In the midst of all this talk about children and how to keep them from becoming assholes, let’s not forget about the foundation of the family: the relationship between the parents.
Call it a “marriage,” “partnership,” or my own personal favorite – “thanks for your input, let’s do it my way.”
FULL DISCLOSURE: I’m a pain in the ass, and have no right telling anyone how to be united in love or, at the very least, tolerance. I’ll just talk about what’s worked for me and others I know.
There is no one recipe. Kick-ass kids come from all kinds of families – moms and dads who are married or divorced, two moms, two dads, single moms, single dads, and couples who had the good goddamn sense to forgo marriage completely for a really long courtship.
I mean, seriously. Think of all those things your SO did before you said, “I do.” Think about them often, especially when you retrieve toenail clippings from under the bed. That woman who decided to date her mate “for life” instead of getting married isn’t looking too stupid right about now, is she?
Marc and I have been together over twenty years and we still like each other. I have friends in similar situations. We believe it’s important for both parents to be in the house and raise children together – peacefully and happily. Period. Authors and self-help gurus try to make this seem complicated and confusing. It’s not.
According to the experts (read: couples who are making it work) here’s how to live with a woman.
Listen to her stories. Don’t offer solutions and stop trying to fix everything. Just listen to what she has to say.
Or work out of town.
Practice the art of smiling and nodding. Sure, it encourages crazy talk. But it also encourages understanding and, every once in a while, oral.
Compliment her every day. Leave yourself notes if you have to or maybe even set your smart phone to go off every five hours with a reminder to text her, “You’re a great mom” or simply “I love you.” Tell her she looks nice. It won’t kill you.
Tidy yourself up a bit. We can accept love handles if you’d simply trim the nose and ear hair. And keep both areas free from gunk.
Don’t be lazy. Look around. There is always something to hammer or someone to burp. Pick up your underwear, put down the toilet seat and wipe it off when you’re done, and throw those toenail clippings in the trash.
Here’s how to live with a man.
Cook a nice dinner and fuck him regularly.
No? Then let me elaborate.
Dinner, especially with the kids, can cement the foundation of a happy home. Order out or learn seven to ten decent recipes. It’s a great time to put into practice the art of being kind and loving – every day, if you can.
As far as sex goes…
Some women aren’t interested in sex after giving birth. I was, for a time, completely exhausted. After nursing and caring for two demanding babies, at the end of the day, I just wanted to sleep. So I totally get it.
But if your man has gotten off his ass and pitched in around the house, corner him in the laundry room and bend over. It’ll do you both some good.
It helps to consider yourselves a team. If one works outside the home and the other works with the baby all day, or even if you both work outside the home, develop a plan to split the work in the evening.
Example: If you make dinner, your SO cleans up the dishes. If he’s entertaining the kids, you make lunches for the next day.
Weekends are no different.
You clean the inside of the house. Lover cleans the cars. You skim the pool. She makes sure the lawn is done. And when your kids are old enough to play video games and shoot snot at least five feet for fun, they are old enough for chores. Everybody works!
Due to my opinionated columns, many mistakenly assume I wear the pants in the family. I don’t. I wear tight skirts and fuck-me heels. Marc and I head up this show together. It got more complicated after the kids were born, but then the need to adjust applies again.
Let’s face it, it’s easy to lose that lovin’ feeling when your SO smells like regurgitated breast milk and accidentally sticks butt paste up your hoo-ha when you asked for Astroglide. (Both tubes look the same in the dark.)
But really, you’re no prize either. Have you looked in the mirror lately? Your hair resembles a science experiment and the last time Lover squeezed your breasts, one of them squirted something. You both have to put forth some effort.
Summon a babysitter and get out of the house.
This should be a weekly tradition, like church and blow jobs. Hold his hand. Talk about something besides reflux and your new oatmeal cookie recipe. You don’t have to take out a small loan for dinner and a movie.
Date night doesn’t need to be expensive.
Take a walk around the block. Buy a six-pack and sit out under the stars. Have sex in your car. Do something. Even if you can’t get a babysitter, put the little rugrat in a car seat after sleepy time and just drive. Talk. At one point, the two of you had something to say to each other. Try to get that back.
And learn to ignore the smell of butt paste.