In the movie The Incredibles Helen Parr whips out her Elastigirl arms to separate her two oldest children during dinner as they try to kill each other under the table.
But Carrie as Elastigirl feels pulled and torn between children on one side and husband on the other. Everyone wants me to be on their side, wants me to meet a need they have. Everyone grabs an arm and stretches, using me in their game of tug-a-war.
Both my mother and Ayelet Waldman have said, "Love your husband more than your kids because one day your children will leave you but your husband will still be around." At it's most basic, I agree and get it, but I think trying to equate one's love for a husband to one's love for one's children is flat out stupid. There is no comparison---two totally different kinds of love.
My love for my kids is primal. I would kill for them, and I would die for them. I carried them within my body, I suckled them, I am with them constantly----there is no other relationship that will ever compare to this.
But they will leave me, and because they are children and I am their mother, they can never fulfill me completely on an adult level. As children they are immature and whiney and annoying a good portion of the time, which is why I have my husband (although most women I know could and do say the same things about their husbands). I also have my friends and this blog. And things I want to do in the future.
I am not in love with my children, but most of the time I also do not feel in love with my husband. Maybe it is due to being Elastigirl. Trying to keep the kids quiet and getting frustrated by how impossible this is to do so D can sleep in on the weekend (being pulled by his needs). Getting the kids a snack for the 11th time in one day even as I'm trying to prepare supper and their dad is sitting right there and could easily do it instead of me (being pulled by their needs). Being tugged on and nursed on and hugged on all day and then knowing my husband has physical needs as well.
Elastigirl can only stretch so far.