My Child Comes First In My Life


My Child Comes First In My LifeMy child comes first in my life. Yep, I said it. My daughter is my number one. There is nothing that comes before her, and there is no exception. That includes my marriage.

Whether you agree or disagree with me, that’s 100% totally cool in my book. I’m not trying to make anyone feel the way that I feel. But, I’m tired of reading articles about how if your marriage isn’t first, then you’re wrong. Those articles make me so mad. Guess what articles; my life is my life, and I choose to put my daughter first.

Sure, marriage is supposed to be forever, and I certainly hope mine is, but in reality, many are not (and not all of them end because people put the kids first).

You know what is forever? Being a mom. My husband and I decided to have a baby and when we made that decision, we knew that our lives would change. We both agreed that the baby would be first. My husband and I are both capable people, and while it’s nice to have a partner in life, we don’t *need* each other. Our baby *needs* us, her needs come first, and we love every minute.

We don’t long for date nights or vacations alone. We want to be with our baby every minute of every day. When we go on vacation, we want her to be there. What fun would it be without her? She’s the coolest person we know.

Often people say, oh, but your life will become about the baby if you don’t put your marriage first. Obviously! That’s what happens when you have kids, and we’re okay with that. Plus, that’s probably going to happen no matter how much marriage-time you try to schedule.

The articles always say your kids will leave you, but your marriage is forever. OMG guys, my husband and I didn’t have a baby for companionship. We had a baby because we wanted to have a baby, to raise her, and for her to become a successful person doing what makes her happy. When she leaves the house, we’ll be both super proud and super bummed (by the way, she’s welcome to stay as long as she wants. Yep, I said it.). Even when she’s not living under our roof, she’ll still be the biggest and best part of our lives.

These articles always paint a crazy perception of putting children first, as if the “scales” are so disproportionate, as if putting your child first means completely devaluing your marriage.

I love my baby more than anything, or anyone, in this world and absolutely nothing can change that. I also love my husband a ton, that’s part of the reason I thought it would be a fab idea to have a baby together. You know what’s awesome? That both he and I know that we’re second in one another’s lives and we’re fine with that.

My Child Comes First In My LifeWe’ve been together for 18.5 years. What we have is working. The way we make decisions together is working. Our home life is working. Being parents together is working. I do not need any more articles telling me otherwise.

Are we perfect people? Absolutely not! But, we weren’t perfect when it was just us, and we won’t be perfect when our daughter leaves the nest either! We’re the same, imperfect people we’ve always been, but now we have a super amazing baby who’s part of our family!

If you feel differently, that’s your prerogative, do what works for you and your family! I’m just sick of the articles with lists of ways the author thinks I should be living my life. We’re very happy with the baby at the top of our hierarchy. That doesn’t mean she’s the boss or gets to be a hellion. That just means that her needs come first. We brought her into this world, we commit our lives to her, and we like it that way. She is our universe and we couldn’t be happier about it.

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Stephanie Feals
Stephanie is an only child, married to an only child, raising an only child! Stephanie and her husband (Brian) are Pittsburghers at heart, but made the move to Charleston in ’08 after moving around the country. Stephanie has a background in television, and has a (not so secret) dream to start a talk show and to publish books. She’s currently working on her first book and recently started a blog, called Speaking of Today (, with her friend and fellow mom Dawn. Stephanie loves to spend every spare second with her daughter Kennedy. Kennedy was born 12 weeks early and spent the full 12 weeks in the hospital. Thankfully Kennedy is totally healthy, but the experience of being a preemie mom certainly changed Stephanie’s life! She looks forward to sharing stories of mommyhood with the Charleston Moms Blog readers.


  1. Not here to say whether I agree or disagree, just a different perspective.

    Sometimes I think it’s just semantics. One person can dogmatically say they put their baby first and the other say their marriage when in reality their lives play out very similarly. Spouses and children have different needs and children are much more time demanding.

    If you are in a loving committed relationship with similar life goals and you are raising a child together then you’re all kind of on the same team working together to make your life happy for all involved. Regardless of who is “first” or “more important”

    • Thanks for reading! I welcome other opinions, especially when they’re respectfully shared as yours is here. I agree with you, particularly the line that says “If you are in a loving…”

  2. Yes, yes, yes, and AMEN!! Thank you!! Juts like you said, my babies need me. My husband loves me immensely, but he is not defenseless nor does he need me in the same way my babies do. It doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy doing things with my husband or doing things for him, but my babies’ needs will always be my top priority. I’ve read so many of those articles too and I’m always left scratching my head.

    • Hi Jennifer, thanks for reading. No, that’s not what I mean. In fact your comment proves exactly what I’m trying to say – that just because you your child is first doesn’t mean that you have to neglect your husband. You can love both, and those “scales” can be pretty close to equal. The problem is that most articles tell me that I absolutely *must* put my child behind my husband, and must do all these other things or I’m both being a poor wife and poor mother.

  3. Then when she grows up thinking she should be at the top of everyone’s list, then what?? If she starts a job as a teen, like most do, you really think McDonald’s will make her manager? Because that’s what she’ll think. Good luck with that honey

    • Hi Melissa, thanks for reading. As I said in the article, loving her the most and putting her first has absolutely nothing to do with her getting her way or being a hellion. It’s interesting that people assume that.
      I’m actually more strict about most things than most people are.
      I was raised the same way as I’m raising her, and I’ve actually always been put in leadership positions at all of my jobs, including those in HS. Being the center of my parents’ universe had nothing to do with my abilities or dedication on the job or in any other aspect of life. My best friend was raised the same way that I was, and she’s also immensely successful and always has been.

    • Hi Marie, thanks for reading. I look at their faces all the time – in real life – and know exactly how things are in my life. While yes, a picture is worth 1,000 words, you don’t know what those 1,000 words pertain to. Maybe he doesn’t like his smile. Maybe he wasn’t feeling well that day. Maybe he was already in 5,000 pictures that day.
      As it turns out, if saw a picture of my husband at Disney Land 30 years ago, this would be the same expression. If he were at a concert for his favorite band with his best friends, this would be his face. This is how he chooses to smile in pictures, and it indicates absolutely nothing about the happiness of our family.

  4. Interesting viewpoint, Stephanie. I feel the opposite. My husband will always come first before my children. I think there is a difference between fulfilling the needs of the child and putting my husband first. My marriage will not fail because I will not let it, and a big part of ensuring our longevity is that I put him first. I don’t believe my children will suffer in any way because of that. I do wonder, what are your thoughts on the points in this article?

  5. The problem with this is once your daughter grows up and is out of your house, now you will have nothing left in your marriage because you didn’t invest anything into it besides birthing children. Children are a welcomed member of the family, not the center of it. Putting your marriage first simply means you invest time and love into your husband, as you do your children- it isn’t sacrificing or replacing their needs for him. You made it sound like putting your marriage first is vile, when I think you just misunderstand what that looks like. As your daughter grows, your marriage means security to her and will be her #1 priority that mommy and daddy love each other. You might not believe me, but as a woman from a broken home and also who has older children, it’s a huge deal to them the state of our marriage. I literally can talk about this all day because it is so important to me for people to understand the importance of healthy marriages and I want everyone to thrive.

  6. Yes! I couldn’t agree more. Thank you for sharing this perspective. I’m continually surprised at how many people believe that being a loving, responsive parent who creates a secure attachment with their child is somehow bad for the child or a marriage!

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