Before my first pregnancy, my partner and I had only been together just over a year. That's not a lot of time to figure out if things will work out or not, especially when you're as young, immature, and lacking direction as we were. Of the things I'm glad I didn't know about my relationship before we decided to have a baby, I'd say the one that stands out the most is our lack of communication. It was obvious, from the very beginning, and yet we marched onward, hand in hand, dedicated to making it work.
When I first met the man who would end up being my husband, plans for marriage and babies weren't things I was actively thinking of. I'd just come out of a 4 year relationship and, at that age, still looking for my place in the world. Upon meeting my partner, sparks flew instantly and, the rest is history. However, at the time I had no idea how vastly different we were. From childhood to career interests, there was very little we had in common. It didn't matter, though. That saying about opposites attracting? That was us, hanging onto the common thread of an undeniable chemistry we still cling to today, 13 years later.
Honestly though, if I'd known all the hardships we'd face as a couple once we had kids, my opinion on sticking it out might've changed. With that, here are some of the things I'm so glad I didn't know about my husband and I back then. Turns out, having children would only prove to amplify those things. Live and learn, I guess?
Communication Issues Will Almost Break Us...
By the way our relationship started, I should have known we'd struggle through getting, and staying on, the same page. If I'd known how hard it would be to communicate and understand one another long before a baby, we might not be together today. True story.
...But We'll Figure Out Ways To Make It Through
While I didn't anticipate the continual communication struggles, we worked for many years to improve upon it. Having a baby didn't necessarily kickstart the communication train, but way back then, I had no idea what our outcome would be — baby or not.
We're Really Not That Compatible...
In the very early stages of any relationship, it's easy to ignore the signs that maybe you aren't the best match. It's not that my partner and I were wrong for each other, we just had different views and dreams. For a long time, I put all that aside, hoping we'd meet in the middle somewhere along the day. At some point, we did, but not without fighting to get there.
...But We Have A Lot Of Fun Together
It's important to have fun with someone you're spending your life with. I've never laughed harder than time spent with my partner. Though, all that laughter clouded my judgement and made skipping over our differences that much easier. By the time we had a baby, it wasn't funny anymore.
Marriage Is Off The Table For Awhile...
Having been raised a particular way (which also defers back to my previous marriage), I assumed that once we found out about the pregnancy, we'd get married. However, my partner wasn't ready for this kind of commitment at the time. I remember feeling alone, misunderstood, and frustrated that I was now in this relationship with an unknown future. It wasn't a topic we'd discussed prior to the pregnancy, so I was completely unprepared.
If I'd known he wasn't interested in marriage, I can't say we'd have done anything different in terms of the pregnancy (because I'm grateful for my daughter), but at least I'd get more of a voice in the conversation.
...But He'll Come Around
It's not that we'd never get married (we have now been married for almost 10 years). At the time, our maturity levels weren't evenly matched. I had the traditional dreams of being a wife and mother (among other things), while he was enjoying life as is. I didn't know how long it'd take for him to get to my head space, and if I had I might've bailed early. Eventually, he got there (and I'm so glad I waited).
Our Finances Will Remain Bleak...
Money is the actual root of all evil. I'm glad I didn't know how evil, though, or we'd have gone our separate ways to avoid the budgeting headaches.
...But, Eventually, It'll Be Fine
It's taken years of hard work, but we fixed all the mistakes made early on. If you'd have told me how long I'd be trying to fix them and how many arguments would be had because of the lack of money and mounting bills? Nope.
My In-Laws Will Cause A lot Of Problems In Our Relationship
From the time my partner and I met, there were (and are) some in-laws that decided they'd never like me, no matter what I did. I wish I'd known I'd never be able to please them, I'd never be a good enough partner or mother, or really, good enough at all. That information would have saved me a lot of frustration in my attempts to win them over (and failing miserably).
We'll Learn To Be A Team
I also didn't know that in all the squabbles between our family units and me, we'd somehow become closer (though, not always) in how we learned to communicate and be there for one another.
I'll Feel Like Giving Up On Us...
Before we had a baby, I'm so glad I didn't know that, from our very first disagreement, I'd feel like giving up on the relationship. I also didn't know that with every disagreement thereafter, the feeling would only intensify. Looking back, I see we both struggled with personal issues that we couldn't resolve together, but individually. Once that happened, everything improved.
...But I'll Stick It Out
Yes, there's a lot I'm grateful I wasn't aware of in our relationship before children, but at the end of the day, there's no one else I'd rather spend my life with.