In spite of all that is going on in the world around us, it seems that this is what the media is doing lately…at least when it comes to parenting, marriage and family in the news. The tried and true “Mommy Wars” between SAHM and WOTH moms is recycled and beaten like the proverbial dead horse so they must move on to something “new” like this new-fangled idea called “attachment parenting” and just who is truly “mom enough”…which totally worked and is still working two weeks later. So now we have everyone getting their panties all bunched up over a survey that reveals that 75% of mothers admit they love their kids more than their spouses. And people are not surprised. Yet some are willing to speak up and admit that, surprise, they love their partners more than the children they share with them.
Sidebar: I love Casey. She is such a lovely person and oh so wise beyond her years.
But really…this is new…like the concept of attachment parenting?
No, not really.
Seven years ago a mommy shit storm was stirred up thanks to Ayelet Waldman’s New York Times article titled “Truly, Madly, Deeply” and she further explained why her children were not the center of her universe on Oprah just a month later. Women on the show had some very strong, differing opinions as did a lot of other women everywhere. Even I had an opinion back then too.
Ms Waldman further explained this all again when she wrote Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, And Occasional Moments of Grace where she further explained the fact that she did indeed love her husband more than her children. And again it was like this was a new, awful thing for mommies everywhere to get all bothered over.
And now, three years later, it’s being talked about everywhere again, as if it is something new. The majority of moms I know are jumping on to Team Kids because “husbands come and go” and “our children must be the center of our universes” because “our husbands understand”. Yes, I added my two cents to the discussion siding with Team Husband.
Don’t get me wrong here. I desperately adore and love my children…and now my grandchildren. I would totally catch a grenade for you all…and all the other things that Bruno Mars sang about in that song. But the fact of the matter is that none of my wonderful clowns would be here, be in existence were it not for the fact that I truly, madly, deeply loved their father way back when before any of them were thought of or born and now.
Yet another sidebar: Some might question then why even have all of your kids. Someone did and messaged me that very question right after I first hit publish on this particular blog post. Well, I could explain basic biology and sex ed here along with what happens when birth control fails…then my kids would groan “Gawd! Mom! No!” Then I would remind my children that it takes much more than mom and dad hooking up to make a family and our family is prime example of that (adoption works too). Still it is the truth of Mom and Dad loving each other first why all of you beautiful clowns are here…and how lucky we, Mom and Dad, are that you are here.
And now, after celebrating our 29th wedding anniversary, I am glad that I do work so hard on this love we have shared. Two of our children, our babies, are grown and moved on to their own great adventures including love, marriage, kids (not yet please dear Zoë) and moving even farther away from the Big Top (ahem…Zoë). Abby would LOVE to move out on her own I am sure…and I imagine that she will as soon as she can. Meanwhile Jodie is thisclose to getting her driver’s license and is just two years from graduating from high school with big plans that most likely will take her far from home. At the same time, she and Daniel now have a lot of busy-ness going on in their lives even while they are still but children…teenaged and school-aged. All this happening under and around the Big Top finds my darling husband with more time alone together than in a very, very long time where it is just us.
Thank goodness we have worked hard…very hard to put each other and our marriage first. yes, some days it was hard to put it all first…really, really hard…no, really…so very hard. Some days while in the trenches of baby poop, diapers, potty training, unimaginable loss, homework, after school activities, sibling fights, exhausting teen-aged drama, health crises, financial stresses and woes and all the other stuff that is being parents it would have been very easy to just put one another and our relationship in an old cardboard box in a dusty corner. It would have been very easy. We both would have understood because we both desperately love our children. Perhaps we would be able to find it later too…behind all the useless junk that we save and pile up because we might need it someday or we can sell later on Craigslist. We would have had a lot of support from a lot of other parents too…you know, the GOOD parents…the really good parents who have done the same thing…some of whom are still together…for the kids.
But I’m glad that we didn’t. It has not always been easy to not put the marriage and us aside in favor of the kids. But I’m glad that both of us stuck as best as we could to the heavy lifting and hard work that is absolutely necessary for cultivating a great love. I look at our kids, one by one, stepping out on their own and I am so glad that we didn’t. I find myself alone with just Bill some evenings as the kids still living here under the Big Top have better things to do than hang out with Mom and Dad and I am really, really glad that we didn’t.
I see comments like this
My parents said they loved each other more (we asked :)). I always felt so safe and secure knowing that they loved each other so much. Their strong marriage has been an example for me. I never ever doubted their love for me, and really did feel so secure knowing that they were a team. They were truly two become one.
and I am even more glad that we didn’t.
To my kids, my wonderful, amazing children and grandchildren whom I would do anything in my human power for because I love you so much, I am so glad that I love your Daddy and your Papa more because, yes, I did and do…not only for me and for him but for all of you too…I love you all that much…just in case you ever wonder.