Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Don't Put The Kids First

Mothers today are Superwomen and martyrs. The more sacrifices we make, the better we are at our job. While this little rule is more unspoken, the proof of our mindset lies in our standard answer to the question, "How are you?" The response I hear most often from my mom friends isn't "Good" as you'd expect. Nope. Us Supermoms love to be able to say, "Busy!"

Another symptom of Supermom syndrome is the classic phenomenon we refer to as the kids come first. This translates into putting the care, feeding, attention, and activities of the children ahead of one's own needs. However, this phenomenon also frequently translates into putting the children's needs ahead of their Daddy's needs.

Here are three reasons to adjust your family priorities and start putting the kids last...

1. We have but eighteen (or so) short years with each child. With our men, Lord willing, we have a whole lifetime. If all of our time and energy is poured into the children, we will be lost and without purpose when they're gone.

2. Putting your man first is, technically, meeting your children's deepest desire. No one wants you and your husband to stay married more than your children do! Pour your energy into keeping the marriage healthy, and they will be the beneficiaries.

3. Modelling for our children how a healthy marriage works will prepare them to look for and be a good spouse. In a household where Mommy and Daddy's relationship comes first, the children learn how to honour their spouse above all others.

The priorities of the typical Superwoman look something like this:
- Kids, kids, kids
- House
- Friends, family, ministry, work
- Marriage
- Self

The priorities of the "new" Superwoman look a little like this:
- Self (Because I'm worth it!)
- Work
- Kids, house, family, friends, ministry
- Marriage

The priorities of the Godly Superwoman ought to look more like this:
- God
- Marriage
- Kids
- Other relationships (friends, family)
- Other stuff God calls her to (house, work, ministry, self)

Healthy marriages make healthy families. Healthy families build healthy communities and churches. Healthy curches and communities grow healthy cities, countries, and so on.

So I say, if we've got kids, we stop putting them first and instead pour that energy into building up our men and our marriages. We could change the world right from our own living rooms.

Are your priorities in order?

(I know mine need some work...)


  1. Ok - but what does this look like? The kids still need so much, and when they are little they need help with everything! So even if I want to put my husband first, the immediate and practical needs of my children still take up so much time. Just clothing cleaning feeding and putting them to bed leaves me exhausted! Once they are in school I hear it gets worse.....I'm already tired thinking about it! So when this is life how does one keep children alive, healthy, and happy and still invest MORE in her marriage? I'm not arguing with you, I just have NO IDEA what that looks like.

  2. Kelly, that is a great question! One that I actually plan to answer soon... (Not that I'm an expert, by any means! Ha! But because I've learned and tried a few things along the way that seem to work. And a few that don't.)

  3. Yet again, another great post! I've known this for years, and at times I've done a great job of putting my marriage FIRST, but the some things happened and I just didn't want to anymore. I didn't want to put my husband first for reasons I won't share here, and all the while I knew I was sinning.

    So, a couple months ago I decided to start small and work my way into putting my husband first. Well...that didn't work.

    And then two weeks ago Chris was injured and unable to do anything for himself, and I was essentially catapulted into doing everything for him. It was just what I needed!

    While I wish this hadn't happened to my husband, I am so thankful for it because of how God is using it for His good already. My only choice has been to put my husband first, and you know what? It actually feels GOOD. I'm honored to be able to serve him, wait on him hand and foot, help him tend to his wounds, etc. THAT IS A MIRACLE. Praise God!

  4. Danielle,

    Wow. I cannot imagine. I have been praying for you guys like crazy. Poor Chris!

    Here’s a question for you… You’ve been caring for Chris’s burns now for a while. Have you noticed an impact on your kids? Are they struggling with it and clamouring for your attention? Or are they thriving under the pressure of all these changes? Or no difference? (Just curious how long it takes for my theory to play out and reveal itself in our kids’ reactions.) 

    Pat and I were given a challenge before leaving the marriage retreat last weekend – try to “outgive” your spouse. I think we’re both having a lot of fun with it, and you’re right, it feels great! Rather than having to convince myself to do something for him, I am jumping to do it because I want to “beat him” at showing love. (More of a fun, friendly competition, though.)

  5. This is so important and so overlooked! Thanks for sharing this vital piece to success in our families! It's really the glue that holds everything together and brings peace and joy into a home. I started sending the kids to bed a little earlier to allow myself "date time" with Daddy, and the kids know that that is super important(and they're ok with it) :)

  6. My Bible Study teacher used to say . . . "We spend our time trying to make our kids happy and our husbands good. Instead, let's spend our time making our husbands happy and our kids good."


  7. This is true and great way of showing it. We as women go by so many to do list that the Godly Superwomen list should be our to do everyday....

  8. Rachel, that's a great idea!

    Glenda, I love that quote and am totally stealing it for fb and twitter. :)

    Annette, I completely agree. But I sure do find that it can be H-A-R-D to get those priorities straight!

  9. I was taught this at an early stage in my marriage. When we have put the kids before each other, I have found our marriage has bumps. But when we put the Lord first, then each other, and then the children everything works much better. Date night is important in this. We do date night one day a week - whether out of the house or in. We always make sure we have time talk and enjoy the things we love to do. Then we have family night as a family which allows us to have time with the children centering on what they love to do.


  10. Shawnee, what are some of the things you do for your "in" date nights? I'd love some ideas! We go out on date nights about twice per month, but at home we just watch TV together. It'd be fun to try something new. :)

  11. We have movie night where our oldest will babysit while we watch a movie and have pop corn. We watch tv shows together. We play board games. One of my favorites is playing Scrabble on the Ipad. I lose every time but it's so much fun to just sit and talk while you play. Their is a website called The Dating Divas where I have gotten a lot of great ideas.


  12. Thanks Shawnee! I'll have to check them out!


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