In 2005 Ayelet Waldman caused quite a stir when she penned an article in the New York Times stating quite simply that she loved her husband more than her children. Women around the world were outraged, shocked, horrified. I think the men must have been delighted! Secretly though I must admit that article shook me. Was I so obsessed with my children that I had neglected my husband?
But after almost 10 years of guilt and trying to balance it all, I have started thinking; perhaps Ayelet also had it wrong. Why has society created this dilemma in the first place? Why are the options husband and child, either or, what about putting ourselves as the top priority?
My whole life has been devoted to my family. Nothing else takes priority. I pride myself on the fact that I am a good wife and mother. I love the job and the rewards that come with it. I love my family full stop. Although I work outside the home as well I have never bothered climbing the corporate ladder, it does not interest me.
But now that I am nearing 50, getting closer to those golden years, my children are grown up. They don’t “need” me like they used to. They are happy, functioning adults on their own journey now. And where does that leave me? As I look in the mirror I see someone that has had no interest in life outside her family, has never bothered to cultivate friendships, or even enjoy a hobby. (My husband does not have the same problem. I suppose knowing that he often ranked 2nd he probably just got on with it)
So where does one begin. It’s hard to change these things so late in the game. If I could turn back the clock I wouldn’t change much but I do know one thing I would be a little more selfish, make myself the top priority and love myself just a little bit more. Somehow I think I would probably have done just as good a job, maybe even better!