Monday, September 22, 2014

Life of a Wife: Cindy Alfino

I thought that it was rather appropriate and special that today's second wife from my Life of a Wife series is Cindy Alfino and that it was her and her husband Seth's 11th anniversary yesterday! Congratulations Cindy and Seth on growing 3 UNBELIEVABLY adorable kids and for being together for so long! It's really something to be proud of!

Cindy Alfino blogs over at 3 kids, 2 dogs, 1 old house and you can find her online at TwitterFacebookPinterestBloglovin and Instagram. Seriously, go check her out. Her kids are gorgeous and her blog posts are amazingly well-written!

Enjoy her answers! :)

1) Tell us a bit about yourself; who are you, how old are you, who are you married to and for how long, do you have kids and what do you and hubby do for a living?

Hi there!  I'm Cindy, although I don't hear that name nearly as much as I hear "MOM!".  I'm a Milo and Nik Nak addict in an almost 28 year old body. I used to arrive early to everything but since becoming a Mom, this seems to have changed.  I am not a hipster, but I am married to one.  

Seth and I have been together for 11 years this September and got married when I was just 20 and he was 22 (so 7 years married in March).  Since then we have adopted 2 Labradors (Coco and Spartan), grown three little people (Kyla - 5, Riya-Ray - 4 and Knox - turns 2 on my birthday 25 Sep) and also preened a man bun currently residing on the top of Seth's head.  I co-own an insurance brokerage in Cape Town and Seth is in architecture.

2) Did you live together before getting married, and how do you think living together/not living together affected your life and marriage today?

No, we did not live together before getting married.  We are Christians and though I don't judge those who choose a different path, we firmly believe that all of the joys and annoyances of living together should be reserved for when you have made a commitment to be together for the long term.  

I think that we are living in a time where people "try out" a relationship by living together first to "see if it works".  Making the commitment to make it work no matter what BEFORE test driving anything is probably the best thing we could have done.  

3) What was the hardest thing about being married in the beginning? 

Marriage is no joke.  Despite what people may make you believe about it, it actually takes work to survive – even more so when you throw children into the mix. 

Although we spent as many waking hours as we could together before we were married, nothing quite prepares you for living together.  The first year was a bit rough, with us finding our feet and adjusting to our new environment (read: Seth adjusting to just how untidy I was).  Our new environment just happened to be a 36m2 bachelor flat so we were all up in each others faces – all the time.  But I’m glad to report that through a lot of communication and the occasional blow out, we made it through to the other side. 

I really do think the first year was the hardest yet. 

4) What's something that's completely surprised you about marriage?

It’s constantly evolving. 

You never reach a point where it’s like “OK, we’ve got this marriage thing waxed”.  Sure you have most of the basics worked out in terms of who feeds the dogs and who does the washing, so you avoid those little conflicts.  But a marriage is a relationship.  And with any relationship it takes loads of chatting and catching up on each others days and date nights and having fun together to keep that relationship growing, as we continue to grow as individual people.

5) If you have/will have kids, how do you think this changed/will change the dynamic of your marriage?

So we have 3 kids.  We had all of them in 3 years.  It was rough.  Having the 3rd sleepless night in a row, while your husband snores peacefully next to you, makes you want to punch him in the face.  It also causes you to forget the ten bajillion times he’s gotten up, obviously.  But despite the occasional tiredness induced flip out, seeing my husband being a father to our children instantly made him 100 times more attractive.  I can’t quite explain it, but it’s beautiful to watch.

6) How do you and hubby keep the spark alive?

Being working parents (and me being a blogger) means that time is very limited.  But there comes a point every night (as soon as the kids are in bed, the blog posts have been written and the foxes whittled) that we switch off everything, make a cup of coffee and Milo and chill out on the couch together, catching up on our favourite series.  Occasionally (and when we can organise a babysitter) we go out on a date night which normally involves dinner and a bottle of wine.  Making time to be together regularly really makes a difference.

7) What, in your opinion, are the three key essentials for a great marriage?

·Feeling comfortable enough with each other to be able to express concerns/emotions/unhappiness or changes that need to be made in a loving and understanding way.   Communication is key.
·Being able to laugh and be silly together.
·Trying to “feed” each others love language.  (I’ll give you one guess as to what most men would say their love language is...)*

*For those of you who have no idea what love languages are, or do but haven't read the book, I strongly recommend that you buy this book and discover the love languages of the people in your life. EYE OPENING! You can buy it online from Exclusive Books here.

8) What's the best piece of advice you got for marriage? 

I can’t remember getting a specific piece of advice but most of it centred around being open and honest.  Vital.

9) What is your personal advice for newly married couples or couples who are about to get married? 

Manage expectations – Don’t have all these expectations of your husband, especially if you know that it is out of his character to live up to them.  I’ve found that it is pointless being mad at him if he didn’t even know that I wanted him to do something.  Express your expectations to him and then if he doesn’t do it, you can be angry ;)  This is especially important once you become a Mommy – whose turn is it to go and give baby a bottle or walk around trying to get them to sleep?

Talk it out – Early on in our marriage I would get so intensely upset about something, but instead of talking about it, I kept it bottled up.  Instead of dissipating, it grew and grew, I added more things to it and eventually I was so mad at him that we had a huge an unnecessary argument about the stupidest things.  Being open about it and talking about things as and when they come up has saved my sanity.

Oh, and get a dishwasher – that managed half my expectations in one go.

Thank you Cindy for being a part of this series! If you missed the first part of the Life of a Wife series, you can read it here. If you would like to be a part of this series, please email me at - I would love more wives being a part of this! I'm seriously learning a lot!

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