What Kids Really Need Beyond Constant Attention
Updated: May 20
I was recently catching up with an old friend on how things were going in his life and marriage. Because – you know me — I love to hear about all things love and marriage!
What he told me compelled me to share this with you today. He said he’s felt lonely and isolated from his family ever since the kids were born.
He doesn’t feel like his wife has much interest in him. When he does try to share the things that are going on for him, her attention is often ripped away from him by their children — she focuses mainly on the kids. He’s felt so lonely for so long.
This is not an uncommon experience for modern men. As women, when our children come along, we can feel like we need to give our kids so much of our attention. Before the babies, our husbands were the center of so much of our attention…after the babies, he barely registers in our awareness.
And our men get lonely. They feel left out. They feel unimportant to us, they miss the radiance of our attention that we previously showered on them.
What’s interesting about this is that we as women think we’re doing the right thing by turning so much of our focus on our children.
And no wonder, look around at the messaging we receive from our culture of what being a good mom means, about how much we need to put into mothering, about how perfect we need to be at it, and about how much the kids need. The “Super Mom” has become an idolized symbol of what it means to be a great mom that we frantically aspire towards. Sometimes so much we forget about being a loving wife. Or being loving to ourselves!
So, it’s not your fault if this is an ideal you've fallen into! I believed it for years in my first marriage.
But it is a mistake. Because, do you know what kids really need beyond constant attention?
They need the foundation of their parents having a strong marriage.
They need the cradle of their parents’ loving marriage to hold and nurture them.
They need the security of harmony between parents.
They need fully alive role models.
They need parents who go on dates and love being with one another.
They need to be immersed in the joy, the laughter, and the soft sensuality that’s infused into their home when their parents spend loving time together.
They need to see you going out together and coming home with your head and hearts lit up, joy written all over your face because you feel such love and connection to the person you’re raising this family with!!!
What the children don’t need is a mother who disregards their father, a mother who’s angry at their father, or a mother who is no longer alive with her sensuality and fullness of heart, because she’s too busy attending to the children’s every whim.
By giving your children every bit of your attention, everything you think they need, you don’t give them what they most need. And you risk your marriage becoming a lonely, barren, and unhappy place for you all.
My friend is an amazing man and he’s stuck with it. And his wife is an amazing woman with the most loving intentions.
Just like you and your husband.
The only thing that went wrong here is an over focus on the kids and under focus on her partner, herself, and her marriage (perhaps even by just 10%).
If you’ve been making this same mistake, you can correct it by letting yourself love this man, making time for him, and giving him the gift of your present ears and your cherishing eyes.
Start by giving him that just 10% more, and see what it shifts for ALL of you!