Calm, Cool and Committed

Three Moms and a Dude

Whom do you love?*

on August 23, 2012

The Hands of My Two Loves

Several years ago, writer Ayelet Waldman made headlines when she proudly announced she loved her husband more than her children. Moms across the globe were appalled at such a statement. In fact, she was called out on national television as a bad mother.

I remember the furor over this, and I can remember NOT being shocked by her proclamation. While I didn’t have children at the time to sympathize with her, I could definitely understand where she came from. After all, when we think of the phrase “one true love,” it’s a spouse, not a child that pops up in our minds.

Now, please, before we continue, I am NOT saying that I love Hubby more than Bud. That’s just not true. But I’m also not like those moms and dads who say their children will always outrank their spouses.

In my life, I love Hubby and Bud the same – but not equally.

I have a protective love for Bud. He needs me. I’m like a mama bear when it comes to him. I love him so much that I want to look out for him always. I want to protect him from heartbreak, from physical pain, from disappointments and crushed dreams. Truly my affection for him is a maternal one.

I don’t love Hubby like that. He doesn’t need my protection. And while I hope he’s never sad, he doesn’t need me to run interference for him. When I have a problem (or a joy), the first person I want to tell is Hubby. To some extent, Hubby knows me just as well as I know myself. He’s my confidante in every sense of the word. Bud will never (and really should never) fill that role.

I love my husband because he’s my best friend. I love my son because he’s literally part of me. I do not love one more than the other.

One of the things that keeps me up at night – seriously – is the thought of the future. One day, Bud will grow up. He’ll leave home. He’ll find a woman (or a man) whom he loves.

This woman won’t love him more than I do, but she will love him better than I can.

Trust me, I want Bud to have a wife who loves him, who can make him happy. But I will be sad, so sad, that the boy I devoted my life and love to has left me.

And that’s why I’m glad that I don’t love Bud more than I love Hubby. I know a few people who love their children more than their spouses and I worry about then. Eventually their children will leave. What will they be left with then? A spouse who remembers being second best for 25 years?

I’m not sure how those people’s twilight years will end, but God willing, I know that I’ll have someone holding me when I cry because Bud’s packed his bags and started his own life. And we’ll get through it together.

*Note: I write about the future and knock on wood. I hope for a long and happy and healthy life for my family.


5 responses to “Whom do you love?*

  1. Matt says:

    When little guy grows up and moves away, we’ll just follow him (discreetly and at a distance).

  2. Naomi Atkins says:

    Nat… I LOVE this blog post!!!!!! I think the exact same thoughts… well said!! And, if you choose to look at it from a biblical perspective, the marriage relationship is supposed to come first. It’s hard for me, with five children, but I have to often remind myself that my relationship with my husband has to be taken care of as well! Good, thought provoking post.

  3. Kristin says:

    This is a great post. It made me think long and hard about my response, and I agree with you 100%. It’s so hard when they are so young to made your spouse as much a priority as they. Thanks for posting this.

  4. Miranda says:

    I love both of my kids and my husband! My love for each of them is very different, but I love them all like crazy! Good post! =)

    Oh, and I disagree that husbands come and go and children are forever. Their are plenty of sad cases where children and parents haven’t spoken for years or stop speaking completely.

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