Why My Children Are Not First In My Life
I love my children with all of my heart. I would do absolutely anything for them. However, they are NOT first in my life. They used to be. I was living every moment for them, striving to make them happy. Then, one morning I woke up and realized something. I wasn’t happy. And, if I stepped back, I don’t think the kids truly were either. The answer hit me like a ton of bricks – my priorities were all out of whack, which lead to a life that was out of balance. How do I balance it? By setting my ducks in a row. What order should the family unit be in?
Yup. You read that right. The first and utmost important person in your life, is you! Now, I don’t mean to go around being selfish and self-absorbed, but I do mean that you have to consider yourself when making decisions. It’s like when you’re on an airplane. When they give you the safety instructions before the flight – what do they say in case of emergency? They tell you to put your air mask on first and then to put the masks on your children. Why do they say this? Because if you’re not stable, it’s harder to help others. By making sure that your needs are met, you are then able to help your family better than when you’re depressed.
This means that it’s ok to take some time out for you. Whether it’s taking a nice relaxing bath (with bath salts of course) in the evening, or going out for a girls night with your friends – you need to ensure that you’re taking some time for yourself each day. Has it been so long since you’ve done something for yourself that you don’t know where to start? Check out this article for some suggestions if you’d like. When you’re in a better state of mind, you’ll have more patience and be able to better handle any situation that the kids may throw at you.
2. Your Spouse
The bond that you and your beloved share is one that should be treasured. Keeping that relationship alive and strong should be the second priority in your family. Children thrive in homes where they have both parents. They will learn how to have a proper relationship through the example that you set. Parenting works best as a united front, working together to bring up the children in the way that you agree is best. Your children are a testimony to the love that is there between the two of you, and it should be through that love that they are cared for – not in place of it. Putting the children first can cause great stress on a marriage, and it shouldn’t be that way.
This means that you need to ensure that you get to spend some quality time with the hubby. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. You don’t have to go out for a super expensive dinner at a 5 star restaurant. An at home date night works just as well. It’s about the quality of the connection that you create. It’s about keeping that spark ignited between you two. Don’t allow your focus on the children to overtake your focus on your spouse.
3. Your Children
Kids come third. After you’ve cared for yourself, and your spouse, that’s when the kids come in. Before anyone outside of your house, your kids rank – but they are the lowest on the totem pole inside the home. Putting them higher than they should be is part of what creates children who don’t understand authority figures. If they are used to being first, they may view themselves as more important than any other person. We need to teach them balance, responsibility, and to think of others. Knowing their place in the home, helps them learn their place in the world. They are loved, their opinion matters, they will be listened to – but they need to understand that there are other factors that will sometimes play into them not being able to have their way. They aren’t the most important person in the world.
Keeping the family balanced will create a happier family dynamic. When I first implemented this order, the changes were almost instant. The kids bawled at first. I’ll admit, it was a rough start. But, we stuck with it – knowing that it was the proper order for our family to be in – and eventually, the kids began to come around. They learned to respect the fact that as parents, we are first. While it hasn’t changed every bad behavior in them (although I wish there was an easy button to hit for that one!) it has improved their behavior quite a bit. My kids aren’t first in our family. They are last. And we haven’t been happier!
What changes have you made in your family that brought the biggest change?