I bumped into a young friend this morning while walking in the park. I hadn’t seen her for a few months. She was sporting a baby snuggled up in a front pack. The last time I had seen her she was eagerly looking forward to this baby’s birth.
We chatted about her baby (a great joy), her health (good), her plans (being a stay-at-home-mommy). Then we got to topics I feel passionate about. Relationships!
I asked about her husband. She beamed as she told me he is so helpful and hands-on with their baby. She is so proud of him. I asked if she let him know frequently how much she appreciates his help and interest in their baby. “Of course!” she responded. “I want him to keep loving our son!” she continued.
I asked if they were living on their own or with parents. She explained that they are saving money for a place of their own, but that probably cannot happen for three or more years. They live with her mom. “Does your mom like your husband?” With a big grin she answered, “Yes!” I followed with, “Does your husband like your mom?” She giggled and said, “Yes!” I told her she was very fortunate. There are many moms in her situation who could not say this.
Then she offered the concern that she and her husband share. Since they are living with her mom, their baby gets much more time with her. His parents are feeling a bit jealous. They are afraid that they will miss out on too much of their grandson’s early years. My friend and her husband are doing the right thing about this, though. They are making a special point to plan time with his family too. Being aware of fears and jealousies is the biggest advantage in securing the relationships intact.
These relationships are the strong elastic that helps us stay together and yet stretch to include others we love and care about.