General · parenthood · Thoughts

Kids Are The Bonus

The moment you get married you go from Single to Couple.

The moment you get a child it becomes a family.

As parents, wife and I have often discussed & even debated how the daughter gets all the attention. Our lives revolve around her. Schedules, outings, likes & dislikes are planned keeping her in mind. We sometimes forget our choices and just go with what would make her comfortable.

Lives are busy. We make time for family outings and meeting friends. And then we forget we were a couple.

I thought I was seeing this shallow, maybe this is how life is supposed to move on. Its a phase, we will go into the next one in a couple of years.

Then one morning, there was a gem I found among all those “Good Morning” messages in the family Whats App group.

Why I say gem because I have not read this perspective earlier and it was hitting it home big time.

I am curious what do you think as a couple or as a parent. Do let me know.

———– x ———–

He grinned when he saw his daughter, and her husband as he walked into the house.
The old man, was on one of his rare visits to his daughter and son- in-law.

He met them in the Diwali vacation.
This was needed to comfort the old man from loneliness after his wife’s demise seven months ago.

After dinner that evening, he whispered to his son-in-law that if they didn’t mind, he would love to have a quick word with the couple after the children had gone to bed.

By 9pm, the couple was back in the living room to hear what the old man had to say.

He started by asking them a simple question.
“What is the most important thing in your life beti?
She replied, “Daddy, it is the kids !!! They mean everything to me”..

He then turned and asked his son-in-law the same question, he also (beaming with pride) said :
“it is the kids of course; they are the reason why I work so hard to ensure they have a better life”

“Well said my children. I don’t mean to intrude on how to run your family life, but I believe there is a fundamental error you will need to correct. He said “ I have observed how much you both love your kids and dedicate all your time for them……

I have observed that almost all your conversation borders mostly on the kids.” The couple nodded in admission to the assertion.

He continued, “I am a poultry farmer, and the biggest egg supplier in my district. I make my money by the quantity of eggs sold. That said, my priority has always been providing optimal care for the chicken. Because, I know that when the chicken are healthy and productive, the eggs will automatically be bountiful.
If I start to ignore the chicken, the eggs will also suffer.”

He pointed to his son-in-law and said, “as a husband, the most important person in your life should be your wife and vice versa.
It cannot be the kids. They are just products of the marriage.

If you learn to take care of each other very well, your kids will grow up healthy, happy and well-adjusted, but if you ignore each other, brace yourself up for dysfunctional kids in the future.

The two of you are the foundation of this family. If you suffer any crack, the whole house will go down. So please make time for yourself and treat each other as PRIORITY and the kids will be just fine.

This has been the secret of the fruitful union between your Mother and Myself for over 50 years till death took her from me.

The old man’s eyes welled up with tears at this stage.
He thanked the couple for their time and excused himself to his room.

If care is not taken, this magical connection gets weakened, thereby opening up a marriage to all sorts of strange elements and even divorce.

Let kids observe that your spouse means the world to you and if you are to choose between them and your spouse, it will always be your spouse.

Give the kids the love and attention they deserve but not at the cost of neglecting each other.

It is your marriage that will sustain your kids, not vice versa. The kids are just the bonus.

Dr. Nisreen Merchant
Psychotherapist

Talking Helps… Talking Heals

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