Saturday, August 12, 2006

Kiss Your Husband First

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.

**Central Question**
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.


Mommy Brain said...

I'm speechless! Well said...I think too many women do put their kids first and simply tolerate their husbands. Then they can't understand why they are so lonely and they don't have any type of relationship with their husbands anymore. I've actually heard women say that their husbands should understand and wait for the kids to grow up before he should expect any type of affection or attention. Whose gonna wait for that? Who would want to?

JD said...

Very well written. I have noticed over the years that with each new life in our house (beginning with the fuzzy, cuddly dog) my husband receives fewer cuddles from me. While I'm not all-consumed by my kids - and refuse to be - he does get the shaft in terms of affection from me.

This is my frustration with some of my "mommy" friends - they get so consumed with their kids, with being a mom that they lose sight of themselves as individuals and of their marriage. Everything is centered around Johnny and what is going on in his life that Mom cannot have a normal conversation with a peer - I can't imagine she's conversing with her husband either. I have promised myself that this wouldn't happen with me and I'm constantly trying to find that balance between keeping myself and being a mom - and being a wife.

Good post - I love your last line. Thanks for making me think:)

And hey - if you're going to make out in a forest preserve, I heard that its bad to back your car in... or to have the rear end facing out - or something. You know what I mean. Okay, just don't go making out on homo road - there, now you know what I mean.

JD said...

oh and yes, i do know that homo road is no longer in existence

kkoois said...

great post, jen! here, here!!!! before we had kids, a trusted friend and mentor once put this whole concept in very plain and simple terms and i have tried to live by this ever since. she said, "my first responsibility is to the lord, my second to my husband, and my third to my children." if this order is being followed, then it will all work together for the good of everyone. of course, we are all human and because of this we constantly rearrange our priorities, but praise god that he continues to pursue us so we are never alone - even when we get ourselves turned around.

Jen said...

I think you are supposed to blink your lights on homo road. At least that's how it was back in the day.

How sad it's gone. I heard that that is the very reason it's gone but I'm sure that's just rumor.

one hot momma said...

Jen, I'm very impressed. Hubby and I got caught up in the kissy kids thing and immediately change it to MOmmy first when my daughter started screaming at daddy because he kissed me first when he came home one day. Now they all know it's mommy or daddy first! I love being the Queen!

Carol said...

LOVE THIS POST! I asked Dave to pull over tonight so we could park. He thought I was crazy. "I wouldn't know where to 'park' anymore." I said, who cares? Just make out with me! We didn't, but I think he felt pretty loved that I suggested it!

Amanda said...

AMEN!!!! I confess that it's easy to let the kids take top priority, but it's SO worth the effort to make those guys know they're still 'IT' for us. We try to always make time for US at least once a week. And the kids know Mommy gets the last (and best) kiss when Daddy leaves for work in the morning. And sometimes Mommy and Daddy disappear for a while when there's a movie on...*wink*
BTW: what/where is homo road (well, I think I can figure out the what...)????