Thursday, January 21, 2016

Kids or partner - who do you put first?


Before we had bub T and I were all about each other, as most young couples are. I spent hours at work counting down the time until I could see him again. We spent most of our nights together and the odd ones we spent at our own places we would talk for hours on the phone. Its safe to say we were pretty much obsessed with each other in the early days {in a healthy non-stalkerish kind of way}. For two and a half years we continued in our little loved up bubble of holidays, sleep-ins and lazy beach days. Then we had a baby and our whole world changed {as it should}.

Suddenly we were thrust into the world of nappies, night feeds and responsibility. Overwhelming responsibility. We had a tiny little human and we had to keep her alive. All thoughts of love and romance {and sleep-ins and lazy days at the beach} were pushed aside for much more responsible things like remembering how long it had been between feeds and trying to work out why she was crying for the 456th time that day. From the moment she came into this world she became our number one priority and that's never changed.

Our relationship shifted once she entered the equation. We evolved into a family of 3 and instead of just loving each other there's now another person in our lives. T's told me to my face that he loves her more than me. For some women being told your partner loves someone else more than you would be irrational, unacceptable and a deal breaker; but for me its not. Because I love her more than I love him too.

Admittedly, thanks to a drug fuelled emergency birth, I never had the love-at-first-sight-omg-my-heart-is-going-to-burst moment when she was born, but we developed an immense bond over the following days and it just keeps growing as she does. My love for her is entirely different to my love for T. She took a piece of my heart when she was born and she will always have that, no matter what happens in our future. My love for her is stronger because she is literally a part of me. He could never trump that {just like I could never trump his love for his daughter}.

Our love for each other hasn't diminished. It may not be as romantic or spontaneous as it once was, but its certainly still there. We're just as in love as we were in the beginning and I don't foresee that ever changing. However, our love for her, both individually and combined, far surpasses our love for each other. She will always be the most important part of our life together.

Toni x




34 comments:

  1. oh, you know how I feel about this one!

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    1. Don't worry I had your voice in my head while I was writing it.

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  2. I think that it's a different love- I try not to compare. But with my kids, I know they physically need me- whereas my husband doesn't. Instead, we choose each other. It's different. But just as important. Great post xx

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    1. Yes totally agree with you. I think the instinctual love + the fact that she needs me makes it feel stronger {to me}, but its certainly not a competition.

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  3. I think they're different. My love for my kids is unconditional and all-encompassing. Whereas I grew to love my husband, I admire and respect him, and we work on that every day. So he comes first, because our relationship is how our kids came to be in the first place. But if it was a life-threatening situation, and I could only save two of my family members? The kids. Every time. Ditto him in the reverse situation.

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    1. Yea I think that's what we mean when we say we love her more because when it comes down to a life threatening situation we would both save her first {and would expect each other to do that}.

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  4. Yes I think it is a different kind of love and I am not sure if I could put one over the other.

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    1. They're definitely both important. I think I feel like our love for her is a bit more of a priority at the moment because she's so young and so dependant on us.

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  5. Thoughtful post :-) I've been with my husband for over 45 years & our love has never waned. Some days the "like" might LOL! That's all very temporary due to life's ups & downs. We have 2 children (grown) who have their own kids too. The love I have for our kids & their kids is immense but it is not the same as the fundamental love of my hub & the way in which I know I am loved too. Theyre incomparable in my view because they are from different places yet of the same feeling. My hub & I have always put our relationship first so as to nurture & grow it but of course that's very hard when kids, jobs, study, illness always impact this: however, the bottom line for each of us is that the love we knew from day one of meeting is the love that continues to warm our relationship even now in our retirement years.

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    1. We still feel the same way as when we first met too, although the time we have to spend alone working solely on our relationship is not the same as in the beginning. We certainly do fall in and out of like with each other all the time too. I think fundamentally our love for each other is the same, its just that our relationship as a family unit is a priority at the moment over our relationship as man and woman. I'm sure as she gets older and less dependant that will shift back to the way it was before. We always joke that we'll be the inseparable loved up couple in the nursing home one day.

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  6. Great post Toni. I'm with Amy, I think it's a different kind of love, but no less important. I need both my girls and my husband like I need air, I don't work without them.

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    1. I couldn't imagine life without both of them either x

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  7. What a lovely heartfelt post. My children and husband mean the world to me, and I love them all very much. I think we Mums love our children all that little bit more since we are their Mums and brought them into this world (with a little help from their Dads) ;)

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    1. Yep I think its an instinctual thing, I can't help it because I feel so protective of her and responsible for her.

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  8. I don't know if I love my son more, or if it just comes from a different place. However when it comes to day to day stuff of who comes first it will always be Dyllan because like Amy says, he needs me more than Paul does. It's a different dynamic with Paul having adult children too. They are all his children but the way he interacts and offers support obviously differs between his adult children and Dyllan.

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    1. I think a lot of it with us has to do with her age too and her dependency on us for everything. She comes first for me because she needs me to do most things for her whereas he's an adult he can do things for himself.

      Also I think our love for her is instinctual whereas we choose to love each other. No matter what she does I couldn't stop loving her.

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  9. In the first years when it was 3 under 3, I don't think anyone came first in our house. Well perhaps the youngest being 10 weeks premmie. Even still hubby always comes first for me. I'm not sure if that makes me a bad mother or not. I suppose I'm lucky that our family dynamic for the most part just works and I don't really need to think about it.

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    1. I'm sure things will change around here if we have more kids too x

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  10. For me the love I feel for my son and husband is very different and so I couldn't even quantify it. I put my son first in many things because he needs the most support but in terms of love, it's just different.

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    1. I think its different too, I just feel like I have a stronger more instinctual love for her :)

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  11. A very thoughtful post Toni. I think that in our relationship the kids do come first, however without us they would not exist. Like many others have said above, the type of love we feel for each other and for the kids are essentially different. It's a very hard thing to quantify. Great discussion starter Toni!

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    1. I think as she gets older and certainly after she moves out our relationship will shift again and our love for each other will become the priority again.

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  12. I love my kids more than my husband too. I guess my love for them is easier too, because they are part of me and much less work to love than an adult who has many flaws!

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    1. Haha yes so true! We love our kids despite their flaws because they are our blood. Partners the flaws are still totally obvious and grating.

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  13. My hubby knows my kids are first and he is cool with that. The fact I have 4 kids he now laughs and says he is 6th inline after the dog too. Oops.

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    1. Hahahaha! My cats used to come before T too, but I'd probably put him before them now.

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  14. I love my girls, but its a different love to how I love my husband. The girls come first, and in a way they demand to be in these early years. I think it's important to make time to talk and be attentive to your partner during these early years because he will be still around once the kids have left when they're older.

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    1. Yea I think we really need to work on doing more as a couple as well, but we just don't seem to have much time together by ourselves {except for the hour between her going to sleep and us going to sleep usually}.

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  15. One of the most challenging role in our life is being a parent. It requires sacrifice, great effort, and very long patience. But once you see your child grow with love and beauty, everything is worth it.

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    1. Oh yes I have no doubt it will all be worth it x

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  16. I think it's a different love too. It's difficult for me to say, because my marriage to the kids' father broke up. I always felt like I was caught in the middle, and although I always made time for us (and actually was desperate for it at times), I also had the maternal instinct to fight for the kids and put them first when they needed me to do that. It was a constant juggling act. I think it's important to put your family first - that's your partner AND your kids. And somehow it will work out if it's meant to be.

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    1. We constantly put family time first as I think its important for us to spend time together as a family {especially since I lost my dad so young}. For us family time and her needs come before our time together as a couple.

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  17. What a beautiful post! Relationships change so much when kids come along. I think it's important just to touch base with each other and make sure that everyone is still on the same page. I am always so mindful of the fact that my partner and I are also modelling what relationships look like to our kids.

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    1. Yes we're still very affectionate towards each other in front of her because I'm mindful that we're setting an example for her. We just don't get time to go on "date nights" or be as indulgent as we once were, and we're totally fine with that for now.

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