One of my husband's more prominent love languages is words of affirmation and when you marry someone whose love language is vastly different from yours, holidays, anniversaries and even the nitty gritty day-to-day can be a challenge but that's a post for a whole other day.
It's no secret that one of my love language is gifts and not because I'm selfish and love things. Well, I do love things but as anyone whose love language is gifts will tell you, it's much less about the materialistic nature of the gift and much more about the time and thoughtfulness put into the gift that speaks volumes.
Recently my husband in all of his "words of affirmation glory" said something to me that has since resonated, echoing in my ears multiple times throughout the day. He was praising my efforts as a mom and letting me know just how grateful and appreciative he is on the daily that our kids are being raised by me.
He threw out words like "adore," "incredible" "lucky" and "amazing" and although I'm often uncomfortable when on the receiving end of compliments, even from him, I couldn't help but blush a bit and pat myself on the back for a job well done.
He joked about how he's my "third biggest fan," close on the heels of my number one fan who may be biased as his affections for me have a lot to do with my breasts and behind even our oldest son who staunchly refuses to let anyone take him up to bed each night other than me. He laughed and quickly followed up by saying, "I come third, but I'm okay with that right now."
And it hit me.
He's right. For a while now he has come third. As anyone with kids as little as ours will tell you, it's difficult to make time for anyone else, including yourself, when you're busy neck-deep in raising them. Between the fog of newborn-dom and the terrible twos, lack of sleep and let's call it what it is, trying your damnedest to keep them alive and out of the ER each and every day, there isn't a whole lot left for anyone else. Emotionally, physically, and/or spiritually.
I would be lying if I said that my wifely duties both in the kitchen and the bedroom have suffered a bit (maybe moreso than I care to admit) since we had the baby. I'm only human and I'm only one person and hot damn, raising two little boys under three is exhausting! There's just no two ways about it.
I applaud the women I see in social media who appear to do it all. Believe, I am not one of them. When I bake? I don't cook. When I steam clean the floors? I forget about the laundry. Too many Mondays have come and gone where my husband hasn't had any clean socks to wear to work that morning. Shame on me.
That's when I take a minute to remind myself that without my husband, we wouldn't have these two beautiful blessings that take up so much of our day to day energy. The foundation we lay for them now as husband and wife and mom and dad will be the foundation that their entire future is built upon. Nobody wants to build upon a weak and shaky foundation.
I'm no expert when it comes to marriage, although I have to say we have a pretty awesome thing going these last five and a half years and I'm certainly no expert when it comes to raising kids either. I mean, have you heard my child tell you to "mine your bizzies?" What makes our marriage so successful, however, is that it's made up of two people who allow each other to falter. Who show each other patience, understanding and forgiveness even when it isn't the easiest to do.
After all, he's a yell-er and I'm a door slammer.
I'm thankful to be married to a man that doesn't mind "coming in third" to our children in this stage of life. I love him so much more for realizing and understanding that this is not a permanent season in our life. That it's also a learning process for the both of us and that I'm really trying my hardest to accommodate the needs of everyone in our family.
Even if that means I occasionally fall asleep in the toddler's bed at night or forget to move his laundry to the dryer. Regardless, I'll always be his number 1 fan.