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11:00 pm. Your kid is finally asleep, the house is at last tidy and you have just picked up the last toy from the floor to put it in its box, after stepping on it of course (ouch!!!). The only thing you long for now is crashing on the couch to get a nap while watching something stupid on TV, before actually going to bed for a good night’s sleep.

But, when you eventually arrive padding into the living room, someone is waiting for you there and he is in the mood for love. It is your husband that had been patiently waiting for you to take care of your child and finish all the chores so as to have his wife just for him for a little while. To have some fun and spend some quality time with you. When you try to politely refuse him and fall exhausted on the couch as planned, a wave of grumbling and complaints hits you. You feel torn.

Once again, you get the feeling that he doesn’t understand you at all and that he is so unfair to you. And it is easy to comprehend what makes you feel like that. All this effort and stress that has become a part of your daily routine with the kids, exhausts you. Not to mention special situations like birthdays, flus and illnesses, or later on study sessions for school tests, that require more of your precious time and strength. All this strain to do the best for your children and have it all perfect, both at home and at work at the same time, takes its toll on you.

But, your husband is also right. He thinks that you used to be much more fun before becoming a mother. And you know that it is actually true. You used to be more carefree and willing to do things with him before. You used to tend to him and pamper him. He had all your affection. And he was feeling happy with that. It was only the two of you, sharing beautiful moments around the clock. You slept cuddling, kissing or making love whenever you felt like it.

Then, your child has come and become the center of your universe. Now, your little one claims priority and in most of the cases takes all of your attention and energy. You believe -as all mothers usually do- that your kid is in more need of you than your spouse. But he does not seem to agree.

So, you feel confused. It used to be much simpler. Now, you can’t help but wonder. “Am I my husband’s wife or my child’s mother?” Well, I guess you know that the answer is both. And as complicated as it might look, you are supposed to balance between those two lovely roles. Between being a tender spouse and a loving parent.

Do not forget that your children might often seem to compete with their father for your attention, but they actually want to be reassured that their parents are happy together too. So, you shouldn’t make your husband feel neglected and forgotten. And since you are not the only parent in the family, the same goes for him. He shouldn’t put you aside for the sake of your children either. You should save some affection for each other. I am sure there’s plenty of it. I know it looks hard, but it is not impossible.

There are no instructions on how to do it, though. You can always start with a nice conversation. It would be really helpful to explain to each other how you feel and find ways to make some time for the two of you. Together, as a team. Sharing some or your responsibilities concerning your kid or the house, may be a good starting point too. It will possibly help you find this extra couple time you need. You can make it! It surely takes lots of patience, effort, support to one another and cooperation. But, it is essential.

Besides, when you’re married with kids, many times to be a good parent you need to be a good spouse.

Author: Sofia Argyriadou

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