marriage · parenting · special needs parenting

Marriage or Children, Which Should Come First?

Does anyone else get tired of “in my day we did this and it was sooooo much better!”?  I sure do.  It’s not yesteryear, times change, and it’s a crock of BS to keep rehashing how one generation is superior to others.

Yet, even though his delivery is curmudgeonly and he provides zero data to back up his claim, I do agree with the principle Rosemond presents here.

My husband is my first priority, and I am his.

Although the Curmudgeon-in-chief lacks evidence to cite, there most certainly is ample evidence that prioritizing a healthy marriage is most important.  But that’s not even my point. As usual, I’m delving off into disability territory.

Our children have higher than average needs, and our stress is of an entirely different level. Perhaps not in severity, but in intensity. The daily care of a child with complex medical, developmental and behavioral needs is a constant outpouring of self. If I were a smartphone I would be playing music, navigating and scrolling Facebook simultaneously with multiple apps open in the background. In other words, serious battery drainage.

If I were to prioritize the children first, I would be chronically depleted.

But I don’t.

I prioritize my husband, and him me. One would think that would cause further battery drainage, but instead it’s a power source.

See that baby, that’s a strong marriage. I have a battery charger that goes with me everywhere.  By continually building each other up and giving support, we provide each other with a backup charging system. I know that when I’m flashing red, I can rely on my husband to give me a boost and keep me going, and the same goes for him.

Not only that, but if you’re familiar with the principle of compound interest, a healthy marriage pays compound interest. What we have already invested continues to grow and give returns.

I know anecdotal evidence doesn’t carry much weight scientifically, but my experience fleshes out the evidence of making your spouse and marriage the top priority; giving no exceptions for complex needs, but rather giving increased emphasis on the marriage because of complex needs.

I am certain that the constant source of strength and encouragement that my husband and I provide each other is our oxygen mask that must be applied before attempting to help anyone else, and that it is truly a matter of survival.


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