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Friday, September 30, 2011

Things They Can't Say: These Little Waves

Not only is today's guest an incredible writer who is able to pour such emotion into her words, but she is also one of the most supportive women in the blogosphere. Please welcome Galit from These Little Waves.




The moon etches white. A slim glow in our living room reflects the laundry, the mail, the dust.

I sit on the yellow couch. My shoulders, slumped. My hair, ponytailed. My face, tear-streaked.

My first newborn, Kayli, is cradled in my arms.

I hold her close, although if I dig deep (deeper), what I really want to do is pass her off. Take a shower. Reclaim my body. Let someone else -anyone else- take care of her.

But I don’t.

I nestle her in and allow my tears to graze her cheeks.

Jason’s eyes wash over us in shades of helplessness and worry. But when I look close (closer) I glimpse something else coloring them in.

It’s the stubbornness that we share. He wants me to continue nursing our baby, and he’s going to ensure that I do.

*****

That night was was seven-or-so years ago and I’m happy to report that Kayli, Jason, our marriage, and I all survived it.

He did push me to nurse because we made that decision before she was born, before I was pregnant, and probably before we were married!

That’s how it goes in the early rays of love, isn’t it?

You find peace somewhere between passion and friendship and laughter and dreams.

You make your way towards the sacred Middle Ground, plant your feet firmly, and just be together.

Except sometimes, that Middle Ground is hard to reach. And when new love sets and children and finances and schedules and commitments rise, those disagreements shed their light.

And it’s hard.

*****

Jason and I have a beautiful marriage. I am so very lucky to be linked to him.

But sometimes we disagree about our parenting.

Of course we do- we each have our own baggage and upbringing and education and moods. And remember- we share a deeply rooted stubbornness.

But these moments, are when I feel torn.

I want to be on the same team as my husband and present a united front to our children. I want them to feel the sweetness of this security.

But I also want to show them that I’m on their team -always, unconditionally.

Everyone deserves to have someone like that in their lives- someone who will cheerlead for them when they’re not their best.

So I take their side as their mother, not as his wife.

*****

When it’s just the two of us -still sitting on that same yellow couch with that same moon sliding into a different set of windows- it’s easy to hold that disagreement in the palm of my hand, inspect it, crumple it up, and throw it away.

But in the light of day when we’re immersed in the mess that is a family, I am torn again.

Torn (luckily) wrapped up in happily married, soulfully committed, impossibly stubborn, and equally matched.

*****

Thank you so very much for having me here today, Shell. I'm honored! And thank you for reading my heart. I'm thrilled to meet you.


Please leave Galit some comment love here and then go follow her blog These Little Waves. You can also find her on twitter @GalitBreen.

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62 Comments:

Anonymous Galit Breen said...

Thank you so much for having me here today, Shell! You? Are amazing! XO

September 30, 2011 at 7:24 AM  
Blogger The Blonde Duck said...

Beautiful.

September 30, 2011 at 7:32 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

What a beautifully honest post Galit. So true that it is hard to find the right place to be, between showing a united front and taking the side we feel is best. So good to see you over here today.

September 30, 2011 at 7:33 AM  
Blogger Jenny said...

Such a great post about parenting and its ups and downs and what you believe as a mom.

September 30, 2011 at 7:45 AM  
Blogger Jemima said...

Ooh... This post could have gone in so many different directions. Good on ya for surviving breastfeeding, let alone marriage.

September 30, 2011 at 7:54 AM  
Blogger The Woven Moments said...

Galit - you know I'm a huge fan of everything you write... it's like reading my own thoughts!! Hugs!!

September 30, 2011 at 8:02 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Beautiful post! Marriage after children is tough, and in ways that most do not imagine. I think the toughest parts comes with the changes that happen to each spouse. Going into parenting, I guess I assumed that we both would change in the exact same ways, and when we didn't, well, that was hard. Making it work, or this marriage work, has taken us to acknowledge that we've both changed, but in different ways.

September 30, 2011 at 8:11 AM  
Blogger vinobaby said...

Ah...a match made in stubbornness--I can totally relate. Lovely to see you here, and beautiful post, as always.

Cheers.

September 30, 2011 at 8:11 AM  
Blogger JDaniel4's Mom said...

Wonderfully said! I can remember similar moments.

September 30, 2011 at 8:26 AM  
Blogger By Word of Mouth Musings said...

My Mom used to always tell me as a teen, that the majority of the disagreements her and my Dad had were over children.
They have been married 46 years, they found middle ground ;)
Beautiful post Galit - always of course!

September 30, 2011 at 8:34 AM  
Blogger Christine Siracusa said...

I really relate. I was shocked by how much tension our children caused (and continue to cause) in our marriage. From the outside, I only saw the unifying part. Which is there, too, of course. It's something I continue to try to figure out day by day.

September 30, 2011 at 8:48 AM  
OpenID pmlevitt said...

That is SO me and my husband! We are like flip sides of the same coin and we each have wills to be reckoned with. It is so hard when it comes to the stuff with kids; it is hard to step back and remember and trust that we both have the best intentions for our little one when our ideas clash. We are working on this one too; no easy answers here, but thankfully, a lot of love to help us wrestle through.

September 30, 2011 at 8:59 AM  
Blogger Evonne said...

As always, beautiful words, Galit.

It can be so hard to find that middle ground. Having someone with you on that journey can make such a difference.

September 30, 2011 at 9:00 AM  
Blogger Krista @ Not Mommy of the Year said...

So very true.

I've heard people say that the first year of marriage is the hardest. I say the first year of marriage pales in comparison to anything that comes after children. Our disagreements seem so much more important when they are about these tiny little people who we both love so much.

But also? Fighting for the same thing (people) helps keep you together instead of tearing you apart.

September 30, 2011 at 9:13 AM  
Blogger Alison@Mama Wants This said...

Beautiful words that cannot speak truer. Having a child definitely changes a marriage - it takes the two of you to take it to a better place, and it's a constant work-in-progress.

September 30, 2011 at 9:14 AM  
Blogger The Empress said...

Perfectly said, Galit.

I want my children to know that I will always be their biggest cheerleader, and when I feel they need me, I'll be there.

I'm so fortunate, so very fortunate, that my husband sees this, and has learned to trust my judgment.

September 30, 2011 at 9:14 AM  
Blogger Kir said...

Oh Galit, you are just so amazing with words. You even make the little fights and disagreements we all have with our spouses sound poetic.

My husband and I were raised so differently and we hardly ever agree on how to parent, we know we love our boys, but I tend to spoil (even though that is not in my nature). I think when you become parents, it's the true test of marriage.

I always tell people that John and I never felt before we became parents..and we had death, divorce, infertility around us. It often amazes me that it's two little people we wanted so badly in our lives are the reason we really fight some days.

as always, your words are perfect.
xo

September 30, 2011 at 9:16 AM  
Anonymous Megan (Best of Fates) said...

Is it just me or is Galit everywhere these days? Which I am all for, as she's awesome.

September 30, 2011 at 9:29 AM  
Blogger Cindi said...

I read that with sadness not only for the sweet memories but of deep desire and longing to share those reflections with some one.

Great post. Nice to meet you Gail and thanks for a great guest post Shell.

September 30, 2011 at 9:30 AM  
Blogger Tess Hardwick said...

Wonderful post. I can relate to the moment on the couch except for my husband's reaction which was a distant befuddlement as to why nursing was important to me. We, also, survived, that moment and many others where I've felt alone in parenthood. Thank you for writing so honestly about your experience.

September 30, 2011 at 9:46 AM  
Blogger Desperate Housemommy said...

Truth told so poetically. Love this.

And you're right: Our children need us to have their backs unconditionally. Thank goodness that my groom gets this, too.

September 30, 2011 at 10:16 AM  
Blogger MiMi said...

Wow, what an honest and heartbreakingly true, beautiful post!

September 30, 2011 at 10:24 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Great post Galit! I struggle with being a united front with my husband, I need to work on that a little bit more!

September 30, 2011 at 10:53 AM  
Blogger Donna said...

Wow! I'm (nearly) speechless. I could have written that post four and a half years ago with my own daughter. Marriage is tough. Parenting is tougher. Anyone that says otherwise isn't doing it right. :) Thank you for sharing. Off to check out your blog.

September 30, 2011 at 10:53 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

Beautiful. And true (which is part of real beauty, anyway, right?).

I love the honesty of your words, Galit.

This story, more than anything, is hopeful.

Here's to our partners; and to holding on tight.
(Maybe even stubbornly ;-)

September 30, 2011 at 10:55 AM  
Blogger Emmy said...

This is beautifully written, really gets you thinking. Luckily Eric isn't too stubborn, I am enough for the both of us.

September 30, 2011 at 11:07 AM  
OpenID adashofdomestic said...

Beautiful post!

September 30, 2011 at 11:24 AM  
Blogger Kristin @ What She Said said...

Having a baby has definitely at times been difficult on my marriage. Very difficult. Funny how the most joyful events can also often bring about the most challenges.

September 30, 2011 at 11:48 AM  
Anonymous erin margolin said...

That's one reason I'm so nervous about this baby coming---b/c hubs and I are both very stubborn. But ultimately I'm the mom, I'm the one carrying/nursing/dealing with the baby most of the time. I'm scared to death the nursing thing won't work out. I already bought a thing of formula and I got the 3rd degree about it. I told him I just wanted to have some around to be prepared.

Another stunning post, Galit!

September 30, 2011 at 11:53 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

As much as my husband loves his children, more than his own life, he will never have the connection with our children that I do. He just can't. I think this is what causes some... disturbances sometimes. I just get them in a way that he can't. I think that is the way it is supposed to be.

September 30, 2011 at 12:05 PM  
Blogger The Anecdotal Baby said...

Galit, thanks for sharing your heart! Your words are so honest and true. Finding common ground while maintaining a united front and doing what's best for the children are fine lines to walk. Sounds like you and the hubs are a great match though, and things will always work out the way they're supposed to! Thanks again for such a great post!

September 30, 2011 at 12:18 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

LOVE THIS.

September 30, 2011 at 12:27 PM  
OpenID laci512 said...

Beautiful guest post! Very sweet!

September 30, 2011 at 1:29 PM  
Blogger January Dawn said...

Galit - you always amaze me in the way you can capture a mood so perfectly on paper. This post tells it all. LOVE.

September 30, 2011 at 1:39 PM  
Blogger Kristen @ Motherese said...

So many truths here, Galit, and some that aren't easy to say. I applaud you for sharing your truths so that the rest of us feel more confident sharing our own. xo

September 30, 2011 at 2:19 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Galit- this is beautiful and honest.

Finding that perfect middle ground like you said is hard. Luckily neither of us are too stubborn but I do like to be right- haha.

Great post!

September 30, 2011 at 2:24 PM  
Anonymous Natalie @MamaTrack said...

This is so true. Our big disagreements are over child-rearing. Seriously, the boy is 2, and we already fight over how old he has to be before Dad can take him hunting. My vote? 18....

Thank you for your wonderful honesty, Galit!

September 30, 2011 at 3:23 PM  
Blogger Jenn [ Crippled Girl ] said...

Just a lovely post. Thank you.

September 30, 2011 at 3:58 PM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

Her writing is beautiful!!!! This is a beautiful post about marriage. IT's hard work, compromise, and everything she said! Loved it!

September 30, 2011 at 5:42 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

Yay!! Love Galit! Beautiful post, as usual!!

September 30, 2011 at 6:08 PM  
Anonymous Tonya said...

Beautiful, haunting and true! Marriage is so tough after children. So happy to see you hear today and with such a poignant post.

September 30, 2011 at 6:32 PM  
Blogger Grumpy Grateful Mom said...

Very beautiful and real post. Having children changes everything. Knowing when to compromise is something that doesn't always come easy for me, but I'm getting better. :)

September 30, 2011 at 6:59 PM  
Blogger Missy said...

Oh my. I could have written this myself, it captures how the beauty of raising children can and is often intertwined with the complications of two minds, working to become one. Or close to one.

Thank you for speaking this. It's in my heart too. Sometimes I think of myself as our family "bridge." If that makes sense to you. I think you might know what I mean.

I love you and your writing so much.

September 30, 2011 at 7:30 PM  
Anonymous Robin | Farewell, Stranger said...

What a great post. Very thought-provoking. The bit about standing up for them as their mother and not as his wife is interesting - it sort of contradicts another post I read recently (I think) that I also agreed with.

Hmm. To ponder.

September 30, 2011 at 9:26 PM  
Blogger KSK said...

Beautifully honest! Parenting really does put marriages to the test sometimes...

September 30, 2011 at 9:36 PM  
Blogger Tina @ Life Without Pink said...

What a touching post. Marriage is tough after having children and we all go through difficult times. It's surviving them what counts :)

September 30, 2011 at 10:13 PM  
Blogger Rach (DonutsMama) said...

A breathtaking post. We balance so much as women--wifehood and motherhood. It's a precarious balance.

September 30, 2011 at 10:24 PM  
Blogger Soge shirts said...

Great post Galit and I thought you explored every side fairly and compassionately from both yours and his perspective. Parenting choices aren't easy.

September 30, 2011 at 10:52 PM  
Blogger Kimberly said...

Beautiful post, Galit! Balancing marriage while pushing through motherhood is hard. Harder than I ever would have imagined. Becoming parents definitely changes that relationship.

September 30, 2011 at 11:42 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

Ohhh I love that stubborness! I have the same thing! My husband will most times cave. But he stands his ground too!

I love how you put it all so lovingly, no matter what, you are family, husband and wife and friends and parents.

October 1, 2011 at 12:06 AM  
Blogger RoryBore said...

I said to my husband after similar night with our firstborn: "Geez, it's like a bomb went off in our marrige!" This little, helpless being could wreak so much havoc. But the goal, the part worth fighting for, is to walk and grow together. I'll wait for you, you wait for me. When the dust of change settles...you see, you're still on the same path.

October 1, 2011 at 1:05 AM  
Anonymous Teresa (Embracing the Spectrum) said...

Very nicely written!

October 1, 2011 at 4:49 AM  
Blogger Tayarra said...

So true, Galit. I love reading YOU!

October 1, 2011 at 9:00 PM  
Blogger angela said...

Wow, this is so beautifully written.

Ryan and I are both very stubborn, too. Having children has strengthened our marriage in ways I never thought possible, but it's tested it in ways, too.

I think it can be tough sometimes, because we love our children unconditionally without trying, while it is more of a choice to love our partners that way.

October 1, 2011 at 11:54 PM  
Blogger Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

This is just so, SO true!

Finding a balance between showing our children a united front, and my need to protect them and be on their side is a constant battle for me, and fighting over parenting styles is one of the only things my husband and I ever bicker about.

October 2, 2011 at 4:33 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

This is a terrible struggle. It's hard to find the balance sometimes between being a parent and being a wife.

October 2, 2011 at 11:49 PM  
Blogger John said...

Such a beautiful post - and, very necessary. There's that balance between "yourself" and "spouse" and "parent" and everything needs to even out, and everything will . . . but it's good to know that you're not the only person struggling with their own identity a little bit.

October 3, 2011 at 9:23 AM  
Blogger Jessica {Team Rasler} said...

This is a lovely description of that struggle we face between being the spouse and being the parent. I remember once reading about how important it was to team with the person on your own level - parent with parent, sibling with sibling. But I read that before becoming a mom! Everything is easier in theory, isn't it??

October 3, 2011 at 9:54 AM  
Blogger Charlotte said...

I think it's impossible not to feel moved by Galit's writing. She is one of my very favorites ever since I started... Not only because she is so absolutely supportive, but because her words always give me something to live up to.

As always, this is absolutely beautiful and shows the power struggle that (I imagine) plays a role in any marriage: how to be mom vs. how to be wife. Thank you, Galit, for this.

October 4, 2011 at 4:45 PM  
Blogger Miss Marina Star said...

Doesn't it feel good to really put yourself out there?

I always enjoy reading your words, but this post held a truth and openness that is difficult to sometimes publish. I appreciated it. I connected with it. I loved it.

October 6, 2011 at 3:52 PM  
Blogger Katina said...

Just Beautiful! I think every married woman with children can relate!

October 18, 2011 at 11:26 AM  
OpenID beefburritosncoconuts said...

wow... so I had to head over and subscribe.

October 26, 2011 at 9:40 PM  

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