I was given the opportunity some time ago to guest write for the column “A Mom’s Life” written by Amy Lorentzen in the Des Moines Register. The title of the article was “Couples Need Balance”. Here is my commentary from the article. To read the entire article click here.
“It’s funny how much your relationship changes when you have children. It’s almost as if you become one of the children to your wife, or at best, you are Lieutenant Daddy, just another soldier in the ranks that Major Mommy has to account for in the war we call ‘raising kids.’ One of the more notable changes is just getting some time with my wife. After spending eight hours of her day with a 1- and 3-year-old hanging all over her, the thing she wants most is some personal space. This means ‘Sorry Daddy, you will have to wait.’ Major Mommy also needs a break after a long day with the kids. So when I get home from work, the Major gets a break and the Lieutenant gets a set of orders. If I’m lucky, it was a good day and I open the door to a quiet house and a small set of orders. But, when there is a bad day, it’s like World War III erupting. I can usually hear the screaming and crying as I pull in. Should I just stay in the garage? I walk in, get mobbed by my two kids … and the orders begin. Set the table, pick up toys, put the clothes in the dryer and give me 50 push-ups. Fifty push-ups, maybe I exaggerate, but you get the idea. So, what can you, as a dad, do to combat being pushed aside for the kids and being designated as a common soldier? How can you become a partner again? I suggest two things. First, don’t take your wife’s actions or comments personally. This is no time to be sensitive. Let your ego go and try to be more understanding of the stress she endures. Second thing is to take charge. Don’t just go with the flow. Don’t wait for orders. Start doing things before you are told and watch how you regain your partnership and have a healthier relationship with your wife. You might even get that cuddle time again.”