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Have you ever come to a point where you were required to choose between your child and your husband? The man who has been everything to you and supported you in all your endeavours, and the baby whose arrival has given you unparalleled delight? Well, for sure, several women have faced this dilemma, at least once in their lifetime. And many of them have made a decision you may or may not agree with, but should definitely consider!
Do you feel your relationship is taking a back seat after you had kids? Are you so occupied and tired after doing parenting chores all day, in addition to other commitments, that there is no time left for your partner? Most of us have a hard time balancing time and priorities in the first few years after becoming parents. But it is this time that is especially vulnerable for your and your spouse’s relationship too, and not giving it attention can do permanent damage.
Many moms today are bravely making a decision: the decision to always put their husband first. To always love their husband the most.
Now, before you start flipping about the above statement, consider the following reasons why you should make relationship with husband after baby a priority over the baby.
Reasons To Prioritise Your Relationship Over Your Child
Relationship problems after baby arise mostly because the couple make their baby the center of their lives. Everything they eat, do, say or don’t say revolves around the baby. On some levels moms feel guilty when they prioritise themselves or their husbands over their little munchkin. But the reality is: there is no competition between your husband and your baby at all! You love them both, in different ways, and will always do so. Having said that, it is important your prioritise your relationship and your husband, and leading parenting expert John Rosemond in fact thinks it might actually benifit your child! Here’s how:
- Children become more independent: The less you focus on being there for their every little need, want, and demand, the more they learn to pull their own weight.
- You become more stress-free: because you are not constantly focussed on being the perfect parent! There is more room for you to slack in between, and that provides a good relief from parenting.
- Children get perfect relationship role-models: With the meaning and quality of relationships rapidly changing and deteriorating, this is an important point. When children see you both making each other a priority, they grow up to be more committed individuals who pour themselves into their own relationships.
- Children learn about how to treat the opposite sex: Sons imbibe good qualities of how to treat women and daughters learn to be better partners that are at par with their husbands. Most importantly, both sons and daughters learn to make their self-worth matter.
Rosemond hence encourages parents to pay more attention to their marriage, and advises couple to build ‘marriage-centric’ homes rather than ‘kid-centric’ homes.
How to Balance Your Priorities and Time Between Your Husband and Your Baby
The relationship that you share with your husband is indeed a long-term one, and so is the bond with your children. Having said that, marriage after baby is of course not going to be the same as before. Here, the question is not about giving first priority to children or husband. Both relationships are equally important. This is where you can take some solace from the following tips, and use them to prioritise your time and attention between the two very important people in your life:
1. Do little things to celebrate your marriage
No, we don’t mean only anniversaries and special occasions. It is very for romance and passion to fall into a rut after you are preoccupied with child rearing responsibilities. So, every day, do make it a point to celebrate your marriage with your spouse. Let him know how special he is and how he has managed to make your world so beautiful. This can be as simple to do as slipping in a message into his laptop, or kissing him goodbye when he leaves for work!
2. Have a clear discussion about your work commitments and share all parenting chores
Balancing relationships tends to become tougher if you have a full-time job. You have to meticulously juggle your commitments. You cannot really comprise on either – your career, motherhood, or on your marriage. This is why, as working parents, you need to develop a good understanding between yourself to share all parenting duties, equally. By doing so, you’re unlikely to reach to a point where you have to choose your kids over spouse or vice versa. Also, neither of you will feel over-burdened.
3. Don’t overdo your parenting responsibilities or meet them all on your own
This is very important, mom! Especially when you are a new mother, you might have a natural instinct to be extra cautious of your little one. But if you find yourself slipping into that obsessive mom zone, pull yourself out of it. For it wouldn’t be really healthy for your baby, your marriage or for yourself. Also don’t try to do everything for your baby single handedly. Instead, share the responsibility with your partner. That way, you’ll not only help in fostering the father-child bond but also end up doing things together for your child. This’ll bring you closer as a couple too.
4. Make sure both you and your husband spend quality time with baby, and with each other
A child, especially, in his or her formative years, can be quite demanding. You must cater to your child’s needs at all times. However, remember that parents collectively contribute towards a child’s healthy development. Here, the key to success is to manage time well – and this applies to both partners. For instance, if mothering your kids take up a major chunk of your time, as is likely, try and consciously plan some time with your husband. After you tuck in your kids to bed, spend at least one hour with your spouse.
5. Never, ever neglect your husband or your marriage
Finally, steer completely clear of neglecting your marriage. Many mothers find solace in mothering their child, as a result of which they completely overlook their relationship with their husband. It is easy to think that your husband understands, and knows that you are busy with the baby. While he does understand, he also misses you and wants to spend time with you. Once a week, dress up and go out with your hubby. Take help from other family members to attend to the child as you listen to how your husband’s day was and ensure that he is doing well. This way, you will successfully keep your relationship alive and save yourselves from drifting apart.
So, ultimately, whether to prioritise your husband or your baby is really a question with no answer. There’s no rulebook solution to this. While kids do need you, your marriage needs your attention too. You have to learn how to balance this tightrope and make your life a fair game.
Striking the right balance to maintain a harmonious conjugal and familial relationship is the only way to go, good luck!