As Dr and Mrs Beautiful and have been waxing poetic about each other and the man/woman dichotomy all week (and making the less-mushy among us nauseous), my brain has been churning. So henceforth, I feel the need to throw my two cents in. I know you all have been on the edge of your seats waiting.
A few years ago I attended a MOPS convention out of state. We all met at one girl's house to drive down and dragged our husbands and children to see us off. In the midst of all the tears (by the toddlers, not the dads) and quick "discreet" groping (by the dads, not the toddlers) I noticed something. Most of the moms spent a lot more time playing huggy-kissy with their kids than with their husbands. While some of this may reflect the fact that the major huggy-kissy was done earlier in private, it struck me. And so I began to think and that led to a somewhat heated discussion on the L-O-N-G ride to St Louis.
When we become moms, do our babies become the center of our affection instead of our husbands? If so, is that wrong? Is it the reason so many marriages~even those among our Christian world~fail?
Some of this displacement is inevitable. When we have a newborn~especially a breastfeeding one~they suck the very life-blood out of us. God created us moms with a fierce love and all-consuming drive to Be the Mommy. Without this, so many of us would succumb to the sheer stress of new motherhood. We are so touched out by the end of the day that any physical contact makes us run for the hills. But as the baby grows and sleeps and becomes aware that they are indeed their own person, mom sometimes doesn't get the memo. Instead of reaching back towards our husbands many of us fixate on our kiddos. Each of us has a tank of different needs and us moms tend to fill our need for cuddling and smooching and all that with our kids. While we love our husbands, we often turn into roommates who occasionally have sex.
Awhile back Oprah did a show with the question, do you love your kids or husband more? I was amazed at how many women were SO passionate about the fact that they loved their children above all else. "It's my BABY! Of course I love her the most! Anyone woman who would put a man above her child is not a good mom." I think the question is wrong. It's apples and oranges. I do not love my Pookie more than my Princesses. I love them differently. Tim is my best friend, makes me laugh all the time, is my partner in all we do, and well, ya know, the other fun stuff. The girls are each gifts and I adore them all as the individuals they are. The best way to love my kids is to give them a solid home to grow up in and that means a strong marriage. Even though we will snark at each other about how to cut up a pizza or whose fault it is that the paperwork is missing, there will be no divorce here. I would contend that is why divorce is so common. Mom is showering the kids with her attention and affection and Dad gets none. So Dad finds himself a little Pop Tart who will shower him. (See Dr Beautiful, I do agree!) Not that I am by any means excusing Dad from his tryst, Mom needs to be aware that she choose him to be her partner and lover, not just sperm donor.
So feed the kids some generic mac and cheese, call a sitter, and go out to dinner. Go out to Target. Go out parking. Go makeout in a forest preserve. Do something to show your hubby that he rocks your world. And always kiss him first and the most.
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