Husbands, spouses, baby daddy’s, or the masculine presenting parent, can have the unique ability to vex the most zen of mothers. Just minutes before I typed this, I called my husband on his route home, asking him to remember toilet paper. I made the mistake in the middle of drop offs, pick ups, running a business, and attending to the needs of what feels like humanity, in forgetting to buy the customary bulk allotment of tissue. So I hoped that since my honey-do list was short today, he’d remember.
Did he? OF COURSE NOT. He comes home with donuts, snack cakes, his essential needs, and no toilet paper. This is the type of thing, that before being a mom, I would have cavelierly overlooked. Because he’s so cute and forgetful, I just would have trotted off to the Costco and bought it. But oh no, today, as I type this I’m seething. Because what I know to be true, is that the dynamic of a partnership changes when you add children to your relationship.
What used to be a lovely poetic lifestyle full of day drinking, morning sex, and sideways sleep, can now be burdened by early morning decisions related to who’s picking up which kid, who is cooking dinner, where their long socks are, (IN THE DRAWER BY THE WAY), and many other things that bring about a less sexy, more operational relationship.
I’m here to offer one piece of advice in advocacy for the mate that at one point was the sexiest person on earth to you. They’re tired too, they too have added a new level of awareness and responsibility to their everyday life, and your kids are now hogging up the YOU time that they once survived on. The kids literally stealing the kisses that were once for them, their existence has allowed you to become super mommy, and often times, you’re probably so in the zone of that, you’ve become an ad hoc mother to your mate as well.
So today, I’d like you to practice a visualization exercise. Think about a time pre-kid with just you and your partner. Remember how great that was? Don’t remember it as a tool to feel pained, think of this moment in a form of gratitude.
Think about how warm their hands were on your back, how lovingly they stared in your direction, the awkward pauses, the cute things that made your life feel like a movie. And do this as much as you can.
It’s just as important to maintain your partnership with your mate as it is to build your relationships with your children.
I like to say this to people that come to me stressed about relationships often. If someone cannot give you 20 minutes of their time, then they’re not worth YOUR time. So give your special someone at least 20 minutes a day.
If it’s just sitting with them while they watch something you don’t want to watch on TV, or taking a short drive together while the kids are with your parents. Give your mate a few minutes that are dedicated just to the two of you. Humans need validation, and we can get so lost in our duties, that we forget to validate the person that has chosen to be with us for the long haul. The more you offer that time, the more likely they are to bring the toilet paper home when you ask!