My husband and I were up late one evening talking and listening to music in our living room. I was still holding my sleeping son and we were soaking up one of the last few nights we’ll have as a family of three. As we talked, my husband said something that put me on notice. He said he knows that he’s not my number one priority any more. He said that he hoped I appreciated that he knew that our son (and our soon-to-arrive daughter) were number one in my life and that he was happy to take the back burner spot for a while.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who has heard that the secret to a happy marriage is to focus on your relationship with your spouse first, and your kids second (and your relationship with God should trump both of those). So when he said those words aloud it felt like a gut punch. Right now he’s exactly right, my priority is not my relationship with husband, it’s with my son. I’m sure he’ll take an even lower rung on the priority ladder when we have two little ones under two.
We know that we won’t always be parents to babies. Before long, our children will be able to talk and feed and dress themselves. We’re practically counting down the days until they can help with chores and our littlest isn’t even out of the womb yet. And one day we’ll look around and realize that it’s just the two of us again. Long before that day, we know that we’ll be able to focus on each other again. But, for now, we are totally kid focused. I hesitate to say this, but I think it’s working for us right now.
Admitting that you put your spouse behind the kids probably isn’t going to land you a marriage book deal. But, I do think that having a spouse that knows your priorities and supports them might be the greatest marriage secret of all. We both know that we love the heck out of each other. We know that we’re a formidable team and there isn’t much that we can’t do together. And we know that right now, we’re doing the baby thing. That means that this mama is likely more worried about bedtime routines than keeping my husband’s case load straight. He gets it. And I am working to be thankful every day for a partner who is willing to be on the backburner for a while and that he just messaged me to let me know he picked up cupcakes for tonight.