I was recently part of a discussion where a mom asked who was more important your partner or your kids. It led to a rather heated discussion, I sometimes thinks moms could make “which type of cheese curls are best” a contentious issue but this is a rather interesting subject isn’t it?
I would just like to say that one relationship doesn’t need to be more important than another but for the sake of this post lets say you have to chose.
So who is more important, kids or partner?
The short answer, my partner!
*shock* *horror* *gasp*
How could I put my partner above my own flesh and blood! Surely that’s not right? Surely my kids should come first, always? Surely they should be my reason for living?
Well, no I don’t think that’s how it should be. Of course my children are extremely important to me, my life does in many ways revolve around them. My partner, the man I have chosen to spend my life with is equally important though.
As mothers we get so caught up in our new baby. We get consumed by making sure their needs are met, we are often sleep deprived, confused and anxious. We think that we need to dedicate 24 hours of our day to our children when in fact doing that is not particularly healthy! Not only because we forget to look after ourselves but also because we forget to look after the relationship with our partner.
Our partners are the first one we neglect in our conquest to be a good mother. We quickly forget to take the dirty yoga pants off when they get home, dinner gets neglected or completely forgotten or turns into fish fingers and chips, the goodbye kiss is replaced with a “Please don’t forget to fetch child 4 from swimming” yelled out the door as he is reversing out the drive-way, intimacy becomes a word you briefly notice on the cover of Cosmo while waiting in the line at Pick n Pay. You no longer ask how their day was but rather run through a list of things that they need to do the next day for you.
You are the being a good mother. You are putting your children first. You are making this sacrifice for them.
The problem with this is that there will come a time when your children head off to parties, sleep overs, university and ultimately leave home and suddenly you have no where to be, no lunches to make, no sports to watch, no class whatsapp groups to chat to. It will just be you and your partner, alone with no distractions. If you have not nurtured your relationship you will suddenly find yourself living with a stranger.
So here’s why it is important to make sure you nurture your relationship with your partner and every once in a while put them first (yes even above our flesh and blood).
They are a parent too. We very often forget our partner is also a parent. If you are feeling anxious or exhausted, chances are they are too. When you talk to them, talk as their equal not in a “you know nothing about kids so just listen to me because I know it all” sort of way. When we do that (and yes I am guilty of this) we make our partner feel inadequate and often like they are just in the way. That is not fair to either one of you.
They are your PARTNER. By sheer definition a partner is someone who does something with you and shares the risk equally. Treat them like a partner not an adversary. When something happens during my day, good or bad, I call or message David first because he is my partner, the one I share things with but more importantly he is the one I look to for support. He is the one who holds my hand, tells me it will be ok, he grounds me. He is there for me constantly. I have family support, friend support but there is nothing like the support of a partner, they have your back!
It sets a good example! Children learn what they see more than they learn what they are told. There is no better way for them to learn what a healthy relationship looks like than to see it every day. This doesn’t mean no fighting or no hard times, it means healthy communication and team work. It is not healthy for them to see you pushing your partners needs aside for theirs.
Relationships are hard work and very often you have to make an effort to put the work in with your partner, often not because you don’t love them but just because it is easy to get so caught up in your kids you can’t see the wood for the trees. Putting in that effort though is so very important. Ensuring your partner feels appreciated may be hard to do when you aren’t feeling particularly appreciated but I promise you once you spread the love, you will feel the love!
So if this has been something you have neglected, send your partner a message now saying thank you for everything they do, plan a date night or maybe even just spend some time tonight talking about their day!
What are your thoughts on this? Should your kids be the most important thing?