Couples and kids: Pulling together or tug of war
How to stop competing with your partner for your kid´s affections.
By: totanaliz on: Mon 17 of Sep, 2007 [10:16 UTC] (1790 reads)
Just last week, one of lifes little idiosyncrasies rose its ugly head, and I was forced to stop and think a while. I had just day been complaining to my long suffering mother about the fact I never seemed to have any time to myself without the children. Time to do those all important but non-essential tasks….shaving both legs, finishing the book you started 10 months ago, or buying feminine products without getting the third degree from an overly-curious 7 year old.
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The next day my prayers were answered when my husband offered to take the kids off for the day. His guilt at spending too much time away from them prompted it, and I wasn’t about to look a gift horse in the mouth…and this is where the peculiarity arose.
Instead of spending the day relaxing and revelling in the peace and quiet, jealousy consumed me. And when it was staring me in the face, I admitted it wasn’t the first time I had felt this way. Usually it ended in me making un-necessary digs at my husband, trying to put him back in his place…the secondary carer, the part time dad, the second line of defence.
Apparently these feelings are entirely normal. And I know this because my first reaction was to rush to the web to discover if I was in fact monster not fit to be a mother. How could I be jealous of the relationship my kids and their dad have?
It has a lot to do with how you were brought up yourself. If your partner shows love and compassion to your kids, and you were brought up with a distinct lack of it, then a sense of yearning can lead to jealousy. How secure you are in your relationship will also affect your levels of jealousy, and in any couple with a strong competitive streak, the children can be used as ammunition in the “who does the most” and “who is loved the most” war.
So how can you combat this harmful emotion? Just by recognising it means you are already half way to beating it. Bringing the subject out in the open means you can talk about it with your partner, let them know why you react in a hostile manner to something that should actually make you happy. If at any time you feel like snapping, wait until the initial burst of feeling has passed…leave it an hour. If you still need to say something, at least it won’t be said in anger. Most importantly, if neither of these solutions ease the situation, go and seek help. There may be deeper reasons behind the jealousy that only a professional can un-earth.
So after I had reassured myself that I was rational, if not justified, in my thoughts, I sat in the bath and finished that book…then cooked the men in my life their favourite meal for their return. Ensuring, for that day at least, I was officially the Best Mother / Wife there was.