I don't know about you, but after a day of cleaning, schooling the kids, making meals, fending off “monsters” and picking up the house so it is at least presentable before my husband gets home; I am completely exhausted. The last thing I want to do is exert more energy after the kids are in bed. At best, I want to sit and fall asleep. But keep this up for too long and your marriage will suffer. Ask me how I know!!
As a Type A personality, this is probably one of the most difficult parts of the “job”. Motherhood takes up all your time. It is a 24/7/365 job. Even when the kids go to bed, there is often laundry and/or dishes to be done. On the rare occasion all our “work” has been completed for the day, you likely want to just put your feet up and relax.
Maybe you curl up with a comfy blanket, cup of hot cocoa and a your favorite book. Or maybe you sit down on the couch to watch your favorite television show with your husband. And before long, you find yourself falling asleep as exhaustion sets in.
So how do you put your spouse before the house? Especially when the house and children need constant attention? Here are 5 steps to help us work towards putting our spouses and marriage first.
- Take the time to read your Bible at some point during the day. Ideally this needs to be the first item on your daily list, but understand that not every one is a morning person and they need time to wake up. But, the earlier the better on this one. It will really help you start the day focused on what God wants for your day, rather than what you want.
- Pray daily for your spouse. Ask him how you can pray for him. His struggles, any work situations that need prayer, his own spiritual walk and prayer life. Whatever it is – PRAY! Start today. Start right now. PRAY for your husband. Pray earnestly. Pray specifically. Pray passionately. Pray honestly. Just PRAY! Here are a few prayer calendars to get you started. This one from True Woman is a great one that also includes Scriptures each day. Here is one from the Imperfect Homemaker with a free printable calendar.
- Get a jump start on your daily chores. Try getting up just a little earlier in the morning to get a jump start on the laundry. I feel my morning is always rushed when I don't get up before the kids. My attitude gets ruffled very quickly and it really seems to throw my entire day off. I have found that running a load of whites in the evening makes my mornings go smoother. Then, when I get up in the morning I throw them into the dryer and I already feel accomplished. Somehow this makes my day run smoother.
- Kiss him goodbye and hello. Make it a point to be available for a kiss when he leaves in the morning and when he comes home in the evening. Stop what you're doing and kiss him, really kiss him before he goes out the door. And be the first person to greet him when he walks back in the door. Try giving him a 20 second kiss at least once a day. But be sure to take a big, deep breath first.
- Leave it. Occasionally leave the dishes and laundry and spend time with your spouse. Although rising earlier than normal often helps me get ahead, children are children and things happen. So there are days when the laundry is left unfolded and the dishes are left in the sink so that I may spend some time with my husband – just the two of us.
Putting our husband and marriage first isn't always easy. When we become mothers, our children need us from day one. We are their sole provider and caretaker. But we must do our best to try and put our marriage first. If our relationship with our spouse falls apart, so will our marriage. And what kind of example will that send to our children?
What have you done to put your marriage first?