Marriage — Two Year Review (Pregnancy edition)

What a typical day used to look like in the first year

New-found respect for all the madres.

I’ve never thought being pregnant was easy. My mother incessantly preached to me how difficult her pregnancy was, and I never doubted her. Observing my wife’s pregnancy first hand made me realize being pregnant is much much much much much more difficult than I had previously estimated, and I have a newfound respect for all the mothers. I am extra ultra super duper uber grateful for my mother who had to raise me in a foreign land far away from her family. I understand a lot better why her pregnancy was so tough, and I don’t think I can thank her enough. Thanks 엄마, and I love you.

Life, so precious.

Creating a new life is tremendously difficult and resource-intensive. I am learning, yet again, how precious life is. Living in a big city, it is easy to treat people as obstacles and barriers. I encounter annoying people quite frequently in Seoul, but I need to remember that someone else paid an enormous price for every annoying soul.

Annoying souls of Seoul

Unexpected friendship

My wife started to receive random gifts and text messages from our church friends that we barely knew. We couldn’t hang out with our friends as often because of COVID, and it seemed impossible to make new friends. Unexpectedly, many have reached out congratulating us and celebrating with us. As a result, we managed to make new friends. Special shout out to college friends who organized a virtual baby shower for my wife! We felt visible, understood, connected, and taken care of. Hope we can pay forward all the love and care we have received to other soon-to-be-pregnant couples.

Polemic Politics

It turns out South Korea has fairly generous maternity leave packages for both parents. I learned that these benefits were introduced in the early 2000s, and they have been expanding ever since. We’ve been busy researching and applying for various programs.

Merge and Acquisition (M&A) of Value Systems

Speaking of politics, Year No. 2 feels like an M&A of our value systems. The first year was largely about learning how to share resources: space, time, food, money, and attention. (i.e., how frequently should we do laundry? What is the best way to plan for trips? How do you budget…what do you mean you don’t have a budget?)

Fatherhood

The thought of being a father frightens me sometimes. I acknowledge that I have many flaws. I am impatient. I love taking shortcuts. I quit prematurely. I criticize often. I complain too much. I am scatterbrained, and my scattered brain loves reading random Wikipedia articles for HOURS. My son will inevitably learn, imitate, and inherit these negative traits from me.

The journey ahead

In about a month, our lives will be occupied by a little human who does nothing but eating, crying, and pooping. I was told raising a child is very tough, yet very rewarding. I doubt I will enjoy waking up in the middle of night to feed my son, but I am glad that I am not alone in this. Thank you wife for the past two years. I very much look forward to many decades together with you!

I am allergic to pollen. I am not allergic to my wife….or maybe I am.

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