10 Responses to “On being more than Brianna’s Mommy…”

  1. Michele August 7, 2005 at 8:01 AM #

    Heh, I DO have an opinion. *you can roll your eyes now*
    I agree with Helenkay. *gasp!*
    Her statement is actually in line with some advice from many parenting books I used to get ad naseum.
    I’ve seen the “empty nesters” syndrome in action with my SIL. Her kids ARE her life. They turned out great..that’s the bene. But now that they are home maybe 1% of the time, she feels at loose ends. Her strategy is to adopt MY kids. Granted, it makes her a WONDERFUL Aunt in their eyes…and I love her dearly. But she doesn’t have interests outside the home except for work (which is not a hobby) and her and her hubby do not do similar things together. They are “working” on that. Working on it???????!!
    If she felt even 50% of what Helenkay did, then perhaps the empty nest syndrome wouldn’t be quite such an issue. The balance comes from staying connected with your spouse. He is the other 50% of the equation..how can he take an absolute back seat? How can a mother love absolutely her children more that her spouse? I guess it would be easier when you think he LET it happen. There is a mind set, that once a woman becomes a “mother”,, wife and lover dissappears…. Ever notice? Sometimes the husband will start calling his wife “mother” as well. I’ve seen that happpen. How sexually exciting is THAT?
    “Loving your Husband more than the children”..doesn’t mean you love them less..or give them less attention…or neglect them in favor of the spouse…it means that the connection/ relationship and investment in same is just as strong as the day you married.
    The bene? Kids have a stable home. They sense what they may not be able to say in words yet if they are young. They witness a loving relationship, how it works, how it feels, how it sounds…they are absorbing that. Those relationship lessons are ones that they ultimately will mimic in their own lives when THEY start dating (and for those of us with young kids, isn’t that a daunting/exciting thought!)
    By being in a loving relationship with your spouse, you are verifying to your children that all is secure, stable and strong. Children who come from homes such as those, are themselves, happier, more secure to try new things in life because HOME is a haven. Their security net, where the strength of said net , is strengthed with love means that they know that when they fall, the love of Mom “and” Dad WILL be there to catch them.
    That’s the gift from loving your spouse “more than” your kids.
    You are there for them when they need you, But when they are grown and gone, your Husband will be there when You need HIM!
    And that is MY opinion..*grin*
    What say you??

  2. AngieW August 7, 2005 at 8:15 AM #

    LOL Michele- thanks for your response.

    I just want to point out that it’s Ayelet Waldman that you agree with πŸ™‚ She’s the one who wrote the essay (she is also an author). HelenKay wrote a blog about the piece in regards to “A new reason to be a writer”

    I’ll have more thoughts on this later. And I owe you an email this morning πŸ™‚

  3. HelenKay August 7, 2005 at 10:53 AM #

    I think you both raise great points. I actually posted the quote by Waldman because I wasn’t sure what I thought about it. It didn’t fill me with rage or make me hate Waldman, as it had done with so many others. I thought “huh, that’s interesting…” Angie’s points about Waldman’s sentiments being okay, even normal, if the kids were grown really gets to the heart of the debate.

    Waldman’s overall point, I think, was that she loves her kids but that she isn’t “in love” with them. She’s in love with her husband. That part seems fine. She clearly thinks many mothers lose sight of protecting the marriage and start being overly connected to their kids. As a divorce lawyer, I have to say she may be right about that issue.

  4. Michelle Pillow August 7, 2005 at 11:47 AM #

    Hey Angie, great blob, btw!

    With love, I don’t see any reason to ‘play favorites’. Love just is as we are blessed to have it when we do.

    But, as to idenity, I can relate. When you give so much of yourself to others, be it husband or child, you do lose a part of yourself. It’s not all bad, because it falls in line with being responsable–no one likes someone who’s all in it for themselves all the time. I gave a lot of myself to my daughter and she flurishes from it. She’s smart (proud parent bragging here) and a very giving person. I couldn’t be more proud and that is a reward for the sacrifices I made. But I can’t give ALL of me forever. And I’ve taken some of my time back as she’s grown more independent.

    I don’t know. Maybe I missed the boat here completely, lol. It’s early-ish and I haven’t drained a pot of coffee yet. πŸ™‚

  5. Breezy August 7, 2005 at 12:04 PM #

    I’m not a mom, so I can’t really get into the whole midset here. I do agree though that part of being a family with a spouse or children involves sacrifices, especially sacrifices of yourself and your identity. When you marry, you often become Such and such’s wife and with parenthood you’re such and such’s mom. It can be a challenge to retain your individuality outside that.

    Loving children, especially for mothers, can be so all-consuming, especially in the younger years. Some people find a healthy balance and others don’t. That is a symptom of a marriage in trouble. Some people forget that you have to work at your marriage. It’d be easy to do that with children running around.

    Just some thoughts from the childless.

  6. Michele August 7, 2005 at 5:22 PM #

    Whoops-adaisy!
    What can I say? I was in a rush this AM getting ready for the bake sale at the festival. I’ve just come back from 6 and 1/2 hours in a booth. I am so fried.
    I did good though…there was enough cookies and brownies left to sell, LOL!

  7. Jaci Burton August 8, 2005 at 9:11 AM #

    It can be difficult to strike that balance between caring for your children and ‘caring’ for your marriage, but many women give up the ‘love and feeding’ of their marriage when children come along. And then wonder why their marriages disintegrate through the years. YOu have to also love your husband and remember he’s the #1 in your marriage. Your children are not your marriage, they are the by-product of it. And that’s only my opinion. And I didn’t do it right the first time. *g*

  8. Kristie (J) August 8, 2005 at 7:13 PM #

    I’m at that point where I am eagerly waiting for that “empty nest” I love my sons more than anything but I was always aware that they were on “loan” and that someday they would leave and make there own way. My husband on the other hand is for keeps. I worked with a woman who made her kids her life. She was involved in every aspect of their lives. Now that they are getting older and wanting their own space she is having a very difficult time dealing with it.

  9. Kristie (J) August 8, 2005 at 7:13 PM #

    I’m at that point where I am eagerly waiting for that “empty nest” I love my sons more than anything but I was always aware that they were on “loan” and that someday they would leave and make there own way. My husband on the other hand is for keeps. I worked with a woman who made her kids her life. She was involved in every aspect of their lives. Now that they are getting older and wanting their own space she is having a very difficult time dealing with it.

  10. Jaynie R August 15, 2005 at 3:06 AM #

    Well I’ll admitt it. I love my husband more than I love my kids, but surely that’s normal – I’ve known him a heck of a lot longer, we’ve been through a lot more together – and I never have to clean up his poo.

    My kids are a by-product of the love that my husband and I share. We both love our kids, and love our family – but we were first.

About Me


Angela James

There is nothing worse than writing a bio. And writing one for your blog sidebar? Blech. Maybe you landed here via Google, followed me from Twitter (does that make you a stalker?) or maybe we met at a conference or you clicked a link from a comment I made at a blog you visited. Hopefully whatever I said didn't make you so mad you came looking for a picture to throw darts at (yep, that's me up above, in my favorite cowboy hat) but instead drove you to find out more about the amazingly witty and intelligent person behind the amazingly witty and intelligent comment.

However you found me, who you found is Angela James, executive editor of Carina Press, Harlequin's new digital-first press. I'm passionate about digital publishing, my mission is to drag people to the digital dark side, one reader (and author) at a time. I'm also Brianna's mommy. At my blog you'll get an odd mix of personal and professional posts about parenting, publishing, books, cooking, sewing and life in general. Come back often, comment frequently and go green—buy ebooks!

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