19 June 2013

When being a Wife takes a backseat.

I fit into several roles in my life. Wife, Mother, Photographer, Friend, Daughter, Sister... to name a few. And the thing is, the honest thing, is that the role that gets neglected the most is, ironically, the very first thing I named.

Being a wife.

When did that fall to the end of my priority list? I suppose it was around 3 1/2 years ago when Bennett joined our family. I guess it makes sense. A baby is born and they take up all of your time and attention, they grow so fast, you never wanna miss a thing. All attention gets shifted to the new little human in your life. And around the same time Bennett was born, I started my photography business, which demanded whatever free time I had after I wrapped up my Mommy duties for the day. Actually let's be real, Mommy duties are never "wrapped up", are they?

Then came Easton. Our precious second born, oh we love him so, and are so happy to have had him join our crew. Only thing is, taking care of two little people is nothing short of exhausting. It takes all I have to get through the day. All of my physical stamina, all of my emotional and mental capacities, and by the end of the day, I don't have much left to give. I hear it gets better as they get older but I don't really see the light at the end of the tunnel.

So where does this leave my relationship with my Husband? Sure as heck not where it should be. It's always on the back burner. A few small little coals just barely hanging on to their heat, behind the burning, out of control flames named Bennett & Easton. That's where.

If I'm speaking candidly, these days, I kinda suck at being a wife. Kisses and hugs for my Husband are few and far between. I hardly show him any kind of charity anymore. I never leave him cute little notes like I used to, or offer to put his laundry away. Okay, I kinda never did that last thing. He has always done his own laundry. I despise laundry - but that's neither here nor there.

The question is, how do I muster up the time, the energy, and the follow-through to do the little things it takes to be the kind of wife my Husband needs, and deserves? And the answer is that perhaps I won't have a ton more to give anywhere in the near future. I can try, but the fact is, I'm tired.

And luckily, he understands (or at least tries) that I am spread thin. He gives me space when I need it, and he helps me when he can, supports my hobbies and passions and encourages me to pursue them, I very much appreciate all that he does. Bottom line, I love that man. But dang, marriage is hard work. Being a wife is hard work. I can and will do my best to put more effort in to being present and there for my Husband more. But I think there's also an unspoken (or spoken) understanding that a marriage relationship is just going to take a backseat for a little while. And while I don't like it, I'm going to have to be okay with that for a while longer.

Though I might be slacking on my wifely duties -- my partnership, friendship, and marriage with Philip is strong, and I have faith it us. I know this is just a phase. One day, we'll be galloping together on the beach, holding hands and watching the sunset together. Right? Right?

But in the meantime, all we can do is put in more effort. Even if that means just a date-night in, or spending time together folding laundry in the wee hours of the morning.

Follow on Bloglovin

23 comments:

Amy said...

I relate to this so much! We've only got one little person so far, but he keeps us on our toes. Basically 6am-8pm is work - whether I'm actually at work or taking care of Eli - and once he's gone to bed I am DONE. And husband gets the short end of the stick. This was a good reminder to make more of an effort with him, too. I know I've been bad about it lately!

Danielle said...

Like the comment above, I totally relate! I work full-time and have pretty much the same schedule she does during the week. That coupled with a husband who works weekends makes for very little 'us' time. We actually just scheduled our first night away from our son the week of July 4th and while we are very nervous about leaving him for a whole night, we know our marriage is in dire need of some TLC! :)

Sarah said...

I can relate to this! My husband works long hours 3-5 days a week & we have 3 kids - ages 5 & under. Sometimes it's hard to get time to ourselves, but we try. I always feel like I'm neglecting him, which hurts me. Thank you for this reminder to be more present in my marriage :)

Erica Alferez said...

marriage and motherhood together is definitely hard!!! I heard it gets better when the kids move out...lol hope it doesn't take that long

Chelsea said...

RIGHT! Just like in those Sandals commercials ;) I hear ya though... it's so hard being a mama AND remember to give your honey some love every once in a while. By the time Cory gets home, I get dinner on the table, clean up dinner and we get Alea to bed, all I want to do is SLEEP!

Sarah [NurseLovesFarmer.com] said...

It's a super super hard thing to do, but I fully believe that marriage must come first in a family - no matter how many kids. It's so much easier said than done, but I believe me must make our marriages our #1 priority to be a good example to our children and the rest will fall into place. Think of all the broken families because marriages aren't focused on enough...I think that ends up harming kids more than not putting them first. That's my take on it, anyway.

Andrea Becher said...

I have been struggling with this a TON over the past couple of months. Just had baby number two in November and realized that time together really does have to be scheduled in order to keep the flame rolling. I have been having a huge guilt complex because I haven't had any energy left at the end of the day for anything other than getting ready for bed. As always, it is encouraging to hear that there are other moms out there dealing with the same desire to love deeper, and more intentionally. Thank you.

Mandy@ a sorta fairytale said...

You make such an important point, Sarah!! I agree that marriages should take #1 priority. I think my problem is that no matter how hard I try, it still seems to fall behind the needs of the kids. Hoping that this post (and comments like yours!) will remind and encourage us Wives to take more time to pay attention to our Husbands. :)

Mandy@ a sorta fairytale said...

It's SO hard to muster up the energy to want to squeeze in extra time for our Hubby's. It's so important and my Hubby and I try to do it as often as we can but it seems that the needs of the kids always take priority. It takes constant effort.

Rebekah Oertli said...

This is one of the most relate-able blog posts I've read. Marriage is the hardest relationship I've ever had to work for. Between the kids, work, extra activities, friends, and the obvious need to sleep ... the hubs doesn't get the attention he wants and deserves. Thanks for the reminder to slow it down and make some time. :)

josie renee said...

This is so candid and so true. I'm not married (yet) but just being in a relationship and having just one little one is exhausting. Add in everything else and lately it seems like we have more of a friendship than a romantic relationship. You are not alone. I'm sure it gets better.... and if not, then perhaps we all just have a perspective shift and realize that dynamics change. I'm putting my money on it getting better.

xx
josie
www.straightnochase.com

Olivia Grace said...

Before we got married, we had to take a marriage prep course through our church. I will never forget our priest teaching us that it should always be: God #1, marriage #2, and then children #3. It is so easy to get caught up in the everyday and put our children first at all times but, truthfully, our marriages must be strong and concrete in order to make the family strong as a whole. We try to remind ourselves of this as often as possible, we try to set aside time for just the two of us and not feel guilty about it. Which is super hard! It's definitely a day to day work in progress.

Ruthy Taylor said...

I so feel you on this...it makes me hesitate thinking about having another kid...how in the world do you mama's do it with multiples?

Mandi @ Messy Wife, Blessed Life said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Alexandra said...

I hear you on that, we are having some troubles too. Trying to find some time for just us my husband and I during the week. Hang in there :)

Erin said...

This very topic has been pulling at me lately and truly in glad to know I'm not alone. As we usually show our very best here in the blog world, sometimes it's tough to feel like things in reality aren't as perfect. I have totally been lacking in my role as a wife between work and terrible two phases and preparing for BlogHer next month I'm spent by the end if the day. Reading through these comments, I see Sarah pointed out that our husbands shbe higher priority than our children. I've been preaching this theory to myself lately to be more attentive to my wifely duties but still? It's hard not putting your child first, especially since they're usually all up in your face :) thanks for sharing this Mandy

Valerie Scott said...

This issue has been weighing heavy on me for a while now. I feel so bad that my husband gets pushed to the side way more than he ever should. Its sooooo incredibly hard to find the right balance. My very energized ambitious almost 18 month old exhausts me. I also work a few evenings a week and days on weekends(to avoid daycare expenses) to help support my family so when I get home I am pretty exhausted to say the least. I have been working hard to make the changes. This post was a good boost to keep working at it and let's me know I am not the only that feels this way! Thanks:)

ADSchill said...

I had a post exactly like this in mind! You and I are on the same wavelength. It is SO hard to find the time and energy to be a 'good' wife. I know I need to ask people to watch Coop more often so Mike and I can have time together, I just feel like I don't have energy to even work out those details. I feel like I have been ignoring hubby and have been less affectionate than I should be. I feel bad about it, but at the same time, I am hoping this is a phase that will pass. I hope.

cindyjean said...

This is a beautiful, honest post and probably one that we've all related to. My children are grown, but I remember going through this stage. My husband was always working on our business and my focus was our children, our home. I remember crying one night in bed, because I felt we hadn't really connected for days. He told me.... your legs touching mine as we fall asleep remind me we're in this together every single night, anything more is icing on the cake right now. He felt exactly the same, that he wasn't giving enough to me. In the end, we agreed that we brought the kids into this world together, and made our family. We threw away the guilt (okay, I kept a little of mine), and started doing little things for each other and they helped. But from that point on, at the end of every difficult disconnected day, when I laid in bed with my leg touching his, I felt our marriage energized just as if we were rechargeable batteries plugged in for the night. It became very literal to me.

I think most husbands and wives are just the same as we were... we just all carry the guilt around, the coulda shoulda woulda's.... and if we just share a little bit, it can get us through.

Ariel @ Dreams To Do said...

Amen to it all! And it makes me really happy that you don't do your hubby's laundry either. Ha! :)

Mandy@ a sorta fairytale said...

Thank so so much for your thoughtful comment. It always helps to know that others can relate and are/have been in my position. It's so hard to find the balance and it's an on-going effort. I love what you said about how he touched your leg with his, and you felt energized again. Sometimes that's all it takes!

Bekah @ re·solve said...

"But in the meantime, all we can do is put in more effort. Even if that means just a date-night in, or spending time together folding laundry in the wee hours of the morning."

ALWAYS remember that part. Saying "it's ok for now" makes it easier to let your state continue to be OK...and I know you don't want that! It is hard at times even for me who has no kids, just a busy day. I have to remember to stop for the little things. If he wants to hug me and I'm stressed because I'm clearly trying to do the dishes, I need to take the two seconds to stop and hug him back. Just the little things like that make all the difference amidst chaos.

Alyson McMahon said...

I love that you are so candid and honest in this post. And, there was a time when I could have said the exact same thing. However, I have to agree with Sarah. As much hard work as it takes, keeping your relationship/marriage at the top of the list is SO important. I've been there and sadly, things didn't turn out so well (for a while) and one of the most important things I learned from our marriage therapist was that we had to come first. And, that our marriage had to come first. And even above that coming first.. WE as women have to put ourselves first as well. It sounds strange to say kids come second, and it even sounds wrong. On thing I remind myself of though is that if I'm not making sure that me and my relationship with Matt come first, then my kids aren't getting the best of us. Matt and I are the best parents we can be when things are going smoothly, when we're on the same page, when we're happy and connecting. Don't beat yourself up though!! Nobody is a perfect mom or wife. Not by far. And you seem to be doing a pretty awesome job at both! We even ended up having "date night in" while the kids slept. No computers, no phones.. just some dessert (or even dinner sometimes), some conversation and maybe snuggling while watching a movie. Keep your chin up lady. You're doing a great job even if you don't see that. xo