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Keeping Dave Number One


I am grateful for my husband. There are few days on which I don't think about how blessed I am that God brought him into my life. He is tender, kind, dilligent, passionate about things that matter, generous, a good friend, a good cook, and so much more! We both feel like having a child is an expression and fulfillment of the "one flesh" union that is marriage - our child will be from both of us, yet one person. Of course, I want baby to look like Dave and Dave wants baby to look like me!

Although having a child brings much joy, I am also aware that many women struggle to keep their husbands as "number one person" after little ones arrive. The physical and time demands of parenthood make it harder to prioritise their husbands' needs and desires. I am thrilled to be a Mum, and yet I don't want to be primarily defined as one. I am first of all my husband's helper, and one of the ways I help him is to be a Mum. This is one reason why even after the baby is born I'd rather tell people I'm a housewife than a stay-at-home Mum.

I know that many of my readers have been married much longer than me, and already have one or more children. I'd love to hear . . .

* Your tips for treasuring your husband, even in those early "survival" days of parenthood!
* Mistakes you've made and what you have learnt from them
* How you teach your children that Daddy comes first in your heart and priorities (after God, of course)!
* How you treasure your husband in the way you talk about him to others outside the family, and communicate to them that he comes first

And anything else that comes to mind!

Even if Dave and I have 10 children, it is likely that one day it will just be the two of us in our house again. When that day comes, I want us to have a deeper love and trust between us than we do today. I also know that the best thing we can do for our child is to love each other.

Susan  – (January 28, 2009 at 12:44 AM)  

What a good post! Adrian and I talked about this very thing before we were married, because we didn't want our identities to become only Mom and Dad, and neglect each other. With a baby, it's hard, because in terms of time, they are #1! It's gotten easier the older Hans gets, but we still call him "our scheduler". We try to snatch time together in the evenings after he goes to bed or whatnot. And I've tried to be physically available to Adrian, even when I'm worn out from a long baby day. Just putting forth effort there goes a long way! I'll be interested to hear what others suggest.

Wow. I just commented on a blog. It's been forever ;-). I still read. . . but commenting? What's that?

Faith  – (January 28, 2009 at 3:55 AM)  

This is great!
Ok. As for your first point: we believed, as a couple with our first newborn, to hire a good young adult and teen sitter. We used our church for that purpose. I hired a young married, no children, woman and I hired a Christian teen, to babysit from the time Courtney was 6 weeks old. I pumped my breast milk and put in bottle after 6 weeks to avoid nipple confusion and we scheduled weekly or bi-weekly "date nites". sometimes this was just going to our small group and sometimes it was just out for coffee. Nothing pricey. It was a huge blessing and we still do this! (although that newborn is now 15 and can babysit her younger sister...and her price is much cheaper! :) )
ALso, one mistake I learned: allow my husband, Dave, to help with the baby and don't nag or fret if he does things "differently" from me. I used an organic cloth diaper service and believe it or not, he was better at diapering than me! There were other things the Lord taught both of us but that one, due to my always wanting control, was one lesson God really had to nail me over the head with! Blessings to you....when is your due date???

susanne24  – (January 29, 2009 at 2:37 AM)  

I really don't have any profound tips. I just want to add that this is very important to put your marriage before your children, but it is easier said than done. There are times that it will appear that you are putting your baby first, but when he or she gets older and more independent, you can focus your actions more on showing your love to your husband.

It's very hard and something I struggle with. I just try to take it one day at a time. I may not be able to devote my time to him, so I try to direct good words his way. Positive words and attitudes can keep a marriage happy.

-Zan

Sherrin  – (January 29, 2009 at 9:17 PM)  

It is great to hear from you all! I appreciate more experienced ladies taking the time to share with me.

Susan, it sounds like we've had many similar thoughts about not becoming only "Mum"! I'm praying that God will enable Dave and I to still spend time together reading the Bible and praying after baby comes. I'll keep intimacy on the prayer list as well!

Hello Faith, I think my sister has a pump I could borrow. Dave and I hardly go out together now . . . we love being at home! It could be great to go out of a weekend for coffee though if it helped us get some time to talk if that was too hard at other times. I would also be prone to criticise if things are not done "my way", so thanks for the reminder. I'm also one to want control.

My due date is May 6.

Hello Zan, great point about words. We've been reading Proverbs and it is amazing the power words have.

Homemanager  – (February 18, 2009 at 3:22 PM)  

Hello Sherrin!
You have some great questions. I think Zan hit on the heart of your first question. When children are little they do need your attention more than not. You will find that they take a very special place in both of your hearts and I'm sure that Dave will be sensitive to the needs of the baby and your needs as well. This is a special time for learning and growing together in the care of each other and the baby. In many ways, you are treasuring Dave by being the best Mum you can be. The baby will be. Dave can't fill your role. :-)
One of my mistakes...I guess being so concerned that I wouldn't do everything just right. Once I let go of my worries, I could relax and enjoy my time with my baby.
As far as teaching the children that Daddy is first (after God), will come as they observe your interactions with one another. When they are small, they don't understand, but as they can understand you can explain that it is your time together now and redirect their attentions elsewhere (playing, reading...)with the promise of attention when you are done.
The best way to treasure your husband when you are talking to others is to always speak of the good things, the admirable things about him. If someone is speaking ill of their husband, turn the conversation to something good or encouraging about the husband being discussed. Redirect women who like to "bad mouth" their husbands. If the conversation doesn't change then politely excuse yourself and leave.
Just a few thoughts that have worked for me...Above all, pray for wisdom. The Lord is faithful to give it to you and abundantly!
Looking forward to rejoicing with you! Take good care of yourself!
Blessings,
Karen

Sherrin  – (February 21, 2009 at 4:24 PM)  

Hello Karen,

Thanks so much for your encouragement and advice. I appreciate hearing about your experiences.

I think I'm very much like you were - trying to do everything right and then getting stressed when I fail. This doesn't help anyone, and I really need to learn to relax and trust God more!

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