I read an article recently that discussed why kids shouldn’t be your highest priority. I completely agree with this sentiment. I used to be the sort of mum who was with her kids 24/7. Who never did anything for herself. Who believed in order to love her children, she hardly had room to love anything or anyone else. But since becoming a freelance writer 2 years ago, I’ve realised that is far from the truth. I’ve also realised that in order to be a good Mum, I need to be a good wife too.
Our 6 year anniversary
I have been with my husband for 8 years now. We will be celebrating our 6 year wedding anniversary soon. We have always been inseparable. We like almost the same movies, music, find the same things funny, and we have similar values and attitudes towards life.
And thankfully, our closeness and likeness has kept our relationship strong – even when the challenges of raising three young girls pushed our relationship to the limit.
But to say that it’s been an easy journey for us would be a lie.
All relationships take a great amount of work – and I believe the effort we’ve put in has kept us strong.
Every Sunday, I refuse to write. I refuse to do any work at all on that night. Why? It’s my night with my husband. It’s our night to lie in bed and watch movies. To just chat. To laugh and be silly. To spend undivided time with each other.
Every so often, we go on ‘date nights’. We have dinner out. We see a movie. We give attention to our relationship without the kids around.
Being a good wife has made me a better Mum
I don’t believe that being a ‘good wife’ is just about cooking food for your family. It’s not about doing the dishes, washing, vacuuming or any other domestic duties. It’s about valuing your husband. It’s about taking the time to ask him how his day of work was. It’s about loving him as a person, not just as a Dad or even as a husband.
It’s about realising that your relationship is a big part in teaching your kids about love, feelings and emotions.
Setting a good example for my children
Sometimes, when my husband is at work, I leave him sweet messages around the house. I might cut heart shapes out of paper and write on them how my husband makes me feel. I then scatter the notes around the house.
And you know what happened as a result of my sweet gesture?
My husband loved it. But also – our eldest daughter now writes notes for her sister and for her friends! She’s learning how to show others that she cares for them.
It’s also about having a two-way relationship. My husband constantly tells me how proud he is of me and my success at writing. How he appreciates me looking after our kids. We both value one another and what we bring to the family.
While it’s easy to believe that any attention away from your kids is a bad thing – that’s far from the truth.
When you do things for yourself, for your relationship – you are showing your kids that happiness comes in many different forms. That you should never rely on one thing or one person to make you happy.
I absolutely love the time I spend with my kids, but I also love the time I spend with my husband.
And that doesn’t make me a bad parent at all. It just makes me a balanced one.
This article was written by Thuy Yau, who is a freelance writer. She is passionate about helping other parents fulfil their potential. You can follow her on Facebook or Twitter, and check out her personal development blog at Inside a Mother’s Mind.