{Photo: Sisterlee Photography}

Monday night I had Declan laying in the crevice of my arm and Derek on my belly.

He was feeling baby B move and started to talk to him when Declan realized that he had been unknowingly sharing me with dada.

Angry and possessive, he yelled at Derek and tried to shove his face away.

Immediately I looked at Declan and said,

“I hate to break it to you buddy, but daddy comes first.”

There seems to be a lot of controversy on this topic which feels strange to me.

The bible says that the husband and wife are one flesh, not the father and child or mother and child.

I always knew growing up that I was loved deeply by my parents, but I also knew that pinning my parents against one another was not an option because they would take one another’s side over mine.

My mom would stay up late with me if I needed someone to talk to, but she didn’t slumber party in my room and leave my dad with an empty bed or push him out of the way to give me extra hugs.

They were tender and loving with each other in front of us, and had I not been able to witness that growing up I honestly don’t think I would have ever learned what true love looks like.

Personally, I feel that prioritizing your spouse is not only vital to your marriage, but to your children’s development.

I know so many bruised and broken people who do not grasp how love and marriage works, and about 99% of the time it is because they come from a home where either:

A: Mom and dad had a nasty divorce and/or stayed together in a bitter swirl of resentment and thus never showed love to one another.

B: Mom or dad (or both) always put the kids first and they never saw what it meant to truly love and respect a spouse.

Obviously, this is generally speaking,

I am not saying that you should leave your newborn baby crying in a crib for hours while you and your husband sit on the couch drinking cocktails and binge watching “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant”. (But seriously, how ridiculous is that show?!)

But there does come a time when your child gets older and becomes more independent that you need to be able to say no to them sometimes in order to say yes to your spouse.

When we think of our children we often say things like, “I would go to the end of the earth for them” or “I love them more than anything in this world” and that’s completely natural.

But sometimes we get so wrapped up in that love that we forget how much our husbands need that kind of love as well.

Declan giggles when Derek and I kiss and will even smoosh our faces together to make us give each other kisses.

To me, that’s a major parenting win.

My son understands that we love one another and it makes him happy to see us express it.

My hope for my children is that they grow up to see firsthand that the commitment that two married people make is such an important and sacred one.

I hope they feel our love not only through how we express it to them, but how we show it to one another.

I hope they understand that taking time to be alone with your spouse is a necessity.

That makes you stronger, better parents.

And I hope that if/when they have their own families, they put their marriage at the top of their priority list as well.