Putting the kids before your husband is one of the easiest mom mistakes to make. As a mom, it can be hard to imagine that putting your kids’ needs first could actually end up being bad for them. They are sometimes so frail and needy that your mothering instinct kicks into high gear, and their needs are all you can see. We get it. But by putting your kids ahead of your husband, you run the risk of neglecting the needs of your spouse, which then threatens to harm the children in the long term. Unhappy marriages, not to mention divorce, hurt everyone. Here are five ways you can tell if you might be hurting your husband by putting the kids first:
1. Do your children sleep in your bed?
Co-sleeping might be a good solution for your family for a time, but if the children have been in your bed every night for months, it might be time to re-evaluate the effect having the kids in your bed is having on your marriage.
2. Do you enjoy being the favorite parent?
Maybe you feel you give the kids more than your husband does? Often the wife can make more of the decisions for the kids, which ends up pushing the husband out of an equal parenting role. Are there any ways in which you take more responsibility, which equates to your husband not able to be involved in certain ways? Find out how to help your husband be a great dad.
3. Is there a chance that your husband feels insignificant, unappreciated, not seen, or even resentful?
If so, it’s possible that he will also be less assertive in your marriage relationship. If you notice your husband retreating and doing less for you or the kids, it might be time to realize that you might share responsibility for this. Have a serious conversation with him about it. Here’s how to make him your soul mate.
4. Do your children go everywhere with you?
Has it been awhile since you’ve had a one-on-one date as a couple? How long has it been since you’ve had a couples’ vacation or a weekend away just the two of you?
5. Are your children becoming self-centered?
Another way to tell if you put your children before your husband is that your kids will slowly become self-centered. They think the world revolves around them. It’s natural that children who are continually put first become self-centered, and you might be contributing to this selfishness. Do your kids know how to serve others?
Ask yourself why you might be putting your kids before your husband. Is it that your mom did this, so you learned by example? Is it that your emotional needs are not being met by your husband, so you might be trying to fulfill these needs through your kids? Is it a tendency to want to be in control or a lack of trust in him, so you are making more of the decisions than he is? Whatever the root, it’s always helpful to ask yourself the hard questions, so you can continue to grow as a person and as a family. The end result will be a more satisfied marriage and healthier kids, who see a healthy marriage modeled. The most important thing you can do to love your kids is to put your husband first.
Readers, take a minute and comment below: How have you learned to balance being a wife and a mother?
Cassandra Soars has published various national magazine articles on a wide range of topics, including life in Mozambique, Africa, where she lived for five years. Her first book Love Like Fire: The Story of Heidi Baker is available on Amazon.