Let me tell you about the day I chose to sit beside my husband. We have two kids in extracurricular activities, and it often falls to my husband to drop the kids off at whatever activity they have that evening. When I’m done with work, I meet them there.
The day I chose to sit beside my husband was one such night. The kids were at karate and when I arrived, and I went over to my husband and my non-karate daughter who were both sitting in chairs, watching. There was a chair beside my husband and a chair beside my daughter, and I chose to sit beside my husband.
I’m not sure what made me do it. Something subconscious? Normally my instinct would be to slide in beside my daughter and start giving her the 20 questions drill about her day. But I did not. I sat beside my husband on this day. And I thought nothing of it. Until later.
Later that night my husband confided to me that it felt really good when I chose to sit in the empty seat beside him. When he said that, I realized just how often I am subconsciously (or consciously) choosing the kids over him. Yes, they clamour for attention a lot more loudly than he does. Or at least they did when they were younger. And yes, I feel an overwhelming love and protectiveness towards my kids. But I also feel an overwhelming amount of love for my husband, and I forget to show that to him all the time.
I’m constantly showing the kids in big and little ways how much I love them, and yet I’m forgetting how something as simple as choosing to sit beside my husband when there was an empty seat beside one of our kids can make him feel so important.
I’m not out to make this a competition, and neither is he. I love my kids and my husband equally, but in a different way. It’s not about choosing one over the other, but it is about making a conscious effort to make sure that I’m showing my husband that he’s important too.
Because one day these little cuties will to grow all the way up and gain some independence from their parents, perhaps they’ll even move out, and then we will be stuck looking across the table at — you guessed it — each other! I’d really like it if we still liked each other.
We can only maintain that level of relationship by choosing to sit beside each other every now and then. Even over our kids. Not every time, but sometimes. To show our spouse that they are our world too and that we are glad they are in it.