While riding in the truck the other day J was doing his usual flipping through the ipod not finishing any songs when he came upon a few songs from back in the day. This made me think about what my priorities were back then and how funny it seems that I have changed my perception on so many topics. The thing that strikes me most was this was not ten years ago or even five... this was three years ago or less. I was (and in many ways still am) very independent, I had no desire to conform to the typical expectations of a housewife (the ability to cook, clean & willingness to view our relationship as a partnership was on my checklist when dating). I saw myself as a career woman, I am passionate about my job and saw myself working with some organization promoting the rights of individuals who have disabilities or increasing awareness & developing programs.
Changing my last name felt like a betrayal to my family and the person that I have become and the name I had made for myself. Now here we are and I have a new last name. Although I kept mine. I have 4 names now, makes for a long signature & two lines on my drivers license. I actually like it, I am able to use both at work or when necessary to make things less confusing and ease the transition. Even better J & share a last name and call each other Mr. & Mrs. which is still a novelty for us. Since I was able to keep my maiden name this was not too harsh of a change but it was one that I was unsure of until the last minute. J had a strong opinion about this as well and definitely wanted me to take his last name and was against hyphenating.
Now to the bigger and more dramatic changes in point of view. We have lately been discussing children. You know when, how many, and what we would like to accomplish beforehand. One of our biggest goals now is to become financially stable enough so that I may stay home with our kids until they go to school. If that is not completely possible we would like to work out a system where they only have to be in daycare/preschool part time with J and I working out a schedule to achieve that. I think the biggest difference is that at my current job I see families who do things both ways. While I respect and understand putting your child in daycare and even suggest that children go at least part time to preschool for social interaction and learning to be in a school setting and taking direction in a group, I see so many opportunities that I would like to have with my own children. I want to be the one teaching them to cut, paint, & glue. I want to take them to museums, library story hour, the beach, and all sorts of fun adventures to share the world and love of knowledge with them. It is absolutely amazing to see children discover and learn new things I would hate to miss out on that! There are also considerably fewer "nice" daycares/preschools in this area. Having done several practicums in what I think are some of the best preschool programs there are (seriously check out the Sophie Rogers Lab School) it is hard to not have some strong opinions about the way a program should be run or how best to encourage childrens' learning.
One thing has remained... I still feel that a marriage should be a partnership. Luckily J is quite the cook and doesn't have any trouble helping with the cleaning (even if he doesn't always do things my way). We have also discussed and are in agreement that when we have children we will both be active in taking care of them even if we are able to work it out where I am able to stay home with them, it will never be solely my responsibility.
How have your opinions about career, family, & the future changed? What are your opinions on name changing & childcare? Does your significant other help with cooking or house work or would you expect this of your future SO?