With a new baby and children in general, comes a lot of giving of yourself. This means sometimes ignoring your needs and wants, which can put your husband on the back burner. I know mine has expressed this.
Remember when it was just the two of you? All those extra little things you did to make his day a bit better. Those things that made him feel special and the center of your world (well, next to God). The late nights with uninterrupted cuddling.
Well, in comes this amazing new life, a blessing, a great gift. You are now parents. With this you are exhausted, you don’t have space for yourself, much less someone who is perfectly capable of taking care of himself.
Well, that was my attitude with our first two children.
To a large degree I left my husband out to dry, to fend for himself, because I felt like I was drowning. But all these things I had trained him to be accustomed to had just disappeared. Not only was he now even more pushed into the role of “having to be a man,” he now has a wife whose focus is someone other than him.
Yes, there is a time for self (and baby) preservation, but we can’t let it become our way of life. Merely surviving is not good enough. If our relationship is thriving then the rare days of, “Well honey, all I was able to do today was keep the kids alive,” will bring a smile to his face rather than a huge sigh of a burdened life.
Start with Small Changes
If you are feeling like life is hard and lacking luster — I’ve been there. Feeling like you are so worn that there is nothing else to give. Just act like you do. Seriously, when you aren’t happy put on a smile — you might find there really is something to be joyful about.
Something that doesn’t take any extra time, but maybe a little biting of the tongue is in your response to your husband. A few months ago I was having a bit of a challenging day. My husband had asked about going that night to meet up with a friend. My initial reaction wasn’t that great.
My thoughts were a little angry and jealous. “Why should he get to go and have time with a friend, while I am stuck at home? . . . No, you need to come home and be with us. You’ve been gone all day.” But, then I knew he was going to be happier and less stressed if he was able to have some breathing space. Him being in a good mood lets him interact better with me and the kids.
So instead of retorting to his text with a begrudging, response of “Fine,” I answered back with, “That sounds great!” The funny thing about this was that because I had not been practicing this positivity for long, he thought I was being facetious with my answer.
Texting is wonderful thing! But we need to be careful to think before we write. And remember too, that your husband cannot hear your tone. How about a just because text for randomness sake? I still get that little butterfly feeling when I get a random text in the day just because I love you!
Prepare a Place
My husband is OVERLY sensitive to smells. There are days that just walking in the house can put him in a bad mood. It drives me nuts! I’ve been home all day, so the cooking or kid smell – so I can’t always detect it. My solution is to make sure the windows are open and I’ve started something yummy smelling.
First, give yourself some time to be able to get outside if you’ve had a trying and busy day, so you can . . . be joyful when he gets there!
Don’t burden him with how stressful or hard your day was, give him some time to unwind and enjoy. Do share with him and find out about his day, just don’t bombard him with it at the door. Save it for the end or after dinner.
Have dinner close to being ready. Have the kids going with a project or toys they can play with in a stationary manner. Something like legos, coloring or play-doh are good choices, this hopefully will cut down on fights between them for Papa’s arrival.
One of my deepest desires is to make our home a sanctuary and safe place for my husband. I want him to look forward to coming home to a restful place. I know this isn’t always possible and at times our home has been far from it. We have sometimes described it as a battleground, especially when I was working outside the home.
If you can take the hour before your husband arrives to set things in motion, you have more of a chance for success. If dinner is ready, kids are happy and house is calm – all the unfinished laundry and dishes, toys littering the floor and works in progress can be more easily overlooked.
Something I have added to my weekly routine is making sure I have more than just leftovers available for him to bring for his lunch. Sundays, I prepare vegetables and protein for him for the week – as well as getting a start on my weekly cooking.
Recently I actually asked him to “score” dinner options. I sent him a list of meals and asked him to add to it and then mark the ones he didn’t really like and then the ones that were his favorites. I know it sounds a little business like to be emailing my husband about his preferences, but honestly it has helped SO much in our communication and being able to actually get stuff right. It is so disappointing to work on a meal and then to find out that, no, he doesn’t like that at all – it was such and such he likes, not chicken pot pie.
So on a night he’s not going to be home, or home late I make something he’s not that interested in. And at least one night a week I make something he likes that not necessarily everyone else does. Lately, I’ve spoiled him with an evening banana pudding milk shake.
I’ve got to tell you, to read “Not gonna lie. My wife is definitely spoiling me. She knows exactly what to give me for lunch. It’s healthy and yummy and filling. And the last two nights has made me an amazingly yummy banana pudding shake!” as his status update, you know you have something down right.
I am a newly stay/work-at-home mom. We are well into our seventh year of marriage, up until our third child was born I was working outside the home. Sometimes a few jobs at once and contributing to a third of our income.
While I am LOVING being at home with my kids, I feel a little guilty. I know I am only ten weeks into a new baby and balancing three kids for the first time, so I am trying to give myself a break. But I struggle with feeling like the kids and I are a burden, one man supporting the four of us. Nonetheless I am still coming to terms with not being able to add to our income.
So I am working hard to save us money. Not buying those extra things I used to (you know that stuff on sale or clearance – you know you will use it, but don’t necessarily need it). One way to avoid this to cut down on my amount of shopping trips and not wandering around in the store, but staying focused. Also I focus on buying foods in season and thus on sale.
We (meaning me and the kids), have been working hard on our garden. I have made sure to plant things that my husband likes too, so I can add to his weekly veggie platter. We have also added ten chicks to our two laying hens. This is also part of my plan to monetarily add to our income.
Selling eggs, when they start popping them out in a couple months, will be a great start. Once I get some regular customers I can sell our excess produce from the garden, yogurt, as well as baked goods and homemade canned meals. These are things I am already doing for our family so it doesn’t add a whole new component to our lives – just bigger batches.
How are you striving to be a blessing and not a burden to your husband?
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