Let me preface by saying that I adore my son and I will also adore my daughter when she arrives (due in October). I will always cherish the moments I have with my children. I seriously love my children beyond measures but I am in love with my husband and he comes first.
Wait, what did I just say? Yes; he comes before my children, before my parents, before our dogs, before my
love addiction for iced coffee. He is before it all, in a sense. No, that doesn’t mean he is more important to me than our children. It doesn’t mean that I will ignore providing for my children. It means that our relationship, our marriage, is the paramount of our family unit. The foundation of our family is our marriage.
When my husband I had our first child in 2014, I was so unprepared for the immediate and unconditional love I would feel for one tiny human being. It was breathtaking. It was a different kind of love than what I felt when I said, “I do.” It was an eye-opening love.
I think it is natural for us to set unrealistic expectations of parenthood. For myself, I thought I could do everything by myself that first year of motherhood. Staying at home all day with a newborn while my husband worked long hours was emotionally tolling, but I had convinced myself I had to do it all. I had to be June Cleaver. I had to be the best mother possible. Even with all the expectations I set for myself, I didn’t greet my husband at the door with a huge kiss and a hot plate of dinner ready on the table every night. I was exhausted. I gave my all to our infant and left nothing for myself or my husband. Up until recently we didn’t even have any date nights. None… not one. I had put my baby first. It is normal for women to feel the need to do everything but it is absolutely okay to ask for help and it is also okay to put your spouse before your children. Now more than ever I understand the need for balance, the need for ‘me time’, and the need for putting the relationship with my husband first.
I refuse to be sitting across the dinner table, not recognizing the man in front of me. Putting my husband first allows us to build on our relationship, thus continually building the bonds of our family. This does not make me selfish or a bad mother. Catering to my husband doesn’t mean that I am forgetting the needs of my children. It simply means that we are allowing our children to see a beautiful, strong marriage and a foundation of love. We are showing our children compassion and selflessness. We can admire our spouse, love our children, and appreciate ourselves; all together.
Believe it or not our children will grow up, become adults, and have families of their own. (I would rather not believe it because my babies will be babies forever, right?) We will have an empty nest and it will just be us, just my husband and I. Whatever relationship we have 20 years from now, I want it to be strong.
Above all else, it’s okay if you don’t feel the same. Even more so, if you are a single mother raising your child/children on your own, seriously I salute you. It is no easy task. I choose to put my spouse first because I want my children to see our marriage thrive and I want a lasting foundation for us all.