Who Comes First: You or Your Kid?

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October 26, 2011

It’s a tough question, right? I feel like most moms would initially be inclined to say their child, but I’m not so sure that’s honest.

Take J. Crew exec Jenna Lyons who’s back in the news because she’s divorcing her husband of 9 years. They have a kid together–need I remind you of the whole pink toenails fiasco–but to make matters more complicated, Jenna has allegedly moved on with another woman.

Now this isn’t a judgment on Jenna’s decision to get involved in a lesbian relationship–to each her own. But what effect do you think all of this will have on Jenna’s son? Having your parents separate is hard enough, but to introduce another partner so quickly? It seems clear to me, in this case, that Jenna is thinking more about herself and less about her son.

But I’m just as guilty. When I wasn’t happy in the relationship with my daughter’s dad, I tried to make it work for like a month. Some people would say that isn’t enough–I should have stuck it out for my daughter’s sake. But you know what? If I’m not happy, there’s a good chance she will be able to sense that and as a result, she won’t be happy. So instead of dragging it out, I ripped the band-aid off and I think everyone is happier as a result.

All of this to say, I don’t think it’s necessarily the best idea to always put your kid first. Call me a bad mom (although I’d beg to differ), but I think it’s important to make some decision that are in your best interest even if the consequences could potentially be less than ideal for your kid. If mom is happy, there’s a greater chance she’s going to do whatever she can to ensure her kids are, well. Can’t say the same for a mom who stays in a relationship just for the kids, or continues to work at good paying job just because her kids are accustomed to a certain lifestyle. We’ve all heard the saying, “happy wife, happy life” but maybe the mom version should be “happy mom, happy home.”

What do you think? Should moms always put their kids first or is it better to make decisions that make mom happy like Jenna Lyons’ divorce? Weigh in in the comments.

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