It seems obvious to me but sometimes I look around and I wonder whether I’m weird. I’ll be honest, my husband thought I was weird at first too but this is what I believe: my marriage is more important than my kids. I’m not suggesting I love my kids less than I love my husband. I’m not sure any love for a human that you didn’t heave out of your fanny can come even close to that instinctive, overwhelming, unconditional love you feel for your kids but that’s kind of the point. Right?

You love your kids and your kids love you in a way that you couldn’t really love anyone else, including your husband. The love you have for your husband isn’t biological, instinctive, automatic. It’s chosen, nurtured, created. That it will last a lifetime isn’t a given. Get complacent about your love for your husband and it won’t end well and yet, that relationship is the bedrock of your happy family.

So, in a nutshell, that’s why I make my relationship with my husband a priority. That’s why I’m all about a babysitter, date nights, and a weekend at Granny’s house. I’m all for telling my Small I can’t play tea-parties with her right now because I’m having a conversation with my husband while we digest our days, vent our anger, show each other we’re there for each other in a way that only a shared, stolen few minutes amidst the chaos of Project Family can.

After all, this is how this crazy ride began. It started when we went on our very first date ten years ago to a Mexican restaurant in Harrogate. It started when Jimmy was so nervous he ate almost nothing and spent most of the night in the bathroom. It started when we bumped uglies for the first time. It started when we built our relationship despite the distance between Yorkshire and London. It started when I moved back to London to be with him. It started when we moved into our first flat, had our first fight, bought our first car, bought our first house. It started when we went on our first holiday together, went to our first gig together, met each other’s families, discovered each other’s friends. It started when we went to our friends’ weddings, birthdays and parties – when we started getting invites to Cat & Jimmy. It started when we held each others’ hands when shit went really, really wrong. It started when we cried and laughed and danced and got pissed together. It started when he proposed to me on Brooklyn Bridge, when we walked down the aisle in a chateau in France and when we first saw that positive sign on the pregnancy test.

The point is, our relationship is so much more than our kids. It’s our twenties, our thirties, it’s our shared experiences, the things we remember. It’s the old photos and the down-and-dirty mucky cuddles that got us into this fine and beautiful mess in the first place. Forget that at your peril. Ignore that and you’re in trouble.

The most important thing to me is that we maintain our relationship. When I’ve left my kids to spend time with my husband, people have said, “Why would you have kids if you don’t want to be with them?” My response? “Why would you get married if you don’t want to have a relationship with them?”

But you know what else? I’m aware every day that our relationship sets an example for my daughter. I don’t just want her to see two carers co-existing to ensure she lives, breathes, has clean clothes, food on the table and a 24 hours taxi service when required. I want her to see us as a couple that shares something that she isn’t a part of but that she can see is wonderful. I want her to understand that love between two people is a magical, special thing that she was lucky enough to witness every single day. I want her to wander in and find us sneaking in a smooch, holding hands while we watch TV. When we leave her with a grandparent or a babysitter, all dressed up with somewhere fabulous to go, I want her to think how beautiful we look as a couple not because we’re rocking some kick ass threads but because we are in love.

There’s always, always time for kids. When you think about it those date nights, those stolen weekends, those kid-free holidays make up such a small amount of time. Nurturing your relationship doesn’t equal neglecting your children. It won’t end in disaster or doom. It’ll be the best thing you ever do, for you and your kids.


  1. Liza smith says:

    100% agree . My beautiful children are now 23 and 18.
    Paul and I met when we were 17 and 18 (34 years ago!)
    We have always enjoyed weekends away together, usually to see gigs around the country, staying in hotels.
    We slacked a bit 8 years ago, split up for 3 months, worked it out and made new promises that we would return to making time for each other.sometimes life gets in the way, especially when one of you owns a business and travels a lot.
    We are back on track and have had a holiday to southern Italy this year, and have 2 gig weekenders booked.
    My kids are among the most confident, well adjusted humans I know, and they still roll their eyes at our apparently obscenely active sex life!!


  2. The Whole 9 Months says:

    I’m so in love with this blog and having devoted my life to my (now 20,17,12) kids I ended with a divorce as the marriage feel apart from not being nurtured like my kids had.

    Now 2nd time around, we have a 4 year old BUT you’ve just reminded me that we also have each other and will forever (crosses all my shit) I’ve gotta up my marriage game, I’ve gotta be more Cat & Jimmy ❤ xx


    • catsims says:

      You’re so lovely but don’t think for a second that we always get it right!! We drop the ball occasionally too but just keeping it in mind is sometimes enough because it doesn’t have to be big nights out or fancy weekends away. It can just be enough to make sure they know that you acknowledge your relationship beyond the kids. Enjoy it mama xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Corky says:

    This is really lovely… but now I feel really sad for my little ones as I’m in the midst of leaving their daddy because he’s addicted to alcohol. Nor everyone is so lucky I guess… Hopefully I can be a good enough role model mummy by myself 😢


    • catsims says:

      Of course you can. It sounds like you already are. This is not going to apply to every situation and this isn’t about making a bad marriage good or a bad man good. It’s more about making sure something good stays that way. I’m so sorry to hear about your situation. That’s really tough…you are more than enough for your kids. Big love mama xxx


    • The Whole 9 Months says:

      Oh Corky, we all do what’s best for our little ones, I left my kids dad and he wasn’t addicted to alcohol, sometimes relationships don’t work out how we first planned them to but that doesn’t mean you’ll be a rubbish role model 😢 it will all be ok, I can promise you that 😘 much love mama xx


  4. Mama says:

    This is so true and so so important…but reeeeally hard to implement without feeling incredibly guilty! We are totally crap at organising time as a couple, we’ve cancelled countless trips away in the last 5 years or swapped sexy, boutique hotels for family rooms at a Holiday Inn because I couldn’t bring myself to travel without the boys…(if he’s totally honest, Husband didn’t feel the same way which I then got mad at him for!!) But our relationship does need some TLC and my Husband does deserve to feel the centre of attention, even if it’s just for 24hrs. You’ve spurred me on, am off to book something! Thank you x


    • catsims says:

      It can be incredibly hard to implement but you just have to let go of the guilt and enjoy it. It’s important that your kids see it – you’re actually setting the best example for them. They should see the love between you guys. They should see a bond that is nothing to do with them…otherwise, what’s the point? Just to create more humans? There’s more to life than that xx

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Cary ann says:

    I love this post!! Had a similar conversation with a friend about not always putting your children at the centre of your world…that no one human being is more important than another…teaching your children that gives then a false sense of importantance and self centredness. It’s an important lesson for your kids to see an adult relasionship beteeen 2 people being nurtured…even better if it’s their parents …it gives them a great example of a healthy relasionship !!
    Thanks for this awesome post !! X


  6. emmasmithproofreader says:

    Yes! Exactly! There’s nothing wrong with date nights and date weekends. You absolutely have to celebrate each other and your relationship. Why have I felt so guilty about doing this (until recently). I’m going to show this to my hubby and I know he’ll be nodding too. 🙂 xx


  7. Kate says:

    Having just read your latest post about marriage being TOUGH (errrm, YES! Post-partum mum RAGE sufferer here) I was directed to this (algorithm success!) & I found myself feeling guilty even reading it, while obviously automatically nodding along in agreement. My son is 18 months old & we’ve been on 3 date nights without him… That’s it!! And the first one was a disaster anyway as I was drugged up for some unpleasant post-babe joys. So, in fairness, I work 4 days a week & the husband’s full time, plus the issue of having no family nearby (even less so after the recent move to Harrogate) but it’s just thinking about spending the time & money on just us as a couple, sends me into a cold sweat. BUT this setting an example of love thing is so right! If we don’t show him that we genuinely care for each other & value our time together, then what’s the point. I grew up with divorced parents & ridiculously doting/devoted grandparents so I guess I just never saw it… Pact made. Project marriage is ON.

    Thank you. X


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