Reflections on 'parenthood religion' are spot on — and I'm terrified

Oct 3, 2014 at 4:00 p.m. ET
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When I first saw an article on how American parenting is killing the American marriage show up on Facebook, I was intrigued. But as I began to read on, the tightening in my chest confirmed one thing: I am this parent they are talking about. While I want to be both a good wife and a good mom, I have to admit these reflections on parenthood as a religion are spot on — and I'm terrified.

Parenting is a different experience for everyone, but the essay How American parenting is killing the American marriage definitely hit the nail on the head when it likened parenting to religion in our society — and our marriages are suffering for it. For me, being a mom isn't just what I do; it's who I am, and I don't want it to ruin a perfectly good love affair with my husband.

Parenting changes your marriage unlike any way you'd ever expect. Honestly, it seems most disagreements are centered around our kids. While the bond between Mommy, Daddy and children is there, when it comes to picking teams, I find myself always putting my kids ahead of my husband. And I feel awful for it.

Now, you're probably thinking you've heard it a million times before: Make your marriage a priority once kids are added to the mix. But with the divorce rate rising for couples ages 50 years and older, it's a lot easier said than done. In a society of helicopter parenting and martyr mommying, it's not a far stretch to agree that the parenting religion is at the root of many neglected marriages. Tending to your marriage has become faux pas.

After I had my "oh my gosh this is me" moment and shed a few tears for the desire to make a change, a light bulb went off — calling it a religion isn't bad at all. Although admitting you worship any other god over your children will get you burned at the stake like Ayelet Waldman, I say you don't have to choose one over the other.

Although the reflections on the parenthood religion are spot on and I'm still terrified, perhaps the parenting religion movement can actually do us some good. Plenty of faiths put marriages hand in hand with your religion of choice, so it's possible for parenting to be the same, right? So instead of prioritizing marriage before parenting or putting my kids before my husband, I will continue to seek balance and have the best of both worlds — or at least do my best to do so.

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