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Just a Guy Being Selfish?

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Bruce Sallan: OK, I'm setting myself up with this one -- but I think it's important. Sometimes, parents should be selfish. Yup, selfish. Think of ourselves. For instance, parents need vacations, too. Anybody who doesn't need a vacation after a family vacation is lying. Parents need time alone and more than a date night.

man thinking

Moms and dads will likely differ on this, as moms tend to think the kids come first. Sure, there are times they should, but not all the time. The kids will leave, should leave, and then you've only got each other. If you've not developed a relationship, separate from the kids, you'll be staring at each other wondering who is that strange person.

An example. Went skiing with my wife and younger son. He got a bloody nose and was freaked out. We stemmed the blood; it stopped and he was fine, calmed down, but clearly wasn't skiing this day. No big deal. I suggested my wife and I alternate going skiing, leaving one of us with our son. She was adamant about not going. So, I go at her insistence and she denies herself the pleasure of skiing (something she loves). It wasn't being selfish; it was living our lives, too.

Previous generations left kids alone a lot of the time. Kids actually served their parents, not the other way around. Why has it almost completely reversed? There is a middle ground between spoiling our kids to death and taking care of ourselves. I suggest this is almost a taboo subject and needs to be brought out of the closet. But, then what do I know, I'm just a guy.


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22 comments so far | Post a comment now
William May 1, 2009, 8:47 PM

Agree 100%. Clearly had it been something serious you would have responded differently - but a nosebleed? Your approach was spot on and helps teach your son the difference about how to respond in a healthy way to life’s minor annoyances! Keep up being “just a guy”!

Melissa (Australia) May 19, 2009, 6:49 AM

I think my children always feel safer, more loved and treasured when their foundation is rock solid. Foundation = parental relationship. Our 4 boys always love to try and sqeeze in when we are having a cuddle on the sofa (often turning into a wrestle) and our youngest will often tell us that he hasn’t seen us hug and kiss today…and takes great delight when we put on a show for him amongst the groans and adjectives like “sick”, “disgusting” and “gross” from older brothers. I guess my point is children instinctively know when their parents spend time nuturing their own relationship, that they will in turn be a beneficiary of the investment.


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