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Stop the presses! A mother has declared in public that she prioritizes her marriage over her baby. Gasp! Giuliana Rancic, breast cancer survivor, new mom, and gem of the red carpet, says that she and hubby Bill put their own relationship first, and baby Duke comes second. First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage, right Giuliana?!
Surely her words are going to sound outrageous to a lot of people. It does seem rather shocking when you see "We put our baby second" in black and white; as a mom it’s counterintuitive to think of putting my child second to anything, and it’s even harder to imagine admitting that I did out loud. But the heart of what Rancic is saying makes a LOT of sense.
We're husband and wife, but we're also best friends, and it's funny because a lot of people, when they have kids, they put the baby first, and the marriage second. That works for some people. For us, I find, we put our marriage first and our child second, because the best thing we can do for him is have a strong marriage.
True dat, Giuliana. It’s the old airplane oxygen mask analogy. We have to take care of ourselves and our relationships with our co-parent (if we have one), in order to be able to give our children the best care, the best home, and the best example of the kind of loving relationships we want THEM to have when they grow up.
So we're even stronger than we ever were before and even imagined we could be. Like Oscar morning, Duke wakes up, like, twice during the night because he's so hungry and wants to eat every four hours. So Bill, like, no question was like 'I got it. Tonight you get a good night's sleep.' And when Bill has shoots the next day or meetings the next day, I do it ... It's kind of amazing ... I always say to Bill, 'You were my first baby,' because he was! He was my first love and my first baby and Duke is my second baby.
So really, what Rancic is saying is that she and Bill are totally devoted to each other, they love each other madly, and they WANT to take care of each other, which makes it easier and more natural for them to share the responsibility of caring for their baby, whom they also love madly. You know what? That Duke, aka "the cutest baby ever" according to Rancic, is one lucky little guy.
Now, altruism aside, here’s another fact: it’s not just better for BABY to maintain this kind of philosophy -- it’s better for us as parents! We who had actual names before we became Mom and Dad.
My own "baby" Isabella is about to turn 10, and it’s becoming very real to me that in a few short years she will be leaving for college and, after that, the world. She’ll always be my baby, and I swear if I could transform us into some kind of marsupial family and keep her with me in a cozy pouch always, I would want to. (You think I’m kidding but I'm not; I tease Isabella that I’m coming to college with her and I’m only half kidding.) But of course that’s not how it works, and if my husband and I do our jobs right, in less time than we’ve had with her already, Isabella will be ready to leave us. It’s heartbreaking but it’s right and good ... and then what? Then it will be back to just the two of us. If our entire existence has been focused on our baby for the past 18 years, what does that leave us with when the nest is empty?
Are you shocked that Giuliana Rancic says she puts her marriage first?
Image via david_shankbone/Flickr