How to Be a Good Mom…and a Good Wife
Reconciling motherhood and marriage sounds pretty simple. After all, the two roles seem like a natural fit. Both require love, patience, nurturing, and understanding. Being a mother and being a wife demand that you flex the same emotional and mental muscles to give up something of yourself and put the needs of another first. Plus, you can sometimes feel like you’re taking care of a kid either way! However, splitting your time between a needy husband and a needy child can often feel like a tug of war. And somewhere in the mix you have to try to find some time for yourself (and don’t even get started on time for sleep!). But there are ways to excel in all of your familial roles in order to enjoy a happy, stress-free, and unified household.
1. Integrate wherever possible. Splitting time between hubby and baby is a good way to run yourself ragged. “Mother” and “wife” are not mutually exclusive roles; you are part of a family and you need to learn to function as a unit. So instead of feeding the baby while he watches the game or sitting up all night in the nursery, find ways to function as a family rather than simply parts of a whole. This way you can spend time with the two most important people in your life simultaneously.
2. Compartmentalize when you can. Okay, this is the opposite of integration, but in all honesty, there will be times when your baby needs you and times when your husband needs you, not to mention your own needs. It’s hard to fulfill marital obligations when a baby is sleeping between you, and rubbing your husband’s feet is the last thing on your mind when your child is running a fever. Although your baby will certainly make it known when his needs are not being met, you shouldn’t neglect your husband just because he’s the quieter of the two. Take time to remind him why you got married and he will return the favor by giving you all the love and support you need.
3. Take care of you. So far there has been a lot of talk about attending to the needs of others, and while you signed up for a crash-course in giving by walking from the altar into the delivery room, let’s not forget that your needs matter as well. Burning the candle at both ends will leave you grouchy and fatigued, to say the least, so try to schedule in a little time for a hot bath or a night out with your gal pals to relieve some stress and make you feel like your old self.
4. Share duties. You’re not the only one raising a child! Get your husband involved by making him learn the basics like preparing a bottle, changing diapers, and calming a fussy baby. Every child should have the opportunity to bond with two parents and you shouldn’t have to worry about leaving your baby home alone with his father while you run to the grocery store or get a haircut.
5. Show you care. It’s all too easy to get wrapped up in your child to the point that you sometimes forget there’s another person down the hall who helped to create him. Don’t forget to profess your love and get intimate with the man who started it all. Not only will he appreciate the attention, you could do with a reminder now and then that you a strong, sexy, desirable woman (not just a minibar)!
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