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Wednesday 25 April 2012

Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman - "It's my wife and then my daughters"

Some weeks ago I read the April issue of the Australian Women's Weekly and as I scanned the issue for what I wanted to read first, I came across the profile on Keith Urban. The juggernaut for 'The Voice' hadn't yet taken off, but I was more curious than usual about Mr Kidman - the ads were playing for what seemed like months, and I was warming more and more to 'Country Keef'. I did not expect to be more and more enamoured with the man, before I'd even finished the piece.

There were several quotes I loved: "I always believed in The One and I was tired of writing about it, but not ever experiencing it." And this one: "I still can't quite believe I got to marry her."

But this one in particular struck me: "We're very, very tight as a family unit and the children are our life, but I know the order of my love," he says. "It's my wife and then my daughters. I just think it's really important for the kids."

For weeks, I thought about this. And immediately I thought, this deserve a blog post.

All the while, in the back of my mind, I thought: 'I am guilty of this!' Sometimes, often even... my kids come first. Yep, I am one of 'those' women who, post-kids, devotes far more time to my children than my relationship.

The reality is: I don't have babysitters on tap, we don't pay strangers to babysit, and so the likelihood for 'date night' and spending quality time with the husband is greatly diminished. But then it occurred to me: we don't have to go out to show our children we know we come first, that our partnership is important. We can - and do - do it in simple ways.

Like hugging and kissing in front of the kids (and not stopping because they feel threatened). Like insisting the kids don't interrupt a conversation I am having with my husband (how many times have I said in exasperation: "God, I can't even have a conversation with my husband anymore!").

Like keeping our rule in the home that our kids are in bed by a certain [early] time, so we can just hang together, alone.

Oh, and this one, which my husband has been insistent on since day one: no kids in our bed. Ever. Don't even jump on our bed. It's sacred and it's ours and it's just for us. No exceptions. Oh wow, we are better at this than I thought!

But I won't lie: sometimes that skin to skin contact I have with my freshly washed poppets is all I need to nourish my need for human contact for the day.

My kids - especially my son, oh he has no limits - kiss me square on the mouth, and I love it. At day's end, sometimes I feel I have had my quota of 'I feel loved today'.

But, I know my husband's love is altogether different. And it needs daily nurturing. Because, yes... I do dread every couple's nightmare: to 'wake up one day, kids are grown up, look across the table... and you don't know your partner anymore.'

I know it will take a lot more than the above to keep love alive as the kids grow up. But actively taking steps will go some way in ensuring: my partner in life feels loved, and my children also feel loved. They are also a top priority... it's just... a different kind of love.

What do you do to keep the love alive? Do you think your relationship should come first? Or are your kids top of the list?

Please, share your thoughts, and explain what works for you. Oh, and have a read of this:

According to David Code, author of 'To Raise Happy Kids, Put Your Marriage First': "Today's number one myth about parenting is that the more attention we give our kids, the better they'll turn out. But we parents have gone too far: our over-focus on our children is doing them more harm than good," said Code, a family therapist and writer for the Wall Street Journal. "Families centred on children create anxious, exhausted parents and demanding, entitled children. We parents today are too quick to sacrifice our lives and our marriages for our kids. Most of us have created child-centred families, where our children hold priority over our time, energy and attention.

"But as we break our backs for our kids, our marriage and self-fulfilment go out the window while our kids become more demanding and dissatisfied," he added. Code believes today's children are troubled because they receive too much attention. "That's why children seem to have many more problems nowadays than we did, or our parents did," he said. "By killing ourselves to provide a perfect, trauma-free childhood for our children, we're wasting our energy. The greatest gift you can give your children is to have a fulfilling marriage yourself."

So: what do you think?


  1. *sigh* Why can't Keith be mine?!

  2. Ha, yes... especially after this line: "I still can't quite believe I got to marry her."