To think that your children should be your priority?(125 Posts)
'Your father will always be my priority, over you, your sibling, over everyone'.
I have a DS and I am due to have DC2 very soon, there is no way that anyone including my husband would be of priority over my children.
I am stunned by this statement from my 'D'M.
Do people really waste time working out who they would save in a hypothetical life/ death situation?
I would agree with Dahlen- when I married my DH2 it was love me, love my DS. Had it not been right for DS I would have walked away- he was not going to live in a home without love. I am an adult and can deal with heartbreak.
Normally it doesn't crop up- DHs love is unconditional for the DCs so there is no need to have any order or any need to measure the unmeasurable.
Part of my caring for dc and prioritising them is teaching them to care for others and helping them to support others as they grow older. That includes helping dh and me. I don't believe you can have a happy adult life if you are always the giver or always the taker. Even pre-adolescents need time for both.
I think some people on here are taking a strange view. It's not loving one and ignoring the other. To me: if someone had a gun to my head and said I had to choose either never to see my child again or never to see DP again, DP would be gone without a second thought.
That says, in real day to day life, my child's well being is priority, because she is 3 and we are responsible for that. When she grows up and leaves home, starts her own family etc, her well being, while of course still being massively important to me is not my text responsibility. I'm not planning on 'ignoring' DP until our children grow and leave home.
Now you are an adult I would say it was a fair thing for your DM to say.
If you were a dependent child then ye I think your DC's come first.
I don't really forgive my mother for putting her husband first while we children and not defending us
Human relationships are fluid. They change all the time. None more so than the parent-child relationship as the child becomes an adult and then a parent themselves. If there is a 'hierarchy' it can never be set in stone because that would be like trying to contain water in a sieve.
I would have thought that in the context of a loving family this is not a question that would ever arise. I remember my parents making it clear to me that they were more than just my parents, and had their own lives and their relationship with each other as well as their role as parents, but it was never presented to me as "you are less important than that". It was simply a normal fact of life - people are individuals as well as family members and are defined by who they are as well as their relationship to others. Personally I think that's as it should be. There is no pecking order, just balance.
The only time I would think it is pertinent to say "my children come before you" would be if you are a parent embarking on a new relationship and introducing a new would-be step-parent into a family. Although once that integration has taken place, I would hope that it would become a question of teamwork, rather than competition.
Likewise, only in families where the relationship has gone wrong, would I expect adult children and parents to argue over who was more deserving of 'first place' in their parent's affections - the child or the spouse.
Me, I would save the person least able to save themselves. And I would expect grown-up (or almost grown-up) dc to join me in the attempt.
Your children are part of you and will always be your children. Your husband may not be your husband for a lifetime so yes, children do come first IMO. If a life or death situation ever came up I'm guessing most people would save their child/children before anyone else even if they were grown up.
The best possible start I would say.
I think that a very solid couple relationship is a way of prioritizing DCs' stability and happiness.
What I don't understand is this need to place something in front of something else- they are totally different.
As children we were lower in the pecking order in our house. My mother doted on my father and his needs were more important than ours.
Years later my DM was ill with terminal cancer and passed away. 12 weeks later my 'dad' shacked up with someone else, doesn't speak to us and never visits DMs grave. So much for love!
My children come first, last and always, but that doesn't mean I don't love my DH. It just means he is big enough to look after himself. The love you have for your children is different and I would find it hard to place romantic love before it.
Everything exotic has said.
Feeling a need to vocalise a pecking order is weird.
But not being able to let a minor need of the dc take second place to a major need of your partner or parent would be equally weird.
When your dc are small, they are likely to provide a greater proportion of the major needs. As you get older, it is likely that first your parents and then your partner gradually will become more vulnerable and need in support than your dc are. We are entering on this second stage now.
Personally, I think the way to make dc up happy is to make sure they understand the system of caring for each other from an early age.
When dd (chronic pain condition, uncomfortable sitting still for too long) has to give up her Saturday to travel 3 hours up and 3 hours back to see her grandma (suffering from cancer, paralysed from the waist down) it doesn't make dd feel less loved: it makes her feel she is part of a family where we all love and support each other. It is precisely this atmosphere of mutual love and support that is dd's safety too.
It all sounds like my brother when be was about 5yrs with 'mummy loves me best'! He grew out of it!
I have never seen the least need to put those I love into an order or a priority. There is an infinite amount of love- it is easy to prioritise according to need- I can't think of any examples of anyone being damaged by not being top priority at a particular time.
I agree with MidNiteScribbler and it is 'juggling'. Everyone gets a look in, one doesn't give it all up for another.
I had the greatest gift as a child, unconditional love from both my parents and they loved each other. There was no mad competition about who came first or comparing the incomparable.
DH and I both have unconditional love for our DCs, neither of us are going to make harmful decisions on their behalf- if they need to be a priority at a given moment then they will be, but sometimes they won't be.
It is easily understandable that sometimes you will be disappointed- if you have been promised a trip to the swimming and the cat comes in dripping blood then you go to the vets- I wouldn't want to bring up a child who couldn't understand that the cat was the priority.
I don't think that 'prioritising' is the right term for family life. I think 'juggling' is a better way of describing it.
I'm working on my Masters. That's important right now. So while the "masters ball" is in the air, DS needs to go to daycare a few days per week so I can get it done. But in the long run, he benefits from that anyway in that he gets the socialisation and experience of daycare, as well as the long term benefits of my increased earning potential and ability to make choices about my career.
I've booked a concert ticket and a night in a hotel coming up, my first night "off" since DS was born. So the "me ball" is up in the air, but DS benefits from having a mother who has had a night out, is well rested and has spent some time taking care of her own needs.
Or it might be an upcoming holiday. We'll go to a theme park for DS, but then we'll go and do something I want to do. Everyone gets a look in, it doesn't have to be all or nothing.
And round and round the balls go.
Depends on the context.
There are times when we put what we want ahead of what the boy's want.
They might not want to go to boring grandparent's house for the weekend, but if DH and I want a weekend shagfest then off they go (obviously we don't put it in quite those terms).
The children of lovers being orphans is IMO a crock of shit. DH and I are lovers, we are very much in love. My children are adored and are fortunate to have two parents who love them and who work as a unit for their benefit.
As many previous posters have said, people's needs and therefore my prioritising of them change over time, sometimes DH needs me more sometimes DS1 needs me more, sometimes DS2 needs more and so on.
Happily we work it out.
My parents are the same way. I felt loved as a child, but their partnership took precedence, and I still can't spend time with one without the other tagging along. They come as a couple, a unit, and both their parents were the same.
What exoticFruits said / has to keep saying.
Can't understand why anyone would ever feel the need to vocalise a 'pecking order' of who they love, but if you were being honest and open with yourself, the surely it would depend on the circumstances of the situation as to who you were going to spend more time / energy / focus on.
I love my children dearly, but there's no way they are always the priority, it just depends on the circumstances.
I am a single parent to a 14 month daughter. I have no family to help, little spare money (I work full time but the cost of nursery is pretty crippling and I'm not entitled to any help because ironically I earn too much money!) so see little of my friends. My DD is the only thing in my life that makes me happy or brings me joy.
I have no intention of being smothering or overbearing with her as she grows from babyhood to childhood and adolescence and adulthood but the fact is, she does come first, because adults have choices, she does not, and my choices will impact on her. As such I make choices that suit her and not me. I'm not a martyr but I chose to have a child, she did not choose to have me as her mother, so it's up to me to be the best mother I can be. I don't plan to have a partner but if I did he'd have to prioritise DD in the same way I do.
What an outrageous, ghastly thing to say to anyone! And goddam pointless! What does it achieve other than cut someone to the quick and belittle them. Love is non-quantifiable and isnt measured in a jug. Hell would freeze over before I ever put my loved ones in a ranking or pecking order. And My partner and I are very much in love. But DC also knows how much he is loved too.
I hate these hypothetical priorities or who you love more etc. It isn't something you need to measure.
I really don't see why you think I am calling people liars- I have just said from the beginning that it depends on circumstances.
If your DH is seriously ill in hospital you can't say that's tough- you can't get a babysitter- you find someone to have the DCs and go. Or you don't say I promised the DCs we would go to the beach - you cancel the trip and go to the hospital. It is all circumstances.
My dad told me twice with two different women that if he had to choose between me and her, he'd choose her. The first time was at 16. I haven't spoken to him for two years, since I chose my self-respect over him.
I'm glad you feel that way exotic, I guess every one here who experienced differently is a liar
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