The Way We Were Raised: Like Night + Day

This is my husband

He grew up with a SAHM, who diligently woke up at the crack of dawn every day his entire life to prepare him a healthy, gourmet breakfast.

This is me

I was raised by wolves.  Just kidding.  More like I was raised by grandparents, aunts, and a whole slew of nannies (all of Hispanic origin).  I can’t remember a day (ever!) when my mom woke up before me.  I almost always ate cold cereal for breakfast, that I prepared myself.  And it wasn’t the healthy kind either.

Breakfast is just a glimpse into the contrasting ways in which my husband and I were raised.  From our economic backgrounds to our parents’ child-rearing philosophies – it all couldn’t have been more different…

Even though we both grew up in areas with great public schools, his dad insisted that all his kids go to private Christian schools from preschool through high school.  His mom supported every decision his dad made without question.  I, on the other hand, went to public schools all my life (with the exception of preschool).  And my mom was a strong-minded career-woman who never even changed her maiden name.  She was also the primary breadwinner of the family (though my dad worked too).  He grew up in a deeply religious, Christian home.  I grew up in a non-religious home and my parents did not actively practice any faith.

His parents are both extremely introverted and tend to keep to themselves.  My mom is the biggest social butterfly you will ever meet (though I am not).  My dad was a little more balanced, an introvert with extroverted tendencies.  His parents attended every sporting event and award ceremony.  Mine were too busy with work, but I was thrown into every activity possible from girl scouts to swimming lessons, gymnastics lessons, horseback riding lessons, and more.  I was certainly provided for in that way.  However, what his parents gave in time, they lacked in words.  In contrast – mine were always incredibly verbally expressive and affectionate.  Even though I often dreamed for more of their time, I never doubted their love for me because I was told every day how proud they were of me and how I was so so loved, even when I felt I didn’t deserve their praise.

His mom was very cautious and protective of her kids.  From what my husband tells me, she constantly worried about them.  The moment they got sick, she’d have a whole batch of made-from-scratch chicken noodle soup ready the next day.  I’ve been able to reap the benefits of this type of nurture.  🙂  My mom was not very nurturing – at least not in that way.  When I got sick, she would scold me, saying “I told you so!”.  Usually it’s, “I told you not to sleep with your hair wet”, or “I told you to always wear socks”.  On the one hand, I was never babied and learned independence at a very young age; I quickly became self-sufficient.  But on the other hand, it became ingrained in me not to rely too much on people and not to expect too much from them.

I grew up pretty spoiled when it came to money.  He did not.  My parents never gave me reason to worry about money, and I was raised believing that paying for convenience is just as valuable as finding a good deal (essentially, I was taught that time is money).  In my previous life, if you asked me how much I spent on a particular item, I wouldn’t be able to tell you because I never thought twice before purchasing something (this has since changed!!).  My husband’s family lived on a one-income painter’s salary.  Granted, his dad did pretty well during the real estate boom days… but when the economy went to hell, they really struggled to make ends meet.  My husband started working in high school, and also worked his way through college in order to pay his tuition and daily living expenses.

Despite the extremely different households we grew up in, my husband and I are actually more along the lines of “birds of a feather flock together” rather than “differences attract”.  Our likes/dislikes, habits, and perspectives are similar more often than not, but I believe the one factor that really binds us together is our faith.  In a future post, I will share how our childhoods have helped shape our parenting tendencies and philosophies.

Were you and your spouse raised like night and day, or do you guys have a pretty similar background?

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5 thoughts on “The Way We Were Raised: Like Night + Day

  1. cold cereal is bad for you in the morning…you should have been drinking hot ginseng soup! 🙂 considering how well-rounded you are today shows that you both had a en”rich”ed upbringing, and how wonderful that you’ve found each other despite your many childhood differences. ❤

    • haha you sound like my mom!! or maybe your mom 😛 my mom would not be happy right now seeing me prance around in sockless feet and scarfing down froyo in this hot summer weather hehe.

      • Lol froyo and cold cereal are the best! I was fed oatmeal every morning when i wanted cold cereal. Now i wished i had time to make oatmeal everyday! What is Noelle’s favorite breakfast item?

        • You should make a big batch one day and refrigerate the rest, then the rest of the week you can microwave oatmeal for breakfast. I really like the steel-cut kind, but it takes forever to cook.

          Lately my daily breakfast is oatmeal with an overeasy egg on top (with some soy sauce), and I pop the egg yolk so it melts into the oatmeal. So good! And of course Noelle wants to eat everything I eat, so she eats it too and loves it. But her usual breakfast item is usually a pancake, scrambled eggs, and half a banana (all foods that she can eat herself without making a crazy mess, haha).

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