However we also know that this is a difficult balance to achieve. You could even argue that relationships of this nature are an urban myth, like water retention, or Ed Milliband. Never the less, here at HD we are nothing if not ambitious. So here is our guide to making your relationship flourish under the pressures of parenting.
- Refuse to do bedtime. Mum's absolutely love bedtime. It's a fantastic chance to spend quality time with the kids reading story after story and persuading your daughter that she can't wear a princess costume to sleep in. Undertaking this task will rob your partner of this precious moment and cause untold resentment.
- Always let your partner pack the kids clothes as well as hers for a family holiday. Women are incredible multi-taskers and relish the opportunity to pack three bags instead of one. You, of course, know that you could complete the task just as effectively. However, you also know that she will feel much happier about the impending holiday if she knows that the kids have everything they need and that you, her darling partner, are fully rested before departure.
- Always encourage your partner to sort any dramas during the night. There are a number of reasons for this. Firstly mum's will love the chance to have an extra cuddle. They were not expecting one till the morning so an extra few at night is a real bonus. They will also have opportunities to tell other mums how many times they were up during the night. Don't make her beg though! I would suggest pretending to be asleep. This will allow her to have the contact she craves without feeling obligated to offer the opportunity to you.
- Always let your partner deal with your kid's terrible behaviour. Sorting out these problems will boost her self esteem. Plus if your kids are poorly behaved you can confidently tell everyone it is down to your wife. This will give her an immense feeling of responsibility and importance in the family structure.
- Try to forget your children's dates of birth. The reasons for this are numerous. Your wife will have to handle any situation that would require this information to be communicated e.g. registering at the doctors, arranging a passport or trying to sell the kids on ebay. She will also have to sort any birthday related activities as she knows you won't remember. This will free you up to think strategically about the management of your house and family which will be a source of comfort and security to your wife.
- When you are tasked with looking after your children, always refer to it as 'baby sitting'. Not directly to your wife, preferably when on the phone to a friend when your wife is in ear shot. This will remind her that the children were babies once, which will give her a warm glow. She will also be confident that you are treating the task as a professional, so she will know the kids are in good hands.
- Shout at your children, often! This will make you unapproachable. As a result your wife will be constantly plagued to get a lolly, switch the telly on, get a drink, make some food, help with dressing, put the wii on, turn the wii off, find the teddy bear or put Jessi J on. This will make her feel wanted and give that feeling of true satisfaction that you can only get from helping someone.
- Snooze on the sofa during the day. This will increase your wife's happiness in a number of ways. She will know that your batteries are fully charged should a violent intruder enter the house. She will have ample opportunities to develop her skills in keeping the kids quiet. Most importantly she will be safe in the knowledge that no chocolate can ruin the fabric sofa if you are on it.
- Socialise with your friends regularly. If you are out four nights a week your wife will be unable to do the same. This will save her having to come up with excuses not to go out with her friends as she is in fact very tired, what with being a mum and all that.
- Pester your wife for sex. Anybody wants to feel wanted and this will prove to her that she is still desirable. If possible try to approach her when she is at her most tired or when she is particularly down due to the baby weight. This will demonstrate your commitment to your relationship. Whatever you do, only display affection when you are pestering for sex. This will give an element of spontaneity to your relationship and help keep that spark alive.
So there you have it. 10 tips guaranteed to keep the mother of your children blissfully happy. If you are ever in doubt about how to behave remember the phrase "a woman's work is never done".