Since Tyler entered our lives and my role expanded to include that of "Mommy" I have really had to keep myself in check so that I am not neglecting the role I took on December 2, 2010, when I vowed to love my husband until death do us part. (See this post for a in-depth study of this command.) This was very challenging for me at first. Tyler's needs were such that the majority of my time was devoted to him. That really hasn't changed much, and I don't expect it to anytime soon. However, my super-wonderful, tender-loving, oh-so-understanding husband has needs, too: spiritual, emotional, and physical. If I am to keep this vow (I'm only focusing this one for now...though I vowed much more on that blessed day) then I must make time to fulfill his needs.
Occasionally this means that Tyler has to wait for one or more of his needs to be met. No, we don't leave our son screaming for a bottle, sitting in a messy diaper, or crying hysterically just so we can have some "alone" time. We love our son dearly and we both understand that his needs are often more pressing than our own. Generally speaking we are able to wait until he's cooing in his bouncer or sleeping soundly before we take time to focus on each other.
There are times when I shift my focus from Tyler to Ryan in an effort to show Ryan the love and attention he needs. For example, I might be in the middle of feeding Tyler a bottle when Ryan calls on his lunch break. For those of you who have ever fed a 2-month-old a bottle, you know it requires two hands - one to hold the baby, and one to hold the bottle. So, when daddy calls, the bottle gets put down and the phone is picked up. Daddy and I have a brief conversation - usually less than 3 minutes - and then I pick up the bottle and finish feeding Tyler. Yes, Tyler may fuss a bit while the bottle is out of his mouth, but he is okay. Some days Ryan really needs to hear my voice to help him make it through the day at work, especially when he generally works 6, 10-12 hour days a week. Instances like this happen several times throughout the day. I'm in the middle of doing something with Tyler, Ryan needs my attention, I give him my attention, and then return to finish caring for Tyler. Tyler is home with me all day and he knows his mommy loves him. It's good for him to see the love and devotion Ryan and I have for one another and to understand that he is not the center of our world. God is the center, then we have each other, and then Tyler.
Sadly, there have been a few times when Ryan has called me out for paying more attention or talking nicer to Tyler than I am him. Recently I have been striving harder to continually reaffirm my love for Ryan. I don't want him to ever question or have any reason to doubt my love for him. This has made our marriage stronger, more fulfilling and over-all more enjoyable. The more I love Ryan, the more he loves me, and the stronger our love grows. It's a beautiful, God-pleasing experience.
I hope this has encouraged you consider how you can shower your spouse with some extra time, love and devotion.
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