Tuesday, June 4, 2013

What I Wish I Knew Before I Got Married: Kate of Be Merry, Kate!

Kate and I met when she was at St. Mary's and I was at Notre Dame, but it wasn't until we discovered each other's blogs post-graduation that we really hit it off. I love reading about her adventures as a newlywed and mama to darling baby Mikey, and her tips below reflect her awesomely practical ideas and turning-lemons-into-lemonade attitude. Hope you enjoy her great post below!

First things first, congrats and best wishes to Tess and Frank! I hope you two are thoroughly enjoying your honeymoon in La Citta Eterna! I was overjoyed when Tess asked me to contribute to her line of guest posters. I am by no means an expert on marriage, but here are a few things that I wish I could tell myself pre-nuptials.

It's not all peaches and cream, puppies and rainbows. Wait, is it too soon to be so depressing? Sorry, it is true. But don't worry, it's still good. Before getting married, my fiance and I kept talking about this glorious time when things will be easier... 3 and a half year's later, we're now chuckling at our naive little selves. In our first MONTH of marriage, we got in not one, but two car wrecks, had a kitchen ceiling leak, a fridge break (and food spoiled), a cancelled surgery, lost part of our reception hall security deposit, and broke a new place setting (ok that part wasn't all that bad). It was ROUGH. Thankfully, it was a wonderful learning experience. I am floored by how much it strengthened our marriage at such an early time.

Your bedtime routine may change. Couples (generally) know that there are certain things to discuss before getting married... children, living arrangement, finances... but you never think of what to do when it is time for bed. Sounds dumb right? But if you are a routine person this may affect you. Say you read a chapter of your book every night before you go to sleep... what if your new husband needs TV or radio to fall asleep? Of course these aren't deal breakers by any means, but definitely something to think about!

You are a family. Somehow this person has gone from stranger to a family member. It is the only family member you will ever choose for yourself. Treat him like family! You don't need kids to start traditions or have inside-family jokes. Start that now and don't wait another second. Your "family life" is not in some distant future when you have a litter of kids sitting around the dinner table. It starts now, the second you walk out of that church.

You may not have full control over the decorating. But it's ok. Because you will make a home that truly reflects the two of you as a family. My husband always makes fun of my old apartment, the one I had before we were married. He said that while it was well-decorated it was too "recent-college-graduate girly." If you know me, you know I'm not girly. Apparently green sheer curtains are girly. But hey, he had a point.

Your tastes may change. Tess touched on this in her post about learning to like baseball. Before I was married I didn't like camping, hiking, bell peppers, or a great many other things. My husband thought running was unnatural. Turns out you adapt to your spouse. I feel like my husband and I have so much in common, when really, we have grown to have these things in common.

Marriage is a sacrifice. Getting engaged is fun. Planning weddings are fun. Honeymoons are fun. Marriage is not always fun. Don't get me wrong... it is fun a lot of the time. Other times it is down-right hard (see above). Prepare to put yourself on the backburner. There is a reason why married love is used to describe the love Christ has for the Church. It is a sacrificial love to the max. Most of us spend our pre-married days focusing on el numero uno. Don't stop doing what is best for yourself, but remember that sometimes what is best for yourself is what's best for your spouse and your family.

Hope these little snippets help all you new or soon-to-be brides out there! Marriage is a GLORIOUS thing. You will never know a love quite like it. Tess, I hope you are basking in newlywed glory!

Kate is a wife and a full time working mama to one. In her copious amounts of free time she likes to run, sew and craft. She has dreams of spending her days raising a litter of kids on her own little homestead while her husband is off teaching philosophy to the youth of America. You can find her over at be merry, kate where she (usually) writes about her attempts to balance it all.


  1. Love these, girl! Especially about not waiting to have kids to start new traditions :) such good advice.. and don't pretend like you don't miss living on Elmer!!

    1. Hah! Living on Elmer was probably the best few years of my life - even if I didn't know it then!

  2. Love what you said about adapting to your spouse. Nate and I have definitely done that and it's interesting to look back over the years and see how much we've grown together. It's my favorite thing about marriage!

    1. I love it too! Before Jon came along, camping never ever ever crossed my mind!