kids · mom life · Uncategorized

Let’s Talk: Who Comes First?

I’ve been drawn into the debate on if women should put their husbands/ significant others before their children. In this article, here, it is claimed that putting your husband first is the “secret” to a happy marriage…

The article was really an interesting read for me. Mel Robins, the author of the article, spoke about two bloggers who laughed when they told their priority list being, “their children, their girlfriends, and then their husbands”. Robins then states, “marriage is not a joke. It’s something we work hard at and are tremendously proud of. I want it to last a life time, which is why I treat it accordingly”. She then goes on to say, “I bet her husband’s breakdown is the same: his children, girlfriends, and then his wife”. …..Ouch!! Is it just me, or was their slight shade, lol!

In the article it is implied that putting you children first can cause them to be obnoxious kids. And questions if you wouldn’t want your kids to grow up and marry someone who puts them first? That you have to show them that by making your marriage an example.  Hmmm.. 

A related article on Psychology Today, Who Comes First, the Kids or the Marriage?, more or less implies the same thing.

It is stated in this article that making your kids the centerpiece of your life can create risks such as  indulgence, entitlement, and prolonged dependency. Also, reciprocating the idea in Mel Robins article, that putting your kids first can risk neglecting your marriage and foster feelings of resentment, neglect, resignation, and alienation in themselves or each other.

The article goes on to talk about this couple, Betty and Stefan. Long story short, Betty gives all her attention to their children disregarding the issues in her and Stefan’s relationship which led to a lack of intimacy and loss of trust. Betty states that she has to give all her attention to their children because Stefan is lacking, and he retaliated that the children need to become more independent and responsible. After the kids are grown Betty and Stefan are still together but their relationship is still unsatisfying due to them never facing these underlying issues. How sad!

Are we doing more harm when we put our children before our partners? Do we do this unintentionally because there are issues in our relationships we rather not deal with?

On the opposing side, another article I read, Why I’ll always put my children before my husband… even though it’s already destroyed one relationship, where Lucy Cavendish basically says putting her children first has ruined a previous relationship with her child’s father, and she would do it all over again. Lucy questions, “can’t marriages take a back seat while children are young? They’ll grow up soon enough!” Lucy also states, that she thinks there is a difference in men and women on this topic; that women would say they put their children first, but men would say they put their wife first. I thought that was interesting, maybe true, but a little unbalanced. Like, maybe that’s where the underlying problem is…unbalanced priorities. Stay with me for a minute, but if each person prioritized their partner first, or their children first it would be a little more balanced, but I can see where someone will feel shorted if they weren’t on the same priority level as they put their partner. Does that make sense?

I found all of these articles interesting and valid points in each opinion. For me, I think it’s a tricky balancing act. Parenting takes a ton of work and energy and so does a succesful relationship or marriage. I don’t think you should stop putting in energy into your relationship because you have children, but I am guilty of falling into that trap and I saw the negative effects it had on our relationship. I had to start being intentional about nurturing our relationship and still be a great mom. I also see the positive effects on my children that comes from giving more energy into my relationship with their father. It’s like they can sense when we’re pouring off of each other and thrive off of it.

Mothers, I want to hear from you! What are your opinions on this topic?


Related Links: I Put My Husband Before My Kids, And This Is Why

             Ayesha Curry Puts Her Marriage Before Her Kids


23 thoughts on “Let’s Talk: Who Comes First?

  1. I definitely believe your marriage comes first. When we have healthy marriages, then that overflows into our children. We are able to guide them, help them, discipline them as a unit. This has such a positive impact on the kids.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is definitely an interesting perspective. Me personally feel that there has to be a balance. You obviously can’t ALWAYS put your spouse or kids first. Some days my husband comes first, some days my kids, some days me…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love how you spoke to both sides of the debate. We have three kids and are always joking about how life just revolves around them at this stage of our lives! I agree with you though, I think it is definitely a balancing act that you need to be aware of. Your children only live with you for a short time so of course you want to focus on them, but you also can’t let your spouse be put on the back burner while you are raising your children together.

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  4. Interesting! I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately actually. We’re in a bit of a crazy phase of life right now and it’s hard to make sure everyone is getting what they need. I do tend to believe that it should be the significant other that is prioritized first and then children. Though I’m guilty of prioritizing my child first right now because he’s so young. I work in higher ed and you can definitely tell when a child has been #1 all of their life. It doesn’t always prepare them for life away from mom and dad very well. Thanks for a great read!

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  5. It’s such a balancing act, trying to make sure all the relationships in our lives get the nurturing they deserve. I am definitely guilty of prioritizing my kids over my husband a lot of the time. Sometimes it seems like weeks pass, and my husband and I have talked about nothing but the kids and the work involved in running a household. Thanks for the reminder to remember to give attention to the guy who is the one member of my family whom I actually chose!

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  6. Ideally I think they should be equal in priority. At different stages in life it will look different but they are still equally important to me. When kids are little they need more time and attention. And it’s up to us as parents to be creative in finding time to spend together. After all, they are OUR kids not just my kids. Then as they grow older they don’t require as much time and finding time for us is easier.
    If I were to prioritize one over the other, to me that would mean we weren’t working together and parenting and living life as a team.

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  7. I understand both sides, but I think my husband will always come first and together we do our best for our daughter. I think she needs both of us to be role models in her life and the only way we can do that is if we take care of ourselves as individuals and as a couple.

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  8. Although I am quilty of not following it all the time, spouse must come first. Like others have already stated, our children are ours for a short time and then they leave. Our spouses are with us a lifetime! A happy balance is key.

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  9. I agree with you, it’s a tricky balance. If you put one in front of the other always, you may end up neglecting one. I think giving attention to both is important.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. These are some interesting thoughts. I don’t think that we necessarily choose to put our children first, but we do work a lot and at the end of the day there isn’t much time for us, by default. We don’t have any family nearby to watch the kids either, but for us it has just been the way it is.

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  11. I think people worry too much about order instead of more important things. There are moments when I will put my kids first. There are moments when I will put my partner first.

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  12. Ooooh, I really enjoyed this one! I can see both sides, too, and loved how you presented the fact that it could be the lack of the same priorities that causes issues. In short, I lean toward the spouse comes first. After all, it’s important for the kids to see a healthy relationship, and the kids do eventually leave the house so you want to still have that great relationship with your spouse. Now for the long answer: when I mean “put your spouse/partner first,” I mean in terms of making sure that relationship is nurtured first. And this looks different in many seasons, and requires efforts of both parties. For example, in a season where there are infants and toddlers, practically speaking, the children will seem to be coming first because they require so much attention. But if both parties communicate well and work together to make sure they sneak in a little time together (like maybe just make a deal to have date night at home every Friday by eating dinner together and cuddling), then I think that is still making sure that both the partner and the kids feel prioritized. Hopefully this makes sense! It’s something I am learning now!

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    1. PREACH! For me, it seems so unatural to say I put my spouse before my kids, bc I would literally die for my kids, but I think this debate is more along the lines of is it ok to neglect your spouse and primarily focus on your children, which I believe the answer is no. I chose my spouse, and together we made these beautiful souls, so I have to love on him the way he’s used to or hes going to feel negleted. I used to think it was wild for a grown up to be jealous of a child but I see how it is possible! I think you hit it spot on when you say there are seasons! As long as theres good communication.. and no relationship is the same, so different strokes for different folks!


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