Monday, January 19, 2009

What's More Important: Being a Wife or Mom?

I found this discussion happening on Twitter Moms and was fascinated by the passionate responses. So... what do you think? Some say being a spouse should absolutely be first, with the kids to follow. While others say that being a parent is the most important job and spouses come and go.

Comments and opinions expressed here will be discussed on this week's Napcast -- with possibly one of you invited to call in.

12 comments:

BrandyEllen said...

What a great topic. I must admit I love my husband dearly and feel he is my soul mate, but he will tell you my daughter and our sons always come first.

I believe both are "important" but your children should always come first. I put my children first always and feel everyone should. Children are people who you will unconditionally love, spouses are almost "unconditionally loved" but agree they can come and go. I love my husband dearly but my children will and have always come first. Therefore, being a mom is most important to me than being a spouse.

@brandyellen

Annie @ PhD in Parenting said...

Both are extremely important, of course.

However, I think one of the most important things about my relationship with my husband is the solid foundation we had before we had kids and our common understanding that the kids need to come first for a while. When they are little, they are still so dependent on us emotionally and physically. That means we need to dedicate a lot of time and energy to them and that may take away from the time and energy we have for each other.

But we both understand that, so we will be able to get through it and then focus more on our relationship again once the kids are less dependent.

If he didn't understand that, it would mean he is the wrong guy for me.

Eva said...

Hmmm interesting question. I will have to say being a spouse is the most important job. In fact, if it were not for my marriage as a solid foundation to nurture a child and experience life together, I would not have wanted to have a kid. I love my daughter dearly, but she will grow up and have her own life. My hubby is whom I am going to grow old with.

Eva

Mom to the King and Captain said...

I believe children should ALWAYS come first. Thankfully my husband also agrees. Of course it's important to nurture your marriage/relationship because many times, in order to be a better parent, I think it's important to be happy in your relationship but regardless, children, to me, always come first.

bessieviola said...

Your marriage needs to be nurtured along with your children... that being said, I don't think there's a definitive "What comes first" for every situation. There are times when my child needs me more than my husband, and vice versa.

But in our house, we're constantly checking in to ensure that our marriage is being looked after... otherwise, there IS no family.

Debra Snider said...

I don't think it's a contest, with one or the other being of necessity more important. Both are equally important elements in the fabric of family life.

For me, it was a question of focus rather than importance. My kids are now grown (26 & 23) and my husband & I are about to celebrate our 32nd wedding anniversary.

Kids demand more attention when they're little, and everything works better when both parents understand that and accommodate it without emotionally abandoning each other. But I don't think kids are well-served by knowing or suspecting that their mother considers them a winner or a loser in a "Who's more important - us or dad?" contest. There's plenty of room in a mother's heart for her kids AND her husband.

Tara @ Feels like home said...

I have thought about this for a long time, since my daughter was born. Oprah did a show about it once (many years ago), and there moms on both sides were totally ensconced in their opinions.

Intellectually, I want my husband to come first. Our relationship is the basis of this family, and it has to be nurtured and healthy in order for us to be happy individuals. Also, my husband and I need to maintain our relationship because, someday, it will be just the two of us.

Emotionally, though, my baby comes first. I always tend to her needs first, always. I can't imagine doing anything differently. At 19 months old, she doesn't understand that she has to wait or that daddy needs time, too. I feel biologically compelled to put her needs and wants ahead of my own and my husband's.

I like what Annie said above, about kids' needs coming first for a little while, and then things shifting back to your husband. That makes a lot of sense to me, and I hope that will happen in my family.

Someday. For now, honestly, I love being so closely tied to my toddler. :)

Kelly said...

Being a wife comes first. That is not to say that we did not take care of our children's needs or loved them less that we love each other. Being a good wife makes me be a good mom. Our children are all out of the house - youngest being 20. I am still there for all of my kids and always will be. We protect our marriage and because we place our marriage vows as number one, our children naturally fall in line as important and much loved. I guess I just wouldn't be a good mom without a good husband...and he is a good one!

Ramona said...

Jackie - I'm gonna have to quit reading your blog if you keep me thinking so much! Read this on my BB today and that's all I've thought about since. I don't have an answer. What I DO know is that my kids come way before me. I'll have to keep thinking on this one and get back with ya...

azwildbrat said...

Geez...this is a really hard question. I want to say wife but I would have to say that being a mom comes first in my household right now - just because I don't have the energy to do both...my life consists of a demanding 1-month old and a needy teething 18-month old!

However, that being said if I wasn't a wife - I would be alone and it would be that much harder to be a mom. The more I do for him the more he does for me. The more he does for me the easier it is to be a mom, etc. I do not believe that husbands come and go but I do believe that if you are not a wife - they could go. And your kids are completely dependent on you and will never leave you and will love you no matter what.

Julie T said...

Great question, Jackie!

To me, being a wife comes first because part of being a good wife to my husband involves being a good mother to our kids. If I don't put my relationship first and give it the nurturing it deserves, our kids would suffer. That's why weekly date night is a non-negotiable and we try to get away at least one weekend a year without the kids. I think that is a gift we give our children ... that we have a good marriage.

XO

Linney said...

i din't really think there is a "which comes first"...i think they are both equally important....but when i get cought up in being "mom" i have to remind myself that i was a wife first, and that relationship is so important, he is the man of my dreams. and i can never imagine my life without him.