Children wrecking romance
Jill at Third Wave Agenda links to this article by Judith Warner about how paying too much attention to your kids can suck life out of your marriage. I have to admit, my first reaction was, despite my desire to build bridges and all that, a bit of gloating. Though not really at anyone who has post-child marital problems, really, but just at those who say that the entire purpose of marriage is child-rearing. Whoops!
But then I got over it, because this article is based on a false premise--that you only have X amount to love to give and if you give it to your children, you can't give it to your spouse. I don't see any real evidence of this, and if child-bearing is hard on marriages, it's probably not an abstract love issue but a solid time and money issue.
But the thing about this article that really grated on my nerves is that once you strip away the gloss of modernity, the weak nod to the fact that there are two parents who may be neglecting their duty to love each other, you are left with just another tedious exhortation to women to be all things to all people. Yes, you need to be a good mommy, but don't forget that there's nothing sexy about burp rags and sippee cups. Always, always, always remember, if shit is going downhill in the family or love department, it is solely the fault of women.
In many marriages, erotic love has been supplanted by what The New Yorker once called "the eros of parenthood." Up to 20 percent of couples now report having sex no more than 10 times a year, qualifying them for what the experts call "sexless marriages." Many mothers freely admit to preferring their children's touch to their husband's, without regret or shame.
Lesson: It's great to love your baby, but don't neglect to baby the Big Boy. There's no indication here that a wife can feel neglected, too, and that can actually damage a marriage as well. Instead we have this peculiar image of a woman handing out caresses and not being careful enough to dole a fair share out to her husband.