using now, because it’s absolutely the best for your baby’s persistent diaper rash!

2. Freshly in love: You think that there is no one else in the whole world like your loved one.
Everything he (she) says and does is extraordinary and amazing. And one of a kind. And breathtaking. If he (she) cooked scrambled eggs for you this morning, it only proves what an amazing cook he is! And you’ll tell that to everyone you’ll meet. Yes even to your single and depressed coworker, because why not?

New Parent: You think that there is no other child in the whole wide world like your child.
Anything that your child does and mumbles is exceptional. Your baby says :da da! and screams when sees bananas: how extraordinary! Let’s share that with everyone! She grabs for her leaky cup at 8 months when thirsty: it must be a genius!

3. Freshly in love: Dinner time is a special moment of connection, for which you carefully prepare.
You cook the finest meal, light candles and pour vine. You take a shower just before, and change in to some sexy garments. You turn on the music and you turn down the lights. It’s romantic even if it’s Tuesday.

New parent: Dinner time is very important for your child’s growth and you carefully prepare only fresh and organic whole food!
Your baby plate include all 4 food groups: there is a plate of organic cereals, hand made organic veggie and meet pure, and a piece of organic fruit.And milk. And every meal is like that. You spent all your free time preparing organic purees, and you’re proud if it!

4. Freshly in love: Preparing to sleep is a ritual on it’s own.
You take another long shower, you dress up in delightful lingerie, light another scent candle,and set up romantic music. Then talk for hours about your life, dreams and desires before finely going to sleep.

New parent: Preparing to sleep is a very rigid and extremely important for your baby’s sleep habits ritual.
You start by bath with essential oils, then you change your baby while using baby signs to communicate that it’s soon time for sleep. You read two educational stories, than you feed your baby with milk, and you place your baby in their crib while singing a comforting lullaby. Then you light a night lamp, which is also playing classical music. You finally turn off the light and leave the room. You may be back to soothe your baby, but only after exactly 15 minutes.

5.Freshly in love: You get easily anxious worrying that you could lose your love.
Sometimes the littlest thinks keep you awake at night wandering if you’ll stay together for ever and always and if it’s the right time to say I love you or not. You doubt and then you believe again. You get anxious imagining other people seducing your loved one. You feel like living on a deserted island would be a good thing for your relationship!

New parent: You get easily anxious and worried about your baby.
Is your child developing like it should? Is that rash a sign of a deadly sickness? Is it a good time to introduce apples or not? And why is your baby not sitting yet? You get very anxious imaging the terrible things that could happen to your child. You’d like to keep your child at home until it turns 30!

Well, yes, we’ve all been there.. 😉 or maybe it’s just me and my friends?
Did you ever got slightly obsessive about someone you loved ?