It's everywhere, this advice. Put your marriage first, before your children, before your home, before anything else in which you value. Put your spouse first and your marriage will be strong. You will endure.
But does anyone ever really talk about how hard this can be sometimes? Maybe they do... but I have recently discovered that this advice is really quite difficult to follow. I mean really, there's a household to run, babies to raise, a business to create, and then of course theres yourself that you have to occasionally take care of too.
But then there's your spouse. They need you. You need them. You both know that, but how does it actually come into play? You both know that without one another, this life you're living, all the responsibilities that you love so much, they wouldn't exist. Your marriage is the root of anything that you are currently building. And with anything, it must be nurtured. We all know that. But put first? Damn that's hard.
It's hard when by the end of the day, you are so tired you can hardly get up to brush your teeth or finish the dishes that so desperately need to be done, let alone spend some quality time doing something that makes your spouse happy. As a stay at home mom of twins, it can be hard to be touched, needed, and whined to all day. They are babies, it's what they do. But when your spouse comes home and needs more from you, too... that's hard. Of course they need you, just as much as you need them after a long day of raising babies. Most days, they will put their hard day aside to make sure you get your well deserved break. Some days, you will have to be the one to put aside the blood, sweat, and tears to give him the break.
Pull yourself up. Do it. It will be the hardest part of your already hard day. But they will notice. They will be changed by this. This will move them silently inside. They may not notice at first, the sacrifice that you have made for them, but it will create quiet, unwavering strength.
Stay up late to talk it out, fight it out, hug it out - like you used to, when you had all the time in the world. Cook their favourite meal. Send them shopping for themselves - not the babies - with the little extra money that you can hardly spare. Send them to an outrageously priced yoga class. Kiss them on the forehead in the midst of the chaos. Let them know that they are your number one, no matter what, even when you are mad at them. Even when you don't like them. Make sure that they know, even then, that you love them.
Putting your spouse first is HARD. But this, this is how you survive: by growing love in the middle of a drought. Never stop growing a little love. Ever.
Take good care, lovelies.