We do morning yoga, change into REI shorts and walk Galveston to Drake Park and into downtown.
I’m an Adult Onset Type 1 Diabetic. But in the mornings. I spoil myself with part of the crumbly treat and take just a little more insulin. Life is for living. Some days the scones are better than others which makes the ritual even better. You never know exactly what you’re gonna get.
The other day, our ritual went wrong. Yoga was finished. We got dressed. We were ready to head out. Max, age 16 was up. He usually sleeps late so seeing Max before eleven AM was a nice surprise.
Jim: Ready to go?
Max: Mom, can you make me eggs? (Max likes his eggs scrambled and uber done.)
Me: Uh, sure honey. How many do you want?
Jim: I thought we were leaving for coffee. (He was completely ready and almost out the door)
Me: It’ll be just a few minutes.
We went on our walk, but Jim was pissed. I didn’t get it. Just a few minutes. 3 eggs. So easy.
Later that day, I was talking with a client. He’s a great guy in LA with 2 darling kids and a beautiful wife who’s a really good mother. During our session, he started talking about how hard it is to keep their relationship alive when his wife’s so busy with the kids.
I thought about the scone problem from that morning. I told him it’d really annoyed Jim when I was going to make Max 3 overcooked scrambled eggs instead of leaving as we’d agreed for our walk.
My client: I don’t even know that guy but I completely get it. I swear, sometimes I feel like a second class citizen in my own house. It feels like everyone’s needs come before mine.
The lightbulb went on for me. I thought Jim was being unreasonable that morning when he was so irritated about me overcooking 3 scrambled eggs because “It would only take a minute.”
But that “minute” (not a minute, Max’s eggs take FOREVER) meant that I was prioritizing Max’s needs over his, and ours as a couple
Max is extremely competent. He cooks in a restaurant. He doesn’t need me to make him eggs. But being called into the Mom Role was compelling to me. I wanted to help Max. To get him started on a good day. To be a good mom.
If you’re a mom in a relationship, think about this for a second. How often do you “just a minute” your partner? How often do you expect your partner in small and large ways to stand down while you tend the kids?
Of course, our kids often do need us. Max is a big kid, not a toddler. But still, my prioritizing Max’s needs over Jim’s and the needs of our relationship was damaging.
If you’re a dad and this resonates with you, share it with your wife. Maybe she doesn’t know how you feel. Tell you how much you love her and how much you want to spend time with her.
We went for coffee. No eggs for Max. It didn’t kill him. But the whole experience reminded me of how easy it is for me as a mom to fall back into Super Mom Behavior instead of keeping my hot, sexy love affair with Jim at center stage.