Okay – everyone put on your serious face. Seriously.
I’ve been thinking. And, by the way, I always preface REALLY important topics (in conversation) with “I’ve been thinking…” so pay attention, folks.
Anyway, I’ve been thinking a lot about my marriage. I have the privilege of being married to a really wonderful guy who has an insane amount of patience for the silly things I do. I love him and have committed myself to a lifetime of preferring him. I would do anything I could to show Ryan that I’m dedicated to loving him. I want to take care of him, feed him, stock his closet with clean underwear, make him coffee, have his (many) babies, appreciate his hard work, encourage him, bless him, and persistently adore him despite any shortcomings. That’s only a glimpse of my heart for him.
It would make sense, then, to invest in my relationship with HIM more so than any other (person) – after all, I AM going to spend the rest of my life with him. It would also make sense to invest in my children – but NOT at the expense of my relationship with my husband.
You see – I came to a conclusion the other day. It is so easy to get sucked into parental consumerism (that’s what I’m calling it). It’s easy for me to say that I live simply because I homebirth, breastfeed, wear my babies, cloth diaper, cook/bake from scratch and with healthy, organic ingredients, and intend to homeschool. That all sounds pretty simplistic, doesn’t it? The truth, however, is that Consumerism is always calling our names, and he just wears a different disguise in this situation.
I love cloth diapering. It’s healthier than wrapping my baby in plastic and toxic chemicals, it’s economical, it’s environmentally responsible, and cloth diapered bums are CUTE. It’s EASY to convince myself, unfortunately, that I need the cutest, hippest, most up-to-date diapers. I have found myself spending hours upon hours thinking/researching/planning my cloth diapering journey. It’s easy to think that I need to extend my stash and try one of everything. It’s also easy to pity myself if I can’t afford to cloth diaper with anything other than prefolds, flats, and wool covers (although I do love me some wool covers).
But this begs the question: does Jack care what kind of cloth I diaper him in? Does Forrest care if he has 12 BumGenius all-in-one one-size organic diapers WITH SNAPS alongvwith his Indian prefolds?? No. They don’t care. They probably wouldn’t even notice if I diapered them in an old t-shirt.
The point is NOT that I shouldn’t want nice, high-quality things for my kids – the POINT is that my relationship with my kids will not suffer if I diaper them in prefolds as opposed to Fuzzibunz.
However, my relationship with my husband WILL suffer if I am so extremely obsessed with adding to my cloth diaper stash, owning all the different types of gorgeous slings, and dressing my kids in Lucky Brand clothing that I never invest (time, energy, AND our money) into him (and us).
My children’s emotional and physical well-being rest in my husband’s and my hands. We are responsible for loving them, disciplining them, educating them, and guiding them through their early years until the reach adulthood. But after that? It’s just me and hubby, honey. I cannot forget that the MOST important relationship I have here on earth is that which I share with my husband. My children need my love, but they won’t be under my roof forever. They were born to become independent adults.
I’m assuming that there will at least be someone out there who feels a bit skeptical because this topic is often misunderstood. Far be it from me to suggest that my children are unimportant, I can assure you. Simply put, I do not believe their well-being depends in the brand of cloth diapers they wear, the sling they’re cradled in, the diaper bag their things are stored in, the stroller they’re pushed in, or the clothing brands they’re dressed in.
They will find far more value in parents whose marriage is intact and even FULL of deep intimacy than they will in their parents’ insistence that they “only buy the BEST” for their kids.
That’s why I have made it my personal goal to invest in Ryan. Instead of taking any spare money and applying it toward a new sling, new cloth diapers, yet another diaper bag, or an expensive designer double stroller, I will consider our true needs as a couple. If those need are met and satisfied, then I will consider the items I can use for parenting my children in an efficient, natural and cost-effective way.
I’m laying in bed typing this on my iPhone’s WordPress app, and honestly, I’m tired now. Surely there is more to say. But I’ll leave you with that.