Who do I love more?


A mother holds up her child.
Image via Wikipedia

I’ve just read a very interesting blog on motherhood versus being a wife.  What is more important to you?

The blog is entitled “Marriage versus Motherhood” and tells of an author, Ayelet Waldman, who published an essay in the New York Times about valuing her marriage more than being a mother.  This essay apparently caused huge controversy and the poor author had to appear on Oprah to defend herself.  However, the author of the blog – who does not yet have children – addressed the issue as to why valuing one’s marriage more than being a mother would cause such a backlash amongst mothers in America.

It got me thinking – what is more important: my marriage or being a mother?  And I have to answer quite honestly and already the guilt is forming, but my marriage is more important.  You see, I come from a broken home, where there were huge arguments, shouting, swearing, alcoholism, things being thrown and I would have given anything to have my parents be happily married.  I didn’t care about much else, and well, still don’t.  Even now, my mom is happily married to someone else, and my Dad has a steady relationship with a lady friend, but I would still want them to be together.  Happily.

So, my viewpoint is this: yes, Baby Girl will make demands of me that require my immediate attention, but overall, my hubby is my number one priority.  Baby Girl will grow up one day and leave the house – she may travel the world, marry, launch a very successful career, have her own children, and who will be left behind?  Well, hubby and I, of course.  And when we get to that point, I still want us to be friends, lovers, husband and wife.  I don’t want to look at this man now that my daughter has left home and think, “Who is this person?”  I want to think, “now we can do all we’ve wanted to do, because we’re still friends, lovers, husband and wife and we actually still love each other”.  In fact, we even still like each other.

So, if I want to achieve that, if I want to get to that point of having a healthy and active retirement with someone I have spent my life with, hubby has to be my number one priority.  Does this mean I love Baby Girl less?  No, just differently.  She has to learn that she will need to go out and make her own life.  And she has to make that life work for her – having her be the centre of my universe won’t aid her in doing that.  My life is with her Dad.  And to give Baby Girl happy and wonderful memories of her childhood one day, Hubby and I need to make sure we have a happy and wonderful home for her to grow up in.

And conversely, it is my hope that I am his number one priority – we have friends who have divorced because the dad has become so enthralled with his baby, that the wife simply did not exist for him.  At all.  So, it really does work both ways – Hubby has a lot of interests, sports and work involvements, and I would hope that with all the demand for his attention, that I would always remain his number one priority overall.

The Baby Mama

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