Friday, 4 October 2013

Heart failure

This post is sponsored by Philips Avent.

A few weeks ago my wife and I had a fight. It was our anniversary that day. Ouch, I know. 5 years of marriage and 2 kids later, it seemed like we had stopped moving forward. It’s more complicated than that of course. Marriage is a complicated beast. And most of the time, at least in our case, the things that complicate it are the things that are left unsaid.

And this is where people tell you that you have to constantly work at your marriage. Well, one thing they don’t tell you is how tiring it can be. It’s tiring if you haven’t had a decent night’s sleep in 3 years. It’s tiring if your child has been sick for an entire week. It’s tiring if your other child was also sick AT THE SAME TIME. And it’s tiring if the parents of said children WERE ALSO SICK AT THE SAME TIME.

Opening up and talking and being patient and vulnerable and honest and trusting and loving and all those things suddenly become extra hard to do when your concerns are – god I need my child to sleep so he can get better so I can sleep, so that I can get better too. But he’s in such a foul mood that he can’t sleep and just wants to cry and scream in my ear while I carry him with no hope of calming him down.

Harakiri! Seppuku!

So when a husband / wife issue comes up, well, there’s just no more patience or understanding left to hand out. I shut down. Communication lines are down. There’s a power failure in my heart.

We spent our anniversary not talking to each other, tending to our sick children and trying not to get in each other’s way. That feeling was far worse than the crying of my child in my ear. It sucked the life out of me.

Talking and being honest with one another can be a pride-swallowing siege. Sometimes we feel like we have to win an argument. Or convince the other person that you’re right and they’re wrong. And by the way, arguing is not talking. Arguing is unleashing hell on the other person for the sake of unloading your feelings. That doesn’t really help, even if you have the loudest voice in the room.

Besides, when was the last time you ever won an argument with your wife? And even if you won that argument, did it make you feel good? Probably not, because you probably brought up other issues from the past and used them like ammunition in an ever growing arms race of resentments and mistakes.

And the more you don’t talk, the worse it all gets.

And you start feeling like it’s too late. 10 years go by. 20 years go by. And you’re just surviving. You pour yourself into other things. Maybe your children, your work, your friends, your hobbies, whatever you can just so you don’t have to look your partner in the eye and …. talk. And be vulnerable. And be honest. And be afraid that what you say may make them leave you for good. Or make them realize that you aren’t worth loving.

10 years go by. 20 years go by and you’re gripped in fear of what the other person is thinking and feeling. You’re a hostage in your own life. Unable to be yourself, to be happy, to love.

This is what I tell myself when my wife and I fight. It helps me get over myself. It pulls me back to a place where we can talk. And be vulnerable. And be honest. And be afraid. Because you never really know how your partner is going to react to what you say. But you say it anyway because it’s coming from love.

That’s who you are and that’s what you do. You love.

Many of the things I’ve learned, I got from Coach Pia by attending her talks sponsored by Philips Avent. Our last SoMoms #BetterMe session with Coach Pia was held at Babyland Spaces where she talked about being better parents by being better spouses to one another. When you have a solid and supportive marriage where the both of you work together as a team, parenting children, even devil children, becomes much easier. So don’t fight with your spouse, especially not on your anniversary.

I know I’ve said this before but honestly, Philips Avent makes the best stuff. One of their products is so cool I’m thinking of using it for myself. It’s a food tray with a suction cup at the bottom. I can now have my lunch in the car while driving. (totally not safe, please don’t do this.) But if your child uses it, well, no more spilled food trays on the floor. That’s how suction cups work.

The orange thing on the left is my new lunch tray.

Also Babyland has revamped their image and their store along Shaw Boulevard. Now you can find among the baby products there, “Spaces” – an events place located on the second floor where you can have parties and functions and what not. The cool thing about Spaces is it has a big kiddie play area with toys, padded mats and play houses. So if you have a function for adults, you can still bring the kiddos along. This is great for overly attached parents with separation anxiety.

Also thank you to Mere et Bebe and Their Luvable Friends for the lovely gift. My child has already claimed it as his own. Mostly with his saliva.

Baby clothes by Mere et Bebe.

Find Mere et Bebe and Their Luvable Friends products at Baby Company, Landmark Trinoma and Makati, and of course at Babyland.

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