The Front Seat Husband

I just wrote an article for a lovely online magazine and adorable shop called Charming House Market. Click here to check it out.  I think you will find what they have created to be well, charming, and it’s also a fun place to shop! They have a blog too, and that is where they just published my article! I’m so excited!!!!

 

Since the birth of my firstborn almost five years ago, my husband has slowly moved from the front seat of my mind, my day, and my routine, to barely hanging onto the rear bumper. We said ‘I do’ almost fifteen years ago, and while my love for him has only deepened through the years, it’s recently that I’ve come to see this slip from his rightful place in the lineup. I think it’s because he doesn’t need me to dress him, bathe him, feed him, wipe him, fix his hair, or brush his teeth. And that means his needs come last to the other three in our house who cannot perform any of those tasks on their own.

Sure, everyone says it will change. As my kids get older and they don’t need all those basic needs met by their mama, I’ll have plenty of time and energy to give to my husband. In theory. Because I have a feeling that I’m forming some bad habits. And while it’s 100% true that my kids are young, and at very needy ages, does that mean my husband and I just have to put each other on hold for the next year? Or Two? Because, while I don’t have any children over five yet, I’m pretty sure kids don’t get any less needy, their needs just change over the years.

And that’s okay. I am their mother, and it’s my job to take care of their needs. A job that, most days, is kind of the best job ever. And I am busy filling the storage on my phone with videos of them and creating any sort of art with their handprints and footprints because I am aware that these precious ages where fun is had collecting rocks as we walk around the block, and being completely enthralled with bubbles isn’t going to last very long. But I fear this season has been longer than just a season, and it’s taking a toll on my most favorite person.

But change is possible. And I think this particular change has to start in my heart and mind and move into what I say, think, and do. I have to stop thinking that because my husband doesn’t need me to feed him or dress him that he doesn’t need me. My children, even at young ages, need to see their daddy being loved on, being made a priority, above them. Even if it means they are ignored sometimes. Or told to wait. Or served last at the dinner table, while they squirm and use their utensils to serenade us. And to keep up good habits, like “table time”, a magical time after dinner when we send the kids off to play on their own, for ten whole minutes while we talk about our day.

It’s almost as if the daily grind and routine, as inconsequential as it feels, is exactly where the change needs to occur. Because every parent knows regular date nights are a necessity, but since that usually only occurs once a week if the stars align and budgets allow, I think the greater concept of date night, of putting each other first, of serving one another’s needs regularly, needs to happen on a more micro level.

What have I done, today, to show my children that I love their daddy? How did I, today, demonstrate to my husband that he is special and thought of? How did I speak to him, today, in front of the kids, neighbors, and these four walls? Because those are the moments that make up a lifetime together. The minutes that turn into days, that span months and years, that ultimately decide what kind of marriage we are making. The good news is; tomorrow is a new day, a brand new chance to get my heart right before the Lord and ask the Holy Spirit to fill me afresh so I can, indeed, love and serve my husband in way that I cannot possibly do in my own strength. And I will take it one day at a time until new habits begin to form and the love of my life knows he is loved by me, not because I tell him but because I am now showing him. Every. Single. Day.

 

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4 thoughts on “The Front Seat Husband

  1. This is not just for young Mom’s, but also for anyone who cherishes her marriage. It does take time to set apart that extra time to be together. Even now that we are older we set a date day once every three weeks to spend that day doing something together. It really makes you appreciate each other!
    A lasting marriage always takes an effort to remember just how much you mean to each other.
    What you said was awesome Jessica & I’m sure God will use you by you sharing this.
    Praying for you both& your precious family! Love you all!

  2. You have touched on a spiritual discipline that is as important as anything we do. After 49+ years of marriage I can assure you that the struggles you are facing now might change, but they don’t disappear. They just take on a new form. As my mother said on the occasion of their 70th wedding anniversary: “Marrage is REALLY hard work”. I believe marriage is where God shapes us, whittles down our rough edges, keeps us on our knees. Without His Holy Spirit in us it is simply impossible. But we do have His Spirit – and we need to turn to Him multiple times a day to ask Him to control those critical words that are so quick to jump out of our mouths, or those momentary irritations that can overtake a good mood. Hmmm… thanks for the reminder, sweet friend. Well said 🙂

  3. Excellent observation. It is really difficult to balance the demands of needy little ones & keep a healthy marriage. Just do your best and not feel guilty. You’re awesome, Jessica! Hugs.

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