Priorities and Children

  • Children are life changing events; they bring new experiences, new priorities, and can mean a change or end to old ones. The birth of our daughter meant many things, for my wife it meant a new person to worry about and to share her love with. For me it meant a new desire to provide more and to do better for myself and for my family. When your child came along, how did it re-arrange your priorities?

  • My new priority became my daughter- point blank.  I had to learn how to juggle my other time to give my daughter my full attention.  Even though it meant perhaps not paying AS much attention to my significant other or even my friends I felt I had that responsibility to give my newborn my full attention. As she started getting older I was able to give my attention more toward everyone else and handing some of the extra responsibility onto everyone else.

  • When I was pregnant with my son I worked in Intensive Care and wanted to be a flight nurse. I loved the adrenalin rush of saving lives. As soon as he got here, I knew that I had a new job. I occasionally think of the old days, but nothing compares to being a mom.

  • Those are excellent points. A child can easily make old priorities seem less important. While children never become a lesser priority, our ability to care for them and love them becomes easier as they get older. How do you feel these priorities will change as your child gets older? Will you take up old ones, or find new ones as a result of the changes your child has changed your life?

  • I realized after becomming a mom that my relationship with my husband was not healthy and not the kind of environment I wanted to raise a child in. All of a sudden, my priorities where crystal clear: I had to build a stable, healthy life for her. And that's exactly what I did. I've never regretted my decisions since.

  • I am proud of you, I really am. Children can be a great reason to work at a relationship, but maintaining a relationship only for the children's sake can often be worse for them than separating. Such separations can be taxing emotionally, and I am glad you were able to move on by realizing what was important.

  • Thanks StrongDad. I think that old idea of staying together for the kids really isn't valid anymore, if it ever really was. My philosophy on marriage and kids is that you need to put your relationship first so that your kids have a good example of what a healthy relationship is and a happy home in which to grow up. Kids will pick up on it is there is tension between you and your spouse, and if you're going through the motions, or worse, fighting all the time, it gives them the wrong idea of how couples should behave toward one another. It's all interconnected and not everybody realizes that. Sometimes being a single parent, living with extended family or becoming a blended family is better than living in an unhappy/dysfunctional home.

  • My god, i am in the same situation.  I am pregnant now but we have another child together.  I realize he does not care about me or the kids.  We are in the process of seperating but being that I am pregnant, it is soooo emotional for me.  I see all these dads that are so happy and excited to be dads and that is not the case here and it is an awful situation.  I just wish it did not take a second pregnancy to see this.  Was it easy for you or did it take a long time to get over?

  • To be quite honest, it was a process. I decided to move out when our daughter was 10 months, but didn't file for divorce for another six months. I thought we might be able to work things out, but when we had the same fight all over again and he exhibited the same behavior, that's when I knew I was done. It was my breaking point and I was able to turn off all of the doubt like a switch. But that time inbetween I thought I was going crazy. My mental state was fragile as I realized the magnitude of my decision. I gave up my security, my life for the last 4 years to the unknown. And now there was a child involved. I had no idea what to do. But I hung in there and stood fast to my decision and eventually it passed.

    I don't think going through these things are easy for anyone. Hang in there and don't be afraid to ask for help. Talking to someone, whether it's a counselor, a friend, a relative or even some stranger from a message board, really helps. Sounds like what you're experiencing is perfectly normal.