I used to be one of those people that thought you should do anything and everything for your kids – that they should be the priority. It’s portrayed in movies of parents willing to do anything for their kids. Overtime this philosophy has changed for me, especially since finding Trevor.
You can pause before continuing, and read this awesome article by a mom: “Why my husband will always come before my kids.” I’m so glad to stumble upon this article because I’ve had the same views, but her perspective comes from the eyes of an actual mother and wife. I’m just adding my own thoughts below :)
We can’t control the weather; there are so many unforeseen obstacles that might try to break up the solid marital relationships we’ve spent months or years building. And then there are the things we can control, like work, school, friends, relatives, hobbies, and lifestyles. When you look at how great your relationship is with your spouse, would you want something to come between that? Trevor and I made a commitment to prioritize each other, and to do our best to minimize potential wedges that could come between us. Kids… they can definitely be a wedge!
I’ve seen in families close to me, what being too involved in their children’s lives can do to a marriage. Their only dates become attending the kids’ sports or musical performances. Most of their conversations become solely about their kids instead of each other. Overtime these habits can progress… (And we wonder why people get divorced after 25 years of marriage…) I have the same views as the author of the article when she says:
“There’s no question that the bond between a mother and child is unbreakable. But I view my investment in my relationship with my spouse as one that is beneficial to our family as a whole. Prioritizing my husband’s needs decreases our chances of getting divorced; it also increases the probability that our children will remain in a two-parent home.”
“In a few years, our son and daughter will leave our home and when they do, I want to celebrate a job well done with my lover — not sit in a quiet house with a person who has become a stranger as a result of years of quietly drifting apart.”
No, we don’t have kids yet, so no, I don’t know what a parental love feels like. You could say that makes a huge difference on this topic. However, I actually like that I’m learning this lesson and deciding on it now, before we do have kids; before one of us starts feeling continuously neglected. That is one of my biggest worries in thinking about adding children to our family – I worry how it will affect our marriage.
Of course, more time is dedicated to taking care of tiny humans that can’t take care of themselves, so that’s understandable. But there is a difference. If I post a thousand pictures of my kid, I’m not going to say things like: “I couldn’t imagine loving someone more!” or “They are my everything!” If I did that, I could see Trevor in the corner asking, “Uhhh… what about me?” And I wouldn’t blame him!
What it comes down to, is that Trevor is my everything, and our kids will be a close second.
Some people forget that their kids will eventually belong to someone else. They will grow up, be able to take care of themselves, and become their own independent person. They will marry someone, and build their own family. And you, the parents, will always have your marriage. Something so long-term and so significant is not meant for the back-burner.