Being a part of a family is a difficult thing. I know most people say it's the source of all their joy, but honestly, there's often a lot going on at once, making it the source of almost all of the stress too.
A lot of families claim that no matter what, the children's best interests are put first. But here's the thing that some of you may not agree with: Putting them first is actually not good for your family.
If you're one of those people who thinks that you need to put your child on the top of the priority list, there is actual psychological evidence as to why this is not beneficial.
Carl Pickhardt, a psychologist specializing in parenting, has some very honest words for parents that some may not have expected.
"It's really hard for parents to understand this sometimes — particularly with a first child — but that child is a third-order priority."
Children shouldn't be first or even second priority according to Pickhardt, but he's got some very good points.
"They will tell you it's not true — it's a first-order priority. But the problem is if it's the first priority, then two other priorities get neglected," Pickhardt explains. "One is each parent taking adequate care of themselves, so they have sufficient energy and care available, and [the other is] taking sufficient care of the marriage. And that has to be in place."
By putting their own personal needs first, then their marriage, ensures that they are overall happier, preventing any future resentment that would lead to a marriage falling apart.
"To sacrifice self-care and marriage for the sake of the child makes everybody unhappy sooner or later."
While many parents believe that their self-sacrificing behavior is the most honorable thing and a requirement of becoming a parent, but in the end it leads to a lot of problems because they end up feeling like "the child is tyrannizing their lives."
Now, clearly this doesn't mean ignoring your children to go have a week vacation, but it does mean that if you need to take a night off from doing the dishes or having a night by yourself to relax, you shouldn't feel guilty for doing that.
In an article that has gone viral online, family psychologist John Rosemond revealed some very poignant advice that all new parents would be wise to read.
"There is no reasonable thing that gives you children that status," he wrote, talking about the children taking over his friend's life as the most important part of their family.
"I went on to point out that many if not most of the problems they're having with their kids - typical stuff these days - are the result of treating their children as if they, their marriage, and their family exist because of the kids when it is, in fact, the other way around," he continued.
"Their kids exist because of them and their marriage and thrive because they have created a stable family."
He makes excellent points, highlighting how it's the parents who bring in the money that gives them the home they live in, the food they eat, and the clothes they wear, along with all the fun stuff that they are given as gifts.
Rosemond says that there was a respect that was understood when he was a kid that kids today just don't share. "It was also clear to us... that our parents' marriages were more important to them than their relationships with us. Therefore, we did not sleep in their beds or interrupt their conversations."
He compared it to businesses and organizations, "The most important person in an army is the general. The most important person in a corporation is the CEO. The most important person in a classroom is the teacher. And the most important person in a family are the parents."
He goes on to clarify what a parent's actual responsibility is to their child, and it's not what a lot of people focus on anymore.
"The most important thing about children is the need to prepare them properly for responsible citizenship. The primary objective should not be raising a strait-A student who excels at three sports, earns a spot on the Olympic swim team, goes to an A-list university, and becomes a prominent brain surgeon. The primary objective is to raise a child such that community and culture are strengthened."
Thousands of people have commented on this post, explaining how sticking together as a team with their partner helped them teach their children respect and how to be a better person.