Trickle-down Family Economics
“Should there be a sudden change in cabin pressure, please place the oxygen mask on yourself and then assist your child.” The first time I heard this sentence I said, “WHAT??!!” As a 12-year-old who had never experienced flight safety instructions before, I wondered why the child couldn’t be helped first. Shouldn’t the child be protected before the adult? I don’t get it.
As an adult and a Registered Nurse, I get it now. Take care of yourself so that you can take care of others. Get a flu shot so you can care for patients who have the flu. Got it. As a wife and mother, I get it, but rarely do it. I am not alone.
I lead infant parenting classes full of mothers that don’t do it. They are beautiful, wonderful, talented, brilliant women that struggle to take care of themselves and their marriages. They excel at caring for everything and everyone else, but they are exhausted and their husbands are frustrated. Newlyweds do not struggle with the concept of first feeding the marriage because there aren’t any other mouths to feed.
But when the precious mouths come into the world, most couples who have been dancing a waltz start line dancing. They open up their stance, settle for holding hands, and rarely gaze into each other’s eyes. Everyone learns the frantic daily dance of the household routine and does their part not to break the sequence. It’s up-beat, fun when everyone is in-step, and additional dancers are easily accommodated, but no one is certain who is leading the dance and mom and dad cannot even remember the soothing melody of their waltz.
Is this happening in your house? Perhaps we should “slow this buggy down” as my Grandpa would say and teach our kids the waltz. Anybody can FALL in love. It’s STAYING in love that separates the men from the boys. Show them how a person STAYS in love. Go out on a date (lakeside burgers and dogs can be just as romantic as fireside surf and turf---it’s all in the presentation), get away for a weekend (don’t give me the “I’m still nursing” excuse---that’s why God created breastpumps), meet for lunch and a helping of “afternoon delight” for dessert. Do whatever strikes your match, but take care of your marriage. Fill that cup so that it then “trickles down” to the children.
Gloria Dudney, RN, IBCLC, RLC is a Board Certified Lactation Consultant and has taught new parent classes for more than 10 years.
Gloria Dudney, RN, IBCLC, RLC