Month 18: Isn’t It Romantic?

This may come as a shock to you, but … I’m not Heidi Klum. “WHAT?!” you’re probably thinking. “You’re not the internationally famous German supermodel, host of ‘Project Runway,’ and mother of three married to the sexy recording artist Seal?!” I know. Sorry to disappoint. (What, like Heidi has time to blog??)

But just how much I am NOT Heidi Klum was driven home to me one day while watching Oprah. See, the show was about “Power Couples” and what it’s like to live their fabulous lives. Normally, I would have shut off the TV in disgust (or is it envy?), except I was intrigued by Seal’s quite appealing accent. Something he said really made an impact on me. He said that Heidi is his best friend and that despite their having three kids and wildly successful careers, he makes it a point to always put her first. In fact, Seal had a little saying: “Happy wife, happy life.”

Can I get that on a bumper sticker? Better yet, can my HUSBAND get that on a bumper sticker? ‘Cause I don’t think he got that memo. OK, that’s not fair. C. is a very sweet guy. He pulled off a super romantic surprise proposal back in the day. Not quite as over-the-top as Seal’s proposal to Heidi, which reportedly involved him BUILDING AN IGLOO, strewing it with rose petals, and secretly whisking his bride-to-be there in a helicopter!! That would make any normal guy seem like an unimaginative slug in comparison.

But I don’t even care about the igloo or the rose petals or the 10-carat (!!) canary yellow diamond engagement ring. It’s the “putting my wife first” part I like. I don’t think C. and I have put each other first since the baby was born. Our list of priorities looks something like this:

1. Miles
2. C.'s job
3. My job
4. Home repairs
5. Us

It’s not that we don’t value each other and our relationship, it’s just that life always seems to get in the way. Some days I see my husband only in 20-min. increments: before he goes to work, during the post-work hand-off before I go to the gym or to run errands, and after Miles goes to bed and before I do. (C. likes to stay up late.)

We plan the occasional date night, but when it comes to shelling out hard-earned money on dinner and a sitter or on a much-needed home repair, the house usually wins. (For instance, last weekend C. had to fix the bathroom sink because Miles has now figured out how to throw things down the drain.) And when it comes to spending time alone together or sleeping, sleep usually wins. Whoever said early parenthood wasn’t romantic, huh?

I don’t usually spend much time worrying about it, though. Probably because my time is spent prying sharp objects out of a small person’s hands and fishing toothbrushes out of sink drains. But when I see beautiful people like Heidi Klum and Seal holding hands and beaming about how romantic their life is, even with small kids at home … then I start to think I’m missing out. Of course, it’s easy to be spontaneous and romantic when you’ve got nannies on call 24/7, right? Heck, Oprah probably babysits for them herself!

Besides, when it comes right down to it, I’d take a foot rub over a rose-petal-strewn igloo anyday. Hear that, sweetie?

TIP O’ THE WEEK: How about, don’t compare yourself to fabulously wealthy celebrities. Be grateful for the life you’ve got, which hopefully doesn’t include paparazzi jumping out of bushes when you walk outside in your robe to get the paper. ;)

SHOUT-OUT: To me, since this is my 100th post!


ka said...

Great post!

The good part is that it gets easier as the kid(s) grow. You are definitely not alone in the challenge of balancing motherhood and marriage.

And I agree, Happy wife, Happy Life should be a bumpersticker. Too funny! (I already told my husband about it.) It's sort of a take-off from "If mama ain't happy, then nobody's happy..." but a much more positive spin. ;-)

writermeeg said...

Great post! Your blog looks awesome and I look forward to writing alongside you at Writer Mama! :)

writermama said...

This is hilarious. And so true.

Why not submit it to the zine Hip Mama?

Jennifer said...

I'm not exactly sure how I stumbled upon your blog, but I did, and I'm glad because I really like it! I'm reading your week-by-week posts you wrote when you were still pregnant. I'm 32 weeks pregnant with my first and it helps to know that there are others who have experienced some of the same symptoms, etc. Great blog!

Shawn said...

I just had this thought over the weekend about how my vision of the perfect man/husband/marriage is based entirely on what I've seen in movies and, also, among celebrities. I guess because I don't have any real life examples of a great, real -- but normal -- marriage. I always thought it was just the fairytale books for girls, but now I realize it's the fairy tale movies for adults as well that keep us clamoring for more, more , more.

I agree, though, happy wife, happy life.

Mom2Miles said...

Thanks, all! Glad to know I'm not the only one performing this balancing act.

And, Jennifer, glad you found the blog archives. Don't let me scare you off parenthood! It's great, I swear. :)

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