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Marriage or kids #1 priority? - Page 3

post #41 of 116



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by goinggreengirl View Post

I do want to say that I think it's interesting that most people put this "choice" to women.

 

I think most people put it to women because our society is, sadly, still very patriarchal and I think there is still this attitude that we need to be bending over backwards to persuade our men to stick around.

 

I certainly don't think it's okay to neglect any of my loved ones, and that, of course, includes my dh. Again, I just don't believe the line that one person has to "trump" another. It's not either-or. It's both-and.

 

I mean, it's okay if some third party chooses to cringe because dh and I don't leave our girls with a a sitter to go on dates or trips by ourselves. To me, the important thing is that dh and I are not cringing. It would be no fun for me to leave a crying child to go out to dinner.

 

One time dh actually got a gift certificate from his previous employer for two dinners at Olive Garden. Our youngest was a baby, and, while we certainly could've taken both girls and gotten a spare plate to share our meal with dd1, I was kinda tired and it was cold out and it was so much nicer to just have dh pick it up as carry out and bring it home. I s'pose some folks would say we were crazy to pass up a chance for a free date night, and maybe they'd even cringe about it, but I don't see any need to jump through a bunch of hoops just so other women will think I'm doing a good job tending to my husband's needs.

 

It's more important to me to listen to him and tend to his actual needs, just as I listen to my daughters and tend to their actual needs.

post #42 of 116

we poly family...so dates are part of life. My lover does not live with us.

 

I have lovely time alone with each kid separately as well. In fact, this how we once explained dates to them "You like having lunch one on one with mom or dad, well, adults like that kind of attentions too"

 

While I cringe, and I have right to cringe, I ultimately do not care what other people do. It is their family and their life.

 

DH and I like rediscovering each other one on one and feeling that something besides kids ties us together and that when kids move out we will have things to do and talk about.

 

My kids are important to me and  husband is important to me. My lover is  important to me.

 

Kids were more important to my mom and dad than marriage and all it got them was a divorce and waht it got us, the kids , was not a such rosy childhood

post #43 of 116

I'd say neither. Our family is #1. Maybe that's a cop-out, but we're a unit. I think it's all about preserving a balance- if our marriage needs a little TLC, we take care of that. If the baby does, we tend to him. I really can't think of a time I'd have to choose between one or the other.

post #44 of 116

I think it's a false choice. Everyone's needs matter and deserve to be taken into account. It simply isn't necessary to deprioritize one of your family members and, frankly, I think it's patriarchal/oppressive and unloving to do so. My husband is beloved beyond measure and beyond compare, and so is our child, and so am I. I would not denigrate any of us by behaving otherwise.

 

That said, it's obvious that children's needs are often immediate and require faster responses and more attention than those of adults, who are more capable of both delayed gratification and creatively meeting their own needs.Balancing everyone's needs, including their urgency and how much attention they require to be met, can be complex. Once in a while, the ball gets dropped. It takes skill and experience to triage simultaneous needs. The difficulties of doing this, however, do not create an excuse for oversimplifying an inherently complex matter by saying your husband (or kids) come first. Rather, they create a challenge that you grow to meet.

post #45 of 116

If you and your spouse are united in putting the kids first, doing that and putting the marriage first are the same thing.

 

Certainly, it's good for the whole family - kids included - if parents get the occasional night out alone, that type of thing.  But when it comes to making sacrifices, if both parents agree that the kids' needs should be the top priority (while they're still minors), then, for example, sacrificing, a special couple's vacation or date nights at expensive restaurants, to pay for the kids' tuition or college savings; or giving up alone-time in your room to let a toddler sleep with you; doesn't mean you're putting your marriage second.  Knowing you're doing the best possible job of raising your kids IS a marital priority, something that makes you feel pleased and on the right track, together.

post #46 of 116

I don't think there is a reason to have to choose.  It feels a lot like "who do you love more? Your husband or kids?" and obviously to me, at least, the answer is that I love them equally.  If I am totally honest with myself, my number one priority is to my son, because he is three years old and dependent upon me.  I am more responsible for his well being than for my husband's who is a grown man.  But because part of what I want for my son is for him to be raised by parents who are in a happy and loving marriage, there are times when it seems that our marriage takes priority.  Relationships are fluid and different needs might take center stage for a while, but that doesn't mean one person is more important to me than another.  I think it is crazy making to try to determine who/what should be our number one priority and plan accordingly, and I think it is presumptuous for someone else to suggest that to any mother or father.  It is your family and you should do what you feel is right. You don't have to choose and both can be your priority at different times.  There can be a balance where everyone has their needs met on a timeline that also takes into account that children have more immediate developmental and emotional needs than parents. 

post #47 of 116

It is all about balance and at certain times people have to sacrifice certain things. Some of those things may be more important to one person over the next so while a person from the outside sees it disgusting or that a person is putting their own needs over their children first really can't comment because they don't know what all is going on to say if they are being selfish or not. 

 

 

For me and my relationship it is my job to bend over backwards to make sure my husband sticks around. Just as it is his to do it too. If he is a good husband meeting all my needs in that area I will have no desire to look elsewhere, just as if I am good wife meeting all his needs he will have no desire to go somewhere else. I am responsible for my own happiness but when it comes to our relationship its not a 50/50 thing we both have to be giving 100/100 for it to last. But we do take on more of the traditional roles in our marriage but I am okay with that since it works for us. When we tried doing it other ways our marriage greatly fell apart. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post

I think most people put it to women because our society is, sadly, still very patriarchal and I think there is still this attitude that we need to be bending over backwards to persuade our men to stick around.

 

post #48 of 116

In our home we strive for this order...

 

#1 God

#2 Marriage

#3 Children

 

This is biblical and the way we try live our lives. Now this does not mean that we use this as a pecking order. It goes something like this....

 

Marriage and parenting are HARD WORK! We put God first. For us this means daily prayer, bible reading, and regular fellowhip with the church (for us 1-2 times a week). We strive to put our marrige second because if we are not in a healthy relationship with each other we cannot provide a healthy life for our children. We love our children more than can be expressed :) They know it and they also know that Mommy and Daddy love God and love each other.

 

It's not about loving our spouse more or less than the kids, if anything it is about loving our children so much that we work on the difficult things that some people would just let go by the wayside and stuff down for the "sake" of the children. Believe me we have been there and done that. Praise the Lord we are no longer living that life!

 

Amy

post #49 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by amyandelle View Post

In our home we strive for this order...

 

#1 God

#2 Marriage

#3 Children

 

This is biblical and the way we try live our lives. Now this does not mean that we use this as a pecking order. It goes something like this....

 

Marriage and parenting are HARD WORK! We put God first. For us this means daily prayer, bible reading, and regular fellowhip with the church (for us 1-2 times a week). We strive to put our marrige second because if we are not in a healthy relationship with each other we cannot provide a healthy life for our children. We love our children more than can be expressed :) They know it and they also know that Mommy and Daddy love God and love each other.

 

It's not about loving our spouse more or less than the kids, if anything it is about loving our children so much that we work on the difficult things that some people would just let go by the wayside and stuff down for the "sake" of the children. Believe me we have been there and done that. Praise the Lord we are no longer living that life!

 

Amy


Amy, I am genuinely interested in this and not trying to be snarky at all.  I hear people say this and I myself am Christian but have never actually heard the "back up" for where this is stated that how things should be (marriage ahead of children).  Do you mind sharing? 
 

 

post #50 of 116

I know there are those who disagree with me, but I think there is a difference between "needs" and "wants."

 

I do my best to meet everyone's needs. I do not necessarily meet everyone's wants. Instant gratification is not a necessity, and sometimes people have to wait and/or do without.

 

 

 

 

 

post #51 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDSmomma View Post

I was recently advised by two relatives that marriage should be the #1 priority and kids #2.  I'm not sure how I feel about that.  I understand the thinking that the kids need a strong marriage, and it should be important.  I guess I don't understand what types of actions/activities keep marriage above the children in our priority list. And how does this fit in with attachment parenting?



I think this is a rather vague statement.

 

I do feel that some parents become so child centered that it becomes unhealthy to their adult relationship long term. I think of it as the same as one partner working long hours every day and coming home, eating and then falling asleep. I don't think you can do that for years and years and keep a healthy connected relationship.  The other partner might start resenting always being #2 or being the sole parent on call all the time or just drift away because the partner never wants to do anything with them. The working partner might feel frustrated because they are working these long hours to support the family and feel unappreciated, stressed or left out.

I think instead of saying children or marriage should take priority it is better to say that there just needs to be a balance.  I think both partners need to do this with whatever they have going on in their lives. To achieve that I think there needs to be an effort to connect as a couple- whether it is a daily phone call or a weekly date night. I think tasks need to be shared among family members and compromises need to be made so no one is always #1 or #2 or #15.

 

post #52 of 116

I'm with those who say they believe it is a balance between the two. DH and I would not be the parents we are without each other, and our marriage wouldn't be what it is without the children. For us it isn't a matter of putting one or the other into an order of whats more important, but putting them together and making our family what comes above anything else.

 

 

Being a mother and a father are so engrained in who we are, I can't really imagine how we would tend to each others needs (marriage first thinking) without the acknowledgement of that part of us. I just have a hard time separating the two aspects of our lives. Even before children, we considered ourselves a family. The individual relationships within our family grow and change and each have their own needs, but the family as a whole is what our priority is, not one part or another.

post #53 of 116



I definitely believe in giving without expecting it to be 50/50. I just don't feel that either of us needs to persuade the other to stay or to be faithful. Maybe it's just a matter of semantics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by new2this View Post

For me and my relationship it is my job to bend over backwards to make sure my husband sticks around.

post #54 of 116

This is something that should be discussed with your partner since everyone differs in their expectations. The easiest way to avoid conflict and misunderstanding is to find out what each other is thinking by talking openly about it. I suspect there will be compromises on both sides but being able to compromise is what makes for a lasting relationship. Attachment parenting is something that requires agreement by both parents otherwise someone is going to get burned. 

post #55 of 116

Going to chime in and repeat what most other people have said..at this point in our lives, our children are more important, simply because their needs are immediate, and time sensitive, and we as adults can handle more stress, change, etc than our children. I'd love to have a weekly date night with DH, but not at the sacrifice of his precious time with our kids. He barely sees them as is. We tend to spend the weekends together as a family, and DH and I go out maybe once every few months or so, just the two of us. Alone time is rare, but does happen for both of us. He goes out after work every couple weeks and I go out just myself about once a month. We do have a newborn though and I'm sure I'm going to have a lot less me(and us time, aside from letting DS spend the night at grammy's so we only have one kid to manage at night) time for at least the next year, and I'm okay with that! :) I know as they get older, we'll have more time together and can make more of an equal priority for both marriage and children, but right now it's all about the kiddos.

post #56 of 116

Going to chime in and repeat what most other people have said..at this point in our lives, our children are more important, simply because their needs are immediate, and time sensitive, and we as adults can handle more stress, change, etc than our children. I'd love to have a weekly date night with DH, but not at the sacrifice of his precious time with our kids. He barely sees them as is. We tend to spend the weekends together as a family, and DH and I go out maybe once every few months or so, just the two of us. Alone time is rare, but does happen for both of us. He goes out after work every couple weeks and I go out just myself about once a month. We do have a newborn though and I'm sure I'm going to have a lot less me(and us time, aside from letting DS spend the night at grammy's so we only have one kid to manage at night) time for at least the next year, and I'm okay with that! :) I know as they get older, we'll have more time together and can make more of an equal priority for both marriage and children, but right now it's all about the kiddos.

post #57 of 116

I am not sure how anyone could make kids "always" (not just "mostly" but "always") the number 1 priority and still have a healthy marriage (or a healthy inner life even). So if your partner was truly and urgently upset about something but your child wanted to play a game with you, you'd tell your partner you didn't want to talk now? I can't imagine there are many people who would really do that--I think most people would try to devote at least a few minutes to their partner and then play. I do think there's a distinction between the kind of care each group needs. My son needs immediate physical care--my partner doesn't need that, and obviously that tends to come first. But my love, support, and company is necessary for both of them. Saying that I can't or shouldn't provide that for both is silly, and I wouldn't be a very good partner OR mother if I didn't provide it. I only have 1 child, but I imagine those of you who have more kids would say you balance all their needs. Sometimes one child has to wait while you tend to another, and sometimes it's flipped. Why shouldn't we do the same with our partners?

 

Now, that being said I think it's obvious that most of our partners needs can be put off or even ignored completely in the face of more urgent needs from children, but the trick is that if you ignore for too long cracks can appear. Of course date night gets cancelled if a child is sick, but date night DOES get scheduled and attempted because that's important to me and to my partner. Everyone needs a different level of "care". For my partner and I, we have found we really need at least one date night a month, and we need occasional dinner conversations to check in (even if they are broken up by helping our son). If we don't get that, we start to argue more and we have more trouble being "there" for our son. For others, a 5 minute check in over coffee in the morning might be enough. But I think if you don't meet your own personal basic need for connection/care, it's not really fair to anyone in the family.


Edited by claritygolden - 6/7/11 at 3:56pm
post #58 of 116

We have been married 14 years and dated several years before marriage. We became parents after 5 years so we had a good time to build foundation in our marriage, travel, date, have two nice incomes etc.

We always knew we wanted me home for several years so it was a given I would not have a large wardrobe, travel as extensive as we did, and drive brand new shiny cars.

 

We practiced AP with both of our children which also meant DH has  many pictures of holding on to babies, cosleeping w babies, and changing diapers, feedinng the babies...

With our first, she would wake up at 5am, nurse, and go back to sleep which as she got older, several hours. She still enjoys sleeping in to this day. So several years ago, we were awake at 6:15 am and had coffee and read the paper together. Still do this each and everyday until 7am when dh showers  etc. Its our couple time to talk like adults, share current events, maybe have some relations etc. It certainly made up for not going out as much as we do now (kids older now) because as anyone with young children know, it takes some prep or maybe the kids or parents are not ready. Or maybe a sitter is $$$. But at least we had  that time everyday.

 

I would say we have always nurtured our relationship as husband and wife even with a newborn. Right after our first was born, like day 3- my MIL called and said she was bringing dinner. They brought it in, set the table, presented it and then took the baby in the living room to stare at and hold while we ate. The baby ate right before so she just slept on her grandpa. They said they were babysitting. They did that a few times.

 

I would say yes, make your marriage a priority within reason. Yes, have couple time but no dont put down a hungry baby because you want adult time. During naptime, you guys can go do the same. We would wait until the baby was as dh called it- milk drunk and sleeping off her meal and go out to the local burger joint on a quiet evening. She would sleep in the sling or carseat and we would have a quiet but quicker meal to recharge.

 

Now,  we do date night once a week during summer months and 1-2 times during winter months. We have a teen who comes once a week for 3 hours on thursday evening. She also comes one morning a week and I run errands. For date night, we can walk a block to a favorite patio martini bar, we have taken a long bikeride, gone to the mall to shop and walk around, or even meet another couple. We ran into our pastor one night at a cafe and he remarked how wonderful it was we did datenight.

 

If you start to make your marriage a priority from Day 1, it falls into place because its always there, even in difficult times in your marriage like unemployment, death in family, colicky baby, sickness, raising kids, but do it within reason for you and your partner. For some priority is going to Italy for 2 weeks while the kids stay with grandma and are fine with that. For others, its sneaking down the street to have a coffee together. As your kids are growing, show them you appreciate you marriage and go off alone to do something. My children have a wonderful relationship with their grandparents now because they have spent time with them over the years. They also can deal with other people because they have had several babysitters over the years here and there while mommy and daddy go out to a party etc.

post #59 of 116

My kids will always be first. I choose to have them. They had no say in the matter so to speak.

 

post #60 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by beenmum View Post

My kids will always be first. I choose to have them. They had no say in the matter so to speak.

 



I have a few friends and people I know who feel as strongly as you do about this. My problem, some of these kids know it and know the world revolves around them and them only. My DH always remarks how sorry he feels for these parents' future daughter and son in laws.

 

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