“My husband thinks I only pay attention towards the children and that I’ve changed. He thinks I am a great mother but not as good a wife that I was before the children came in the picture”!
This panic call from a sobbing friend caught me completely off guard. While I tried to reason out with her that it could’ve been just a bout of anger or frustration stemming from something else but I couldn’t pacify her. I couldn’t gather the courage to tell her how she had changed in last few years and how she didn’t have anything else other then her child to discuss every time we spoke but since this was quite natural for almost every new mother, I never thought it was beginning to affect her relationship. After a promise to call her back later, I sat down wondering what went wrong.
This was not just one off case where the woman has made the child centre of her universe. I’ve seen my other friends doing it too. Putting the needs of the husband at the back burner and trying to be the best mother there can ever be. But this race to the pinnacle of best motherhood has its problems too. In most cases when something like this happens, one realises the kind of damage that has happened. The truth is that a statement like this coming from husband is not just one time outburst, this is something that is lying deep down seeing you in those old worn out t-shirts day in day out, missing those stimulating conversations, funny laughs and finding you in that irritable, complaining mood when coming back home. The situation is even worse if you have a child with special needs, because then it is not just difficult but extremely complicated to keep a balance especially in the initial years. And as far as the husbands go, It is also not true that they don’t appreciate the indulgence or the overindulgence with the motherhood but ignoring everything else can be a huge setback for the marriages.
But what can one really do to make it work at both ends, to make sure that while one is busy playing the lead role in their child’s life the other one is not feeling ignored.
The first key to get that balance right is to be mindful of the fact that the husband was there before your child came into your life and if you would try to talk to him as much as you talk to Google, your mother or your other over anxious mother friends, it would bring a lot of peace within your relationship. After speaking to few other mothers who are dealing this issue rather well, I’ve dug out a list of 6 things that one can try to inculcate in their life and strike a good balance.
We all mothers would eternally be dressed in PJs and old worn out t-shirts if we could but that’s not what is going to work if we want to make some serious changes. And it is not just for him but for us too. Remember the good old days when we used to make an effort. Yes, that showed and can happen again. So next time you are choosing clothes, try to wear something nicer and brighter. We all know how difficult it is to be mothers and still look like the characters of ‘Desperate Housewives’ but you don’t have to go all the way or do it all the time but try to dress better more often than you do now because it would not only make you feel good but will also brighten up few eyes around the house.
Whenever I talk about time, I remember a quote from Charles Buxton, it says “You will never find time for anything. If you want time you must make it.” This quote says it all. Make time for yourself for your spouse and for your marriage. That research on vaccination can wait till tomorrow.
3.Stop over discussing your children
A lot of young mothers feel that they need to be surrounded by their children, talk about them all the time or keep worrying to be a better mother. I have seen it all the times and I am sure you’ve seen it too. Moms just can’t stop raving or talking about their kids. Their conversation starts with kids and revolves around them. Do you do it too? See if you can try to talk to your husband about something else today, something about the world, about the movies or about the sports. Get back to talking about how life has changed, your future goals, your dreams and how you are going to work towards them together. Try to have some mental time away from kids.
The truth is that mothers instantly take almost all the responsibility of a child from the moment he is born. From being pregnant to sending them off to college to marrying them off, mothers love to play the central role around which the entire house revolves and this helps them slide effortlessly into becoming a control freak. And while nobody talks about it as much but fatherhood is as difficult if not more to guys who all of a sudden have a new irritable, confused, scary woman at home. We don’t say or feel it as often but the fathers do need our appreciation from time to time for bearing with us through our bad moods and worst tempers. So try to develop a positive attitude and start appreciating the efforts of the poor man a little more than you currently do.
5. Spend Some QualityTime Together ( As cliche as it sounds)
‘Go for a date once a month to keep that old flame burning!’ Yes, this sentence is as overused and cliche as you think it is. Even though it is great to have some time away from those bundles of joy, it is not practically possible to do it every week or every month. So how to rekindle that passion without really getting out of that zone?
The answer is simple; find the solution that best suits your circumstances. Once a week, you can put them to bed early, light some candles, open that bottle of wine, watch that old flick or a game together. Basically figure out something that is not everyday boring.
6. Learn to delegate to him:
This would do two things. One he would get less time to complain about your non availability and two it would make him appreciative of all that you do around the house. If you do everything for children all through the day, give him the task of giving kids a shower, telling a bedtime story and putting them to bed. A lot of women keep complaining but wouldn’t want to delegate. Change that attitude.
The situation can be dealt with in lot of creative ways as long as you are mindful about the fact that you are both, a wife and a mother and you were a wife before you were the other. It’s not easy but who said it was going to be!
image credit: city-connect.org