My response to this topic "who should come first, kids or spouse" is always a, "really?!" Like they can't believe that I feel the way I do.
When we were first married choosing each other as first priority was easy. It was just him and I! But after I had my first child my husband was enamored with him. His son engrossed his time when he was not at work... and I was jealous. I WAS! It was a very petty and selfish thing but it was how I felt. So I sat him down one night and told him how I felt. (Half of that was the baby blues, which happens to be 1 of 3 times I've ever been depressed) We had a great discussion and he said, "Shelle you are always and will always be my number one. I will try harder to show that by my actions, but YOU are the most important thing to me. It's you and me forever... sometimes that sucks huh?" and then he laughed. But I felt so much better knowing that is where I stood and it became kind of our motto.
So let me just say, I always choose my spouse first. He is priority over everything but my Father in Heaven, even dare I say, my kids. *Gasp*
I know. Sounds brutal right? My spouse is an adult, he doesn't need me to pamper him and take care of his needs before my kids and others, and he doesn't, he IS an adult. That is not necessarily what I mean.
I mean that anyone and everyone who knows me knows that my husband is priority. If I am on the phone with someone and he rings in, then I get off to answer his call. My kids know that we share everything. We have no secrets. They know that eventually, something they tell to me will be shared with their father. Not always right when they tell me, but at the proper time and place so that my kids still feel comfortable talking with me.
I make it a point to contact my husband somehow everyday just to see how his day is going, in return I also get IM or called or Google chatted with during my day.
That doesn't mean that my children are neglected or that I don't love my children. I love them, just differently then I love my husband.
You see someday my kids are going to grow up and find their own love, their own someone special, their own significant other. I don't want them to love me the same or more than that person... I will expect that person to be their number one, like my husband is my number one. If I am so wrapped up in my children's lives and always put them first... then that day when my kids leave and I turn around, take a deep breath and focus my attention on my husband, I'm afraid I will find a stranger instead.
Everyday your spouse is going through experiences. Everyday they become different, maybe slightly, maybe majorly, but they change. If he isn't my number one and I don't take the time to make him my number one he will be a different person by the time I make him a priority, and maybe it will be to late then.
Maybe he will have changed so much that we won't have anything in common anymore? I'm not willing to take that risk. He is the one I chose to be with forever. To share everything with. To be my number one. I don't think that has to change or should change because I have kids.
This doesn't mean that I don't give my kids their time. Obviously my kids run me ragged and I am driving them to this or that or I'm teaching them something at home or they just need a moment for me to hold them, joke with them, and show them that I love them. I am there for them and they mean the world to me. I mean, its not like there aren't exceptions, there are times, of course, where I have to attend to my children because of whatever and I smile, kiss my husband, and attend to what I have to attend to.
But if we are doing their homework and my guy walks through the front door, homework gets put on hold so that I can kiss, hug, and love my husband.
My husband shows me the same respect. I know I am his number one, I KNOW that he loves me, I know that the changes I am going through drive him crazy and make him laugh all at the same time.
We fight and we argue, but we are friends as well as lovers and parents. I choose him. He is my number one, then my kids.
If I'm honest, most of the people that can't wrap their minds around this concept are those that are single, because their kids mean and should mean EVERYTHING to them because they only have each other at the moment or time.
And also I can say that I am not perfect at this concept. I may not always show in my actions that he is my priority, maybe one day I forget, maybe something comes up and I neglect him. Life happens, things aren't perfect, but in general I try to live my life so that I am always that person that he wants as his priority and show him that HE IS my priority, nothing is worth losing him over. Period.
Okay, WOW, so let me have it. What do you think? Am I completely off? Let's discuss in comments.