Last night I was reading a book I picked up on the clearance table in Barnes and Noble - Candace Bushnell's One Fifth Avenue. And I came across this quote: "You don't really know a man until you have a child with him. Then you see so much. Is he kind? Is he tolerant? Is he loving? Or is he immature and egotistical and selfish? When you have a child, it can go two ways with your husband: You love him even more or you lose all respect for him. And if you lose respect for him, there's no way to get it back..."
Holy crap, right?! How TRUE is that statement?
I'm proud to say my husband is one of the kindest, loving and tolerant men - no, make that PEOPLE in general (men & women) - that I've ever met. He is an amazing father who always puts us - his family - above all else. Do we argue? Yup. Do I get frustrated? Of course. Does he get frustrated with me? Heck, yes! : ) But I'm lucky to have a true partner.
And I think as women, we "get" the idea that being a parent - a good parent - is about truly putting someone else's needs above your own. It's ingrained in us over the 40 weeks that little peanut grows inside of us. The morning sickness. The sharp pains. The weight gain ; ) This baby - this precious gift - comes first. It's not about "me" anymore. It's about "us". Some husbands might be a little slower at grasping this concept. But, they better get it quickly or respect will be lost... and that is not good. It may never be restored. I think that some men don't realize the lasting effects that the decisions they make today regarding their family will have lasting repercussions tomorrow.
And that's why we should share this quote with all fathers-to-be... and probably new fathers in general. Lay it on the line. And hopefully any husbands/fathers who thought the time they put in early on doesn't matter... that changing diapers, giving kisses, making sacrifices are only for the wife/mother... get the picture. Fathers matter. Husbands matter. It takes a unit to raise a family.
I know it's trendy to say things like, "Put yourself at the top of your list," "Your relationship with your husband comes first," yada, yada, yada... I mean, didn't Seal and Heidi Klum preach this on Oprah, The Today Show, and every other TV show they could get on? They renewed their vows every single year, for goodness sake! And look how well their marriage turned out! Oh wait.. that's right... they are divorced : ( Ultimately - in my opinion - the FAMILY comes first. The relationship of the unit as a whole. It takes sacrifice after sacrifice to make it work. And a whole lot of love and understanding.