As mothers, we often feel "touch fulfilled". Babies and children give us so many opportunities for touching and cuddling that we neglect our husbands.
Ever watched a newly married couple? Touching each other. Eyes for only each other. Laughing together. Oblivious to others around them. Oblivious to the smiles of old married couples watching them. Remembering that extra kilos, a few kids and some years ago, they too had belonged to the magic circle.
A happy married life, post kids
Lets face it, being a parent is a full time job and it changes priorities. Where once you could relax after work, a new life and new roles are waiting to be played AFTER the workday is done. Where once there were two, now is three, four. Despite all good intentions, domesticity that these additions bring gets higher priority than keeping the magic alive.
Roles to play
Mothers spend a good part of the day being driver, cook, doctor, ayah, dinner heater, teacher, housekeeper, laundrywallah, refree, joker and mother. Each of these roles involves concentration, manual labour and the free dispensing of hugs and kisses.
Where can we find the superhuman strength to be a wife as well?
Being a good parent
Unhappiness, irritability and resentment against each other may foster insecurity in the child. The security of knowing their parents love each other makes a child who he or she is. The warmth, the predictability of frequently seeing mom and dad laughing together gives the child permission and confidence to leap into the circle, to belong.
Despite the sameness and the routine, when the parents are in tune with each other, their children are enveloped in magic.
A happy marriage when you are busy being parents
Maintaining the magic means making a commitment to put time and effort into nurturing the marriage. No, the children will not be neglected if you focus a little on your spouse and on yourself.
Make the commitment
The first step is to renew the commitment you made when you got married, when you decided to create a child. You must be willing to put in the time and effort to make the magic again. Holding on to resentment or being guilty of neglect kills the commitment.
Look for the good, overlook the bad
Make it a habit to overlook all those little irritating things your spouse does. Ignore the teacup he did not take to the kitchen, ignore the untidiness and clutter that follows a small child no matter how much mom picks up. Look instead for the good that were the reasons you married the person.
Look for new things- the way the children flutter around him when he gets home, the giggles of the children in the silly games she invents to get her chores done.
Show off your new intentions
Now that you have committed in seeing the good, tell your spouse. Tell her how much you enjoy watching her fool around with the kids. Tell him you love the look on their faces as they sleep on his shoulder.
Strategise your fights
Pick your battles carefully. Before you let off, stop and think if this fight is worthwhile or would you save energy for another, more important issues. Would this battle be important or would it be worthier to let it go.
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Spend that much time to cuddle. Get back into the habit of touching each other. It may not be a priority after the kind of day you may have gone through, but you could make magic with a pat, a surprise hug and a quick kiss.
Not just "What's for dinner," or "Pick up bread on your way home!" You may end up talking about the kids more often than not, but make the effort to share your day, your thoughts. Make an occasional call during work hours, send a line through email. Or share a cup of tea before the kids need to be woken up. Letting your partner know you are in their thoughts is important. And before you know it, you will discover yourself falling in love with your spouse again.
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