By Josephine Oguntoyinbo
There is this age old question that keeps being asked by married people. It produces lots of stern opinions and even more questions. Who comes first, your spouse or your children?
Most people, especially women will be taken aback by this question. “How can you even think about putting your children second?”
This question is often asked when we are trying to balance our priorities in life and wanting to create a happy marriage. As relationships mature, women tend to stop trying hard to keep their husbands being significant and others happy.
When children come along the line, it feels impossible to even spend time with one’s partner anymore ,because taking care of the children seems to take up all your time. But do you know working on keeping your marriage healthy and happy is one of the best things you can do for your children? Having happy parents reduces feelings of depression, stress and anger in children.
Meanwhile, marriage was designed to take precedence over every other human relationships. Even children were not mentioned as God’s purpose for marriage; rather the ability to multiply was a consequence and blessing of marriage. .
Couples who focus on their children at the expense of their relationship, usually realize later when the children are gone that they have no relationship left because they have neglected their friendship over the years.
In some situations people feel that there is nothing left binding them together once the children are gone.
Children should not be used as a smoke-screen to cover up an unsatisfactory marriage. If all of your conversation with your spouse is centred on your children, take a step back and remind yourself of the things that drew you together in the first place.
Do not sacrifice your shared interests on the altar of parenthood. Your friendship as a couple is a cornerstone of your marriage which should not be neglected..
Meanwhile, children instinctively know when the relationship between their parents is strong. The best thing you can do to give your children a stable, loving environment to grow up in is to love your spouse. Strong relationships with your spouse and children should not be mutually exclusive.
You must understand that you should have both. If you build one at the expense of the other, both will suffer in the long run.
Though, when our children are born, they are dependent on us. It is normal for them to require a lot of our attention. In a way they require us to make them the main priority for a period of time. We end up getting stuck in a place where we continue to feel like they are the number one priority even as they grow and become more independent.
As our kids mature we want to make sure they are well taken care of and have the best that we can offer. Sometimes that ends up with us putting their wants and needs above our spouse’s and even our own. It is a good thing. However, we must be mindful that it is a very easy trap to fall into.
Remember children will grow up and have their own children. Our spouses are the ones we chose to spend the rest of our lives with. Would it not be great to enjoy that time together instead of trying to relearn all about who each of you are?
Besides, keeping spouse as a priority when the kids are still young makes parenting easier. You and your spouse can work as a team rather than feeling like two separate people trying to raise the same children. You will always have him to support you if you apply wisdom.