This Is Why It’s Easy To Be A Dad, And Hard To Be A Husband

Yesterday, my son woke up at five in the morning.  As much as I want to wake up with him, sometimes it can be tough.  On this particular morning, it was really tough.  He screamed at the top of his lungs for his bottle.  I picked him up, walked over to the fridge, grabbed a four ounce bottle, sat down on the couch, and started feeding my son.

As he chugged away at his meal, I started to think.  I started to think about how we, as parents, are forced into these new routines…in service of our kids.  I am ok with it; much more ok with it than I thought I would be.  It becomes your normal – the way things are, and the way things will be.

But I became sad.  I became a little bit angry.   I wasn’t sure why, until one word kept popping up in my head.


My focus is so much on Benjamin and his routines…that I’ve lost focus on my wife.  I promised her that this wouldn’t happen.  We promised each other, in fact.

It’s deeper than a loss of focus.  I still love her.  I love her even more than I did before the kid.  It’s about attention.

It’s about a focus on making her feel special.  There are less surprises now that we’ve settled into our marriage, and settled into parenthood.  I can’t remember the last time I bought her flowers, just because she deserves them.

Is there a way to be a great husband and a great parent?

I heard a great metaphor from memoir writer, Marion Roach Smith.  It goes something like this (with some of my thoughts added in):  Imagine there is a large pepperoni pizza in front of you.  Let’s call it a pepperoni “attention” pie.  Imagine that each member of your family gets an even slice of that pizza.  Even the four month old.

The question to me is:  does the attention pie get bigger when we add one person to the family? Or does each slice get smaller?  Do we have an abundance mindset, or a scarcity mindset?

Here’s my answer:  that all depends on ME.  I control the attention that I give my wife.  I can give the flower shop a call, and surprise her with flowers.  And I will.

Don’t let yourself settle into the excuses.  It’s ok to be budget conscious when it comes to your finances…but don’t do it with your marriage.

Not to mention, I’ll always take a bigger pepperoni pizza.Thought Catalog Logo Mark


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