Recently a public figure in the States - let’s be frank, she’s a TV host, and an abysmal one at that, but it’s a good topic of discussion - was lambasted for coming out and saying that she puts her marriage first before her child (gasp!!). As she sees it, when people have kids they more often than not put their marriage second and hence it suffers. Not to mention, if her and her husband are happy, it makes for a happier environment for her child.
Seriously, it must be an atrociously slow news cycle because I not only agree, but I don’t see what all the fuss is about especially as she's not the first person to air this viewpoint. Clearly she has hit upon a very taboo topic as it’s almost illegal in today’s society to say that your child doesn’t come first and rainbows don’t stream out of their backsides (I love the King, but what is coming out of his bottom is not even remotely rainbow-like). God forbid you don’t hand in your brain, marriage and self-identity the day you have children. And in truth, if more people put their marriages first, our divorce rate may not be as absurd as it is and there may in fact be more happier, functional families out there.
Any parent will tell you that once you have a child your marriage can tend to feel like a little steel pinball that gets catapulted, battered and flung around a machine by forces out of your control and you just have to pray you don’t end up on tilt. From where I sit, saying that you’re putting your marriage first before your child is purely being responsible; it does not mean that you’re going out clubbing five nights a week and leaving your child in a closet with an open box of cereal and a can of Coke. It means that you're going to give some attention to the very foundation of the house, if you will, and make it as strong as possible so that the sodding walls don't fall down around you. Seems like basic physics to me.
Seriously people, is that not what we all should be doing? You know the adage, 'happy parents, happy child'...[or is it 'happy parents, child at nursery.'? Can never keep that one straight]. Too often than not people put all the focus on raising their child(ren) and it gets to the point where you can barely remember your spouse’s name let alone the last time you showered. Next thing you know you've gone from the sexy days of courtship with your partner that were rife with late nights, tequila shots and salsa dancing, to more (less sexy) late nights where you spend all your time discussing sleep cycles and excrement and how little Jimmy stuck a car up another child's nose at school today.
So before you get up all in arms, it goes without saying (although the King will happily remind me) that most of the time, our children’s needs are going to usurp our own (except when their needs are actually wants. Ah negotiation, so much fun). Our job as parents is to take care of them, and most of us get this; hopefully. But just because my marriage will sometimes have to take the backseat doesn't mean the King always gets to ride shotgun. You know what I mean?
Happy Friday all.