Call It Selfish or Call It Smart, but My Kids Are NOT My First Priority

BY: - 7 Apr '16 | Parenting

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I recently came across an Instagram post that said, “Of course my kids come before you! Heck my kids come before me.” Many people would agree with this, and there were a lot of likes and virtual hi-fives being slapped around. But I have to say I disagree with this statement. My kids are not my first priority and they don’t come before me.

Here’s why:

When I became a mom the third time around, I didn’t realize just how much I had lost my identity to motherhood. Of course, you’re going to change, and you’re not going to have as much time to yourself as before motherhood. But when it gets to the point where you’re looking at your spouse like they’re a stranger or fussing at your kids 24/7 because deep down you really just need to get a few minutes to yourself to clear your mind, that’s when it becomes a problem.

I know because I had become that mom. I was so consumed by motherhood and taking care of my children that 1) I forgot to take care of me and 2) My husband also took a backseat—not good. Our spouses were created to be our life partners. When I see and hear about marriages ending after 15, 18 or 20 plus years, I can’t help but wonder if the children had become the priority in the marriage as opposed to the spouse. My children will one day grow up to have families of their own. I don’t want to roll over and wonder who is sleeping in the bed with me after all those years? So my husband and I make it a point to have real conversations and spend quality time without the kids, so we never lose touch of who we are to each other.

And for those that argue your kids need you when they’re young, yes they do. But they also need a mother who is in a healthy mental state. They need a mom to show them how to set boundaries and take care of themselves by first setting the example with herself. Our kids learn from what they see us doing, not what they hear us say. At ages 4, 6 and 8, my kids know what it means when I say, “I need a timeout.” They understand I don’t love them any less just because I set boundaries and take time to regroup. In fact, I love them more because I know that they will only reap the benefits.

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When I say my kids are not my first priority, I say it because they mean so much to me. And I want to give them the very best version of myself that I can. That means after God, I have to take care of myself, and then my husband. My husband and I are the gateway to building a lasting and strong foundation for our children. We can’t nurture them in the way that God created us to if our foundation is built on shaky ground. When my husband and I are a strong unit, we can then pour so much more into our children, so they know and see what love is supposed to look like.

The word self-care is thrown around so often that we tend to forget what it truly means. Taking care of yourself first is imperative to your ability to take care of any other person around you. This is exactly why the flight attendants stress that you put your own oxygen mask on first before trying to help others.

BMWK, do you agree with the statement that kids should come before everyone else, including yourself? Or do you agree with making self-care a priority?

 

About the author

Christine St. Vil wrote 153 articles on this blog.

Christine St.Vil is co-author of the Whose Shoes Are Your Wearing: 12 Steps to Uncovering the Woman You Really Want to Be. A happy wife to an amazing hubby of 8 years, and homeschooling mother of three, she teaches moms how to FLY (First Love Yourself). She uses her corporate background to work with women who are ready to start a new business, accelerate their career growth & design a life they love. She's on a mission to help moms to battle the mom guilt epidemic, so they can begin to put themselves first on their never-ending list of priorities.

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Holly Robinson Peete Talks Raising Kids in a Digital World

BY: - 8 Apr '16 | Black Celebrity Marriages

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Actress, singer, philanthropist, autism activist, wife and mom, Holly Robinson Peete, puts on a new hat—that of reality star. This spring, the Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper actress, who is married to former NFL quarterback and sports commentator Rodney Peete, is showing us how she juggles those many hats on her OWN network reality show For Peete’s Sake. The show follows the family of six, which include children RJ, Ryan, Robinson and Roman, through the fun but chaotic endeavors of family life. BMWK was able to catch up with Robinson Peete to ask her about her show and her thoughts on parenting.

What will we see on your reality show For Peete’s Sake?

For Peete’s Sake is about how we stay together, how we keep it right, how we connect and really navigating all the other elements of our lives.

How does your family differ from the other reality shows that also claim to tout a family focus?

I think probably how we parent and the connection we have as a family; and how my kids are essentially raised in Hollywood under the spotlight, but they are not very Hollywood kids. They have a different attitude toward life that I think is kind of refreshing. When you see other reality families who have grown up out here, it’s a little bit different. We are a typical American family, and we happen to be of color.

I think the energy about us is a little different and refreshing. I told somebody yesterday that we are sort of like Run’s House meets Blackish. We have the Run’s House kind of family, working things out. And then we are sort of in the neighborhood where not a lot of people look like us. And so we navigate that.

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A lot of modern-day parents struggle with social media and the role it plays in their kids lives. As a celebrity, whose children are probably more exposed on the Internet, how do you negotiate that as a parent?

I know all the social media channels, and I follow [my children on whatever their on]. I’m kind of a bit of a helicopter mom with them because I think it is really important to know what they are putting out there.

When we were growing up, I didn’t know anything about a brand or social media exposure. We didn’t have these things because these kids are growing up with this now. And there are different rules to life.

So as a parent, it’s so hard to keep up, but we constantly try to stay on them. But that said, I think they are so socially responsible. Every now and then, I think a cuss word will come through and I’ll be like, “Delete that! uh-uh, you’re not using that word.”

But in the end, they have to be who they are, it’s about their own personal brand. Whether they are on a reality show or not, social media is sort of like every kid’s real time reality project. It is just a different time to be parenting. But I’m very impressed with how they have been able to model their own personal social media. No incidents so far.

Check out Holly Robinson Peete and her family Saturdays on the Own Network. Also check out our 2016 Standard Awards, which honor the Peete’s for their exemplary marriage.

BMWK, how do you parent in a modern world?

 

About the author

Nina Hemphill Reeder wrote 71 articles on this blog.

Nina Reeder is the assistant editor at BMWK. Reeder is a professional journalist, who has contributed for publications and outlets, such as Ebony magazine, AOL.com, Marriott Hotels and more. She has also worked as the senior editor at Upscale magazine, a national lifestyle/entertainment magazine.

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