Thought for the Week
I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!
Who Comes First?
There’s been a lot of buzz lately surrounding a statement made by Giuliana Rancic regarding the way she views marriage and children. Rancic has stated that her husband comes first before her child. In trying to explain this theory Rancic says “We’re husband and wife, but we’re also best friends, and it’s funny because a lot of people, when they have kids, they put the baby first, and the marriage second. That works for some people. For us, I find, we put our marriage first and our child second, because the best thing we can do for him is have a strong marriage.” When I first heard about this I did not agree; after all my children are my life and I would do anything for them. Throughout the week I found myself thinking about the “pecking” order of our family and where we all fit in. My son, who is almost six years younger than his sister has accused me over the years of playing favorites. To be honest, there are times that I have played favorites or taken one side over the other. I believe that that is a normal element of parenting; and with their age difference it is necessary to allow her to do more than him. (Now that she is an adult, I don’t wrestle with that issue as much.) I have come to the conclusion that I may have to agree with the Rancic’s because quite frankly it makes perfect sense. And before you decide that I deserve the horrible mother of the year award, let me explain.
One of the first important relationships we have in our adult (or young adult) lives is that of meeting someone and falling in love. We take the time to become a couple, getting to know one another and making the decision to dedicate our lives to the other person. For my husband and I we made the decision to wait for four years before we started our family. When our daughter was born we quickly realized that this tiny little person took up a lot of our time and energy. She was our main focus and we found ourselves in a state of survival mode. Nearly six years later her brother showed up and although we were more prepared for round two we still felt the strains of parenting. We were more than guilty of putting them first and leaving out our own needs. After all, isn’t that what parents are supposed to do?
As our children grew we realized that having some down time was very important and even though we did not find it necessary to hire a sitter and go out every Saturday night without them, we did find ways of spending time alone together. Sometimes all we could do was put them to bed and sit and talk about our day before dragging ourselves to bed for a few hours of sleep. As our children grew and became a bit more independent we found it easier to take that necessary time away together. Now, with one in college and the other in high school we are able to enjoy even more time alone together as a couple; best friends. Much like the Rancic’s we feel that it is important to show our children the importance of a healthy, happy, loving relationship between their parents. Our hope is that our children find themselves in a well-rounded loving relationship with someone who not only loves them now but will continue to love them and enjoy being with them after their children (if they have any) are grown and on their own. We started out as a couple and now after raising our children we are finding ourselves back to being just a couple again. While our son is still at home, he is in high school and has his own things to do and doesn’t always want to spend time with us; and that is okay.
Quite often in our society today we find that parents are going the extra mile to make sure their children have it all. They sacrifice their own needs to ensure that their children do not have to sacrifice or wait for anything. Parents have a tendency to give in to whatever their child’s request because it is easier to give in than to deal with the fallout of their child’s disappointment. This is not parenting and it is not teaching our children anything. Children need to understand that life is a game of give and take and sometimes they will have disappointment and sometimes they will not be first. It is more than okay to do things without our children. It is more than okay to tell our children “no” and to allow them to experience disappointment; they need to understand that life requires all of us to make a sacrifice now and then.
Finding it within ourselves to create a balance between our children and taking time away from them to nurture our own relationship is important. If we do not allow ourselves to be a couple during our parenting years, we will find ourselves alone together and quite possibly unable to continue on in our relationship after our children have left home. As difficult as it is to watch our children leave home, we are appreciative of the fact that we are still a couple committed to one another and still enjoying our time together. In response to those who disagree with the Rancic’s she is quoted as saying “Your relationship is the first example your child learns from and we will do everything we can to show our child how much we love, respect and are devoted to one another. He can only benefit from this, and hopefully it will carry over into his other relationships throughout his life.” I happen to agree…do you?
Check out all of Karla’s Korner articles for more thought for the week here. Also, please visit Karla’s Lifetime Moms page and read her articles.
Topic: Thought for the Week