Marriage or Baby? Which comes first?

imgresGuiliana Ranic, television personality, made headlines recently, not for her red-carpet interviews but for this quote that appeared in US Weekly:

“We’re husband and wife, but we’re also best friends, and it’s funny because a lot of people, when they have kids, they put the baby first, and the marriage second,” says the 37-year-old breast-cancer survivor. “That works for some people. For us, I find, we put our marriage first and our child second, because the best thing we can do for him is have a strong marriage.”

No sooner had the words been uttered, the Internet exploded with bloggers, writers, celebrities and members of the glitterati weighing in with their opinion on the matter.  Critics blasted Rancic calling the new mom everything from selfish to egotistical, but she did garner her fair share of supporters.

The conversation prompted Rancic to release this statement a few days following the controversy acknowledging the ensuing discussion as a “good thing”.

4Mothers welcomes Kelly Quinn, guest blogger and mother of two, to join the discussion of marriage and baby.  Which comes first?  Is it partner versus baby or just another example of being pulled in all directions?

As always, we welcome you to join in and let us know your opinion on this one.  We look forward to hearing from you!

image: http://www.etsy.com

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19 thoughts on “Marriage or Baby? Which comes first?

  1. Husband are old enough to understand that babies need to be cared for. So if husband needs attention first, then I say he has no business being a husband let alone a dad. Marriage is a partnership so if wife’s attention is to the children, is it either he cooks dinner or get that much needed sleep, so he can let Mama rest for a bit at 3:00am. IMO 🙂

  2. That wasn’t the 1st time I’ve heard that. Some people have a tendency to over compensate in their children’s lives and neglect their marriage. There doesn’t have to be a 1st and 2nd place but there needs to be a balance. Time for your husband, children & most importantly self..

  3. I think this got blown out of context but I agree in a sense. In parenting, you and your co-parent should be on the same page. If this relationship isn’t properly nurtured first, how can you really parent as partners? I don’t think she’s saying that if she had to choose between date night with her husband and her sick child she would choose the date but I do think she’s saying she has value in fostering the relationships both together and separately–which I agree with as well. Children go off and have their own families. If you haven’t paid enough attention to your marriage, when they leave so will your marriage.

    • I agree with you and I think her comments were taken out of context too. It’s interesting to see how strongly people have reacted though. Your last sentence really resonates with me . . . Thanks for contributing!

  4. Just read this post on the same topic from another of my favorite blogs: http://feistyredhair.wordpress.com/2013/03/25/kids-want-happy-parents/ I think it contributes nicely to this discussion.

    Healthy marriages take time and energy. I think it is a shame when couples become “parents only” and forget how to be friends, lovers, mates. My children benefit from living in a home where their parents take time for dates and child-free vacations. As a result, my kids witness healthy affection and get a realistic idea of the time and committment involved in a marriage.

    I would be furious if my Husband focused all his energy on caring for and loving our children and left nothing for me…but I sometimes see that same approach glorified when moms do it. I even see women defend the bleed yourself dry approach and then judge husbands as selfish when they expect some time and attention too.

    My husband is my best friend and my parenting partner. It is our job to meet our children’s need but also to meet the needs of each other. I think the First Place/Second Place distiction is a bit silly. Kids need love, attention, and time. So do spouses. It’s not as if loving your spouse deeply and taking time for him/her reduces the amount of love you have available for your children or deprives them of the time and attention they need to thrive.

    • Defining Motherhood, thanks for joining the conversation! I read your blog daily so it’s nice to see your typed words over here. Along the same lines as what you talk about – a friend of mine firmly believes that children always come first and in 7 years has been away from her children a handful of times for than a few hours – to spend time on herself or her husband. It’s definitely not for me, but if it works for her family . . .

      Thank you for joining the conversation!

  5. There is a fine balance. Sometimes children need the attention, and sometimes hubby does. Each situation is usually weighed out naturally (even if unnoticed by yourself), and you tend to the need of the more pressing matter at that given time.

  6. I can understand what she means when she says you need a strong partnership, because if one parent does begin to be left behind and withdrawn then that can cause tension and at the end of the day the child would be worse off. However i feel that when you bring a child into the world your child should then become the center of your universe and if you had such a strong relationship in the beginning then having a child shouldn’t have to be a question of coming first. It should be automatic

    • I guess the reality is that lots of children are brought into this world without parents (biological or otherwise) who are committed.

      Thanks for joining the conversation!

      • I am new to having a blog and not sure how it works. Could you give me a few ideas on how to get followers or people to join in on what i write so I’m not having conversations with myself lol. Your site is so popular, i would appreciate it if you could help me or anyone else who reads this 🙂

  7. I remember my second mother in law telling that it was wise to put the husband first above the children. This is difficult to do with a step-father. Even more difficult when said husband has no intention of putting the wife first above anything or anyone else! But that is another story.

    Even though Guiliana’s statement sounded harsh I don’t think she meant it that way. It’s a good idea but something that I think is very difficult to pull off. In this day and age anyway.

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