This week was not only busy, but I was also sick. It was a rough week in which I had to scale back even more than normal and just try to make it through doing only the basic essentials. One of those essentials was taking time for my husband.
With all the things going on in a family with 5 kids, there’s not a lot of time for my husband.
A wonderful woman I know gave me some great advice when I got married. She said I should always put my husband first, even before the kids. At first it seemed counterintuitive, because your kids are, you know, YOUR KIDS. But more and more I realize how valuable that advice is. It’s far too easy to let your husband come last in your life with all the demands on your time and energy. And when your kids are grown up and out of the house, you don’t want to be left with just you and a stranger in your house. Not only that, but couples need each other in day-to-day life. We need to build each other up to get through all the crap life slaps us in the face with. And in the end it’s better for the kids to have parents who actually like each other. Which, let’s be honest, won’t be the case if we aren’t making enough time for each other.
The problem is, with kids, a lot of things with them have to come first.
They need to be fed and clothed. Some of them still need help getting cleaned or changed. They have activities and school to be taken to and from. They have a lot of pressing needs that can’t be overlooked or put off. Feeding a baby comes before all other responsibilities.
But once the essentials are done with the kids, my husband has to come before all the extra stuff.
He just has to. It’s really not fair to him to make him come even farther down on the list of priorities than he already does. So this week I prioritized time for my husband by taking advantage of some of the little times the kids were gone or busy or otherwise occupied to spend time with him. I texted him that I was thinking about him during the day. I tried to take his needs into account, even when they seemed to conflict with my own.
We aren’t the kind of family where the husband is greeted after a hard day of work with a pipe, slippers, and the newspaper.
But he is greeted after work with a gaggle of kids who are anxious to see him, a toddler who is so ecstatic he’s home that he runs around in circles and throws himself on the floor, and a wife who is grateful to have him around and makes an effort to say hello and be available for a hug and a kiss even if she’s busy with kids’ homework and a really late dinner. I try to make time for my husband. Some weeks are better than others, but this week, I made a special effort to prioritize him, and I think it made both of us happier.