My top three priorities as a wife and mother should be in this order:
Sometimes it’s difficult to prioritize my spouse before my child, because she is four and has WAY more needs.
The thing that helps me prioritize Paul every day is perspective.
I realize that I’m cultivating my marriage for a lifetime and if I let Audri constantly take precedence, pretty soon she will be graduated, out of the house in pursuit of her own life, and I’ll be living with…..a stranger that I’ve been (subtly) putting on the back burner for YEARS.
Instead of making up for lost/neglected time, I’ve decided to take these precious days God gives me to invest into Paul as my top human priority, and it feels great!
Not only is my marriage successful, but Audri sees what it looks like to love well. She has a front row seat into how marriage is supposed to be and she will look forward to creating a life with her spouse in the future.
Because I’m prioritizing my husband and doing marriage they way God intended – and because my child actually benefits from it – my “mom guilt” is alleviated!
Here are practical tips that I’ve gotten in the habit of doing that really work for our family:
1). Taking responsibility for my marriage. I design the kind of relationship I want through prayer and action. I’m fully aware that we can grow closer or further away as husband and wife and it’s a daily choice. My marriage is up to me!
2). Asking him what his schedule looks like every morning. This allows me to plan in advance. If I know he has a break from 12-2, I can run errands near his office and meet for a spontaneous lunch date. If I know he will be at work for 11 hours without a break, I pack two meals for him to take so that he can eat in between clients. Planning out our day each morning has been an adjustment to say the least! Paul and I still struggle with it, because we are spontaneous people by nature, but we are getting better. 🙂 We used to plan our dates every Saturday night, but we’ve slacked and settled to using a coupon at the nearest restaurant (nothing wrong with that, but it’s nice to plan because we can enjoy new activities)! The point is that we need to invest and stay connected and we can’t do that without a plan!
3). Getting help from babysitters. Grandparents are a great option, but not everyone has that luxury. I suggest finding two babysitters you love and stick to them! It can take time at first, but looking into babysitter groups at your home church is key. The sitters always have background checks and come with lots of experience with kids of all ages (plus they are usually trying to pay for college, or a mission trip, so they are pretty mature, motivated young adults that can be trusted).
4). Spending quality time together regularly. We enjoy one-on-one engaged conversation or activity with no distractions. No children. No responsibilities. Taking trips together just the two of us is one of our favorite things to do. It’s so important that we get away and relax together responsibility free so that we can be recharged! This doesn’t have to be costly. If you’re on a budget, take a weekend road trip, go camping, spend one day/night at a little Bed and Breakfast, take a walk, go for a picnic, hit the gym together, just get creative. (A movie is not considered quality time because its’ distracting you from the other).
5). Learning and practicing his love language. Get to know your husband. Ask him what makes him feel most loved. Does he like when you leave him love notes or shoot him a quick text with affirming words? Then do that every day. Does he like a heavy make out session or a massage? Do it as often as you can. He’ll never get tired of feeling loved. And don’t be afraid to tell him what you like. If gifts is your thing, ask him to surprise you with a 5 dollar gift once a week. Loving each other takes practice and it brings you SO much closer if you’re willing to put in the work!
Paul and I pray and worship together almost every day (which is the most important thing we can do for our relationship) but today, I tried to share non-spiritual tips that could help you prioritize your hubby! Comment below if any of these helped!