Friday, June 12, 2009

The most important relationship

"The most important thing a father can do for his children 
is to love their mother."  
Rev. Theodore Hesburgh.

In one of the books I read when I was pregnant with Pip, there was an entire chapter about the most important relationship in the family being the relationship between husband and wife.  It's vital for children to see their parents being affectionate toward each other because it creates stability.  It makes children feel safe to know that their parents have a strong, loving bond.  The book suggested that parents should not wait for kids to be in bed to spend 'adult time' together, because kids need to witness the importance parents place on their partnership.  The relationship you have with your spouse provides a model for all future relationships your children will form; romantic and otherwise.  (No pressure there.)

I remember reading the chapter aloud to my husband before Pip was born, and we talked about making time for each other.  Our goal was that, when he came home from work, we would spend the first half-hour just sitting on the couch talking to each other.  We imagined that our child (or children) would still be near us, but we'd sit side-by-side and make a conscious effort to really check-in with each other, perhaps even hold hands and have adult conversation.  

It was a lofty goal.  Actually, we were doing pretty well for the first three weeks of Pip's life when she did nothing but sleep, but since then our blissful 'together-time' has occurred mostly when the girls are in bed.

Recently Crazybaby has become extremely attached to her father.  When he walks in the door after work she cries, "Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!" and the only thing on her mind is climbing into her father's arms.  He has a hard time even washing his hands before she starts crying because she can't bear to be apart from him for another minute.

Pip yells, "Daddy, Daddy" and runs over to Big Daddy-O as well, so my husband is bombarded with his little fan club the moment he walks in the door.  How can I possibly play first-fiddle in this scenario?  My husband and I religiously greet each other with a meaningful hug and a peck-of-a kiss, but we certainly don't enjoy thirty minutes of adult conversation while holding hands on the couch!  It's family time;  the couch is host to a wrestling match of sorts with Pip and Crazybaby crawling all over Big Daddy-O as we attempt to de-brief about our days.

It's a beautiful time.  I'm not going to try to change it.  As long as my husband and I are aware of the importance of our relationship, as long as we're generous with our love and affection toward each other, we'll all be just fine.  (Happy Birthday Big Daddy-O!)