Don’t Forget Your Husband
By Amanda Griffin-Jacob
Who here is guilty of this? I’m one of the first to raise my hand. With four children, my husband David admittedly comes in fifth or sixth (if I’m able to throw in some self care) at times when it comes to ranking in my priority list. Our kids are usually the loudest and most demanding voices when it comes to needs, that it’s quite easy to forget about everyone else.
David and I have been married for over 11 years now. In that time, we had taken two trips alone together. Our first being only three years ago. Those two trips had been so good for our relationship, but it was never easy for me to be away from my babies. Another opportunity arose when one of our good friends got married in Italy a few weeks ago. When I first learned of her nuptials last year and where it would be, I had decided to bring our youngest, one-year-old Kyle, with us. The closer we got to the wedding, I realized, however, that it would be the perfect time to go solo with my husband to nurture and strengthen our marriage. Everyone concurred, most especially David!
Unfortunately, I underestimated just how difficult it would be for me. In the three months prior to the trip, I started having major apprehension about leaving my youngest. He is still exclusively breastfed, he had only just turned one, and my postpartum hormones were going haywire. My separation anxiety was at an all-time high. I had never left any of my kids until they were at least over two years old. Right up until the day we left, I still hadn’t fully made up my mind about leaving him. Finally, I concluded that I had to choose to prioritize David and our relationship for a change. As I left our house sobbing uncontrollably, David didn’t know what to do. He was on the edge of his seat thinking I would change my mind and cancel the whole trip or rush back home to go to Kyle.
The first few days were rough. I was crying, jet-lagged, and had to pump four to five times per day. I was on FaceTime with my children every chance I could get. But even I could see through my distress that it was a good decision to come and be with my husband without any distraction. Eventually, I settled down and into a calm state that allowed me to fully enjoy David’s company without interruption. I was able to focus on him, and we got back into the groove of just us. I was reminded how much I love him and his company. These things tend to get lost in the shuffle of the minutiae of day-today life and parenting.
We spent a total of eight days together. It was the best choice we have made for our marriage in quite a long time. It definitely wasn’t easy for me. I was pining for my baby every minute, but sometimes you need to really evaluate what is the best for you and your family at that particular time. David and I had a lot of quality time together, which is exactly what our relationship needed at this time. As a woman and a mother, balancing everything is impossible. Believe me, I’ve tried and failed many times. I’ve learned over the years that you have to allocate your attention and support to different facets of your life at different times. It’s not always easy and you’re sometimes accompanied by guilt, but it’s always worth it when you really dedicate quality time. The moral of this story, don’t forget about your husband, as you wouldn’t your children, and shouldn’t yourself.