May 2016

Why I Love My Husband More than My Child

Author: Angela Krysevig

We have a routine in our house every night when my husband returns home from work. To make my 14-month-old aware that his dad has come home after a long day; I enthusiastically shout, “Dad is home!” He now understands this phrase, and runs as fast as he can on his wobbly little legs to the door. Our German shepherd has also caught on to the meaning of the sentence, and excitedly leaps off the couch and barks incessantly until Steve enters the house.

Steve’s response is the same every night. He shoos the dog away, gives Jude a quick, “Hey, buddy!” and walks over to me and leans down to give me a big kiss. “How’s Mamma today?” he asks, before turning and officially greeting the rest of the family. The same happens when I return home from being away. My spouse always gets the first hello and the first kiss. Why? Because I love my husband more than my kid.

Before any mothers reading angrily call me a selfish, horrible mother, please let me explain. It is not as harsh as it sounds. The priorities that my husband and I have set benefit everyone involved.

Society today tells us that we have to place everything we have into our children. We are to focus on being their friend, and we are led to believe that their self-esteem is so fragile that it demands our undivided attention in order for them to grow up to be productive adults in society. The result of that thinking is obnoxious kids that run the home and dictate how a parent’s time is spent.

Don’t get me wrong; I love my son and would do anything for him, but my husband is my priority. He had my attention before kids, and he will have it after they are gone. This way of thinking is met with shock and anger among other moms, and I can understand why. It goes against the rule of motherhood: Children must always come first. Otherwise, why bother having kids?

The only problem with that statement is that it is a lie. It says that placing anything before your child is selfish, when quite the opposite is true. Putting your spouse first does not diminish the love your children feel from you. On the contrary, it creates a legacy and a stability for their entire lives. Investing in my relationship with my husband benefits my family as a whole, and lays the foundation that I would like my kids to follow when they start their own families.

Parenting is a lot easier when you do not have to work on marital issues at the same time. A harmonious environment makes children feel safe and loved, allowing them to thrive as individuals. As the parent, it is my job to be a teacher; and that includes teaching my children what a good marriage looks like. I want my kids to grow up and marry someone who puts them first, works with them as a teammate, and shows interest in them even after years of being together. Therefore, I need to make my marriage a model for them to follow.

I do not want my kids thinking the world revolves around them. When you make kids the center of your universe, you raise adults who think they are the center of the universe. If my kids have everything, including my undivided attention at all times, they will grow up to be self-centered, entitled little brats. Asking my children to be patient for a minute, or telling them “no” is not going to hurt their self-esteem.

Showing kids that you make others a priority teaches them respect and compassion towards others.
My husband will be there after all my children are gone. I want my marriage to last forever, so I need to give it the attention it deserves. I am raising my son to leave me one day, so keeping the romance alive between my husband and me is crucial. That doesn’t just mean sex. It’s little acts of caring that show your spouse how much you mean to them. At the end of this journey, I want to celebrate a job well done with my lover and partner on a beach somewhere, not sitting at my kitchen table in silence with a stranger.

My husband is not my roommate. We chose each other. We are interested in each other physically, emotionally, and intellectually. Children cannot fill the emotional and physical adult needs that my spouse provides, and it is wrong of me to put that burden on them. My job is wife and mother. I am not to put my role as wife on a shelf to be forgotten about while raising a family and assume I can just dust it off later without any major changes to my marriage.

Children benefit from parents who love each other. Putting my marriage first does not mean neglecting my son; he has my heart. He is the greatest thing I have ever done, and I can’t imagine my life without him. So for his sake (and for ours), we make our marriage our top priority. It is okay—and necessary—to shower your kids with love and affection. Just not at the expense of your spouse.
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Angela Krysevig hails from Pittsburgh with her high school sweetheart, a 14-month-old son, and a daughter due in August. She operates a blog, armywifeandmommylife.svbtle.com, which chronicles her experiences as a military wife and new mother.

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