There is a natural order in marriage. Two people fall in love, become the most important person to one another, and live happily ever after together. Except, you don’t get to live happily ever after together, if you stop putting your spouse first once you have kids. Give me a second to explain – because I’m 99% sure I lost a few of you with that comment, or at least enraged a few moms. After all, this goes against the golden rule of motherhood. You know, the rule that tells you that to be a good parent you have to sacrifice everything for the happiness and well-being of your children. Putting aside your own needs for the sake of the kids. Considered a requirement by most moms. But, I am not buying it.
There is NO question that the bond between a mother and a child is unbreakable. Children NEED to be loved and cherished. I get that! But, what happens if you love and cherish your child more than you love and cherish your spouse? When your kid grows up and moves out and it’s back to just you and your husband in the house, what then? If you live a child-centric life, what happens when your nest becomes empty? It’s pretty obvious if you ask me – you lose touch with your spouse over those 18+ years of living a child-centric life, and you’re left with a loveless marriage, fostering feelings of resentment, neglect, alienation, etc.
If you push your spouse down on your list of priorities once a baby comes along, you’re teaching your child that marriage isn’t a priority, or all that important. If your kid on the other hands sees you honoring your spouse, and putting them at the top of the priority list, they’ll likely feel a sense of security and love that can be accomplished in no other way. They’ll learn that marriage is a priority, and it will set them up for building bonds of their own one day. Plain and simple. Showing your spouse love and putting them first does not diminish how you feel about your child or how they feel, as long as you show them love too.
It is my opinion that if you put your child first, and essentially worship their existence, you’re forcing them out into the world with a very unrealistic view. They will likely grow up to be entitled, and believe that they are always owed something. If you don’t let them stand up on their own two feet young, when will they?
When our children leave the nest, I want to be able to celebrate a job well done in raising successful grown-ups (because we’re raising grown-ups, not children) with my lover – not sit in a quiet house with someone who has become a stranger. So when asked the question as to whether I want to be a good mom first, the answer is always NO. I want to be a good wife, and then a good mom. My child is not my whole heart. My husband makes up one half of my heart, and my child the other.