Monday, April 26, 2010

Article #98 Adjustments

I remember my mom, just before I was to be married, asking me if I knew about IT. Of course I told her I knew. That greatly relieved her as my mom had been brought up when you didn’t mention certain words in public. I suppose some parents felt it was better not being prepared for these momentous occasions than facing the discomfort of talking about IT openly. So, I never had the “birds and bees” talk with my mom just like she never had that talk with her mom. Somehow, we were supposed to face that first wedding night with no preparation at all. (Photo of my BYU graduation with my paternal grandparents.)

Did pioneers or our parents have less adjustment in their marriages than we do? Perhaps, women knew their role, they were the homemakers and nurturers. The men knew they were to provide the living and protect their family. I know there were less divorces in that era. In fact divorce was something that hardly anyone ever mentioned, let alone did. That’s not to say that there weren’t lots of adjustments to be made for both partners in a new marriage.

Few modern day couples would think of getting married and moving into a small rented apartment. Most couples want a large apartment or their own condo complete with all new appliances, nice furniture and at least two bedrooms not to mention a washer and dryer. Contrast this with pioneer newlyweds who were happy to start married life in a tent while the husband fell trees to build a cozy one room log home which could one day be expanded to two rooms when the 8-10 children she would bear came into the world. Outhouses and indoor plumbing were luxuries not even imagined in those days.

But forward to the future, modern couples wouldn’t think of taking their laundry to a laundromat nowadays. We as newlyweds lived in a one bedroom rented apartment with no washer or dryer, and had to make the weekly trip to wash and dry our dirty duds. We struggled with a limited income and strapped finances, which included only one car that was not brand new. We never ate out but instead discovered recipes without end using hamburger, and how to save money by mixing your milk with powdered milk. Then came the biggest adjustment of all when after a year of marriage, I discovered that I was pregnant. (Photo of a pioneer home that would have been considered a mansion and housed a very large family.)


  1. Thanks for these insights. My parents started out much as you did. They have a great sense of humor between them, and it may have started at the laundromat!

  2. We did the same thing--one bedroom apt, took our laundry out and didn't have a credit card so ate out or anything very little!

  3. I can't remember anyone being pregnant or talking about it when I was growing up back in the 60's.
    Today's younger generation uses credit cards to get whatever they want. I don't thing as many struggle with 'making do'.

  4. I often watch a "first-time home buyers" show late Sunday afternoon. It amazes me to see how often the young couples, looking for their first home, go over their budget by several thousand because they can't resist the extra bathroom, the in-ground pool, etc. I, too, made the weekly trek to the laundromat when I was first married. Hated it, but had to do it.

  5. It makes me feel kind of sorry for women on their wedding night if they didn't know anything, but I guess the man would be in the same position. I am glad that I didn't have a talk with either parent as that would have been really awkward...