Have you ever noticed how when they go through the safety procedures on an aircraft before takeoff and they talk about the masks dropping down in case of an emergency, they tell you to attend to your own mask first before attending to your child's mask?

I asked the flight attendant: “Wouldn't it be more appropriate to first attend to your child before you attend you yourself?” She explained to me that if I were suffering from breathing problems, I would be unable to assist my child. Therefore, I should first adjust my mask and then, because I'm breathing properly, I'll be able to attend to the child.

I took this analogy and applied it to parents who are raising children. They can sometimes neglect their own personal needs, and each other's needs as a married couple, because they are busy taking care of their family. The priority of the children takes over the priority of their marriage and their personal feelings, well-being and growth.

But unless the marriage is nurtured, the couple will not be congruent with each other and then they will not be able to look after their children as a team. The same applies if they do not attend to their own needs and peace of mind properly: they will not be able, physically and emotionally, to give their children the best they’ve got.

We need to adjust our own mask and ensure that our own needs are being taken care of. Then we will be in a position to give the best we’ve got to the children that G‑d has entrusted to us, and to believe that we are going to do a good job raising them.

We should remember what it says in the Torah — you should love your friend as yourself, not more than yourself, because you can only give love when you have love.