Good mom, bad wife?

Sometimes I feel it is impossible to be a good wife and a good mother at the same time.

If the dinner is hot and ready, it’s only because I’ve ignored the kids. If the kids are happy because we did a craft project all day, then the house is shellacked in glue and there is no dinner in sight.

Believe me, I want to be a good wife — loving, patient and available — but often by the time my husband gets home all I want is to be alone. I’ve given all of my day to my children so there’s not much left for Daddy.

I know this is wrong. I also know that my relationship with my husband is the most important one in my life. He is the one who will be there after the kids grow up. He is the one I have made promises to that I take very seriously. I don’t want to be one of those couples who have to spend their later years reacquainting themselves. Or worse, I don’t want us to look at each other and realize I have nothing in common with the person sleeping next to me for the last 20 years.

When we do go out alone, he jokingly calls me “fun Erin.” I’m able to laugh more easily, relax and enjoy myself. It’s pretty sad that my husband can identify that split personality in me. It’s even sadder that my kids don’t often get to see that relaxed side of me.

Don’t get me wrong — my husband and I have a great relationship, but we just don’t have the time and energy to invest in it like we used to. I can’t seem to figure out a way to put my husband first, while also being the kind of mother I want for my children.

What do you think? How can you be a good mother and a good wife at the same time? Any tips for keeping both relationships alive and well?

Erin Stewart is a regular blogger for Deseret News. From stretch marks to the latest news for moms, Stewart discusses it all while her 4-year-old daughter crams Mr. Potato Head pieces in her little sister’s nose.

Leave a comment encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.