Go Back to Top

Blog Candy

Why you shouldn’t put your kids first

Mar 26, 2017 | Candice King

17523112 10154404267887108 950674622115092670 N

Too often, as individuals and as parents we are too focused on being guided by what society deems ‘normal and acceptable’ and we end up making life decisions based on this. Decisions that actually aren’t in our best interests, and ones that don’t leave us happy.

I can honestly say that as a young parent, I thought putting my kids first was something I wanted to do yes, but something I had to do. They didn’t ask to be here and I thought that since I brought them into the world, it’s my responsibility to make sure that they come before anything and everything. Right? Wrong!

I imagine that there are some people, especially other parents who may think that my decision to not always put my kids first is a selfish move on my part and I’m okay with that. However, to say that I am obsessed with my kids is an understatement. They are truly my everything, but as important as they are to me, I am more important to me. 

Over the years I have learnt that this actually shouldn’t be the case. As a single parent, I am trying even harder to raise children who are independent, capable adults who build successful relationships. It was for this reason that I had to reevaluate the example I was setting for them. My entire life revolved around them. I barely went out and where I went, they went. I decided that no longer would I be at their beck and call.

I know that my past decisions may have had a negative impact on my kids despite me thinking that I was doing it with their best interests at heart. I stayed in a relationship that lasted over a decade because I thought it was the right thing to do - for them. The truth is, I sacrificed my happiness because I gave into societal norms. I didn’t want my kids to come from a broken home so I stayed. I felt stuck. Stuck in a relationship that I wasn’t fulfilled in; a relationship that I wasn’t happy in. I really tried, I did. Yes, like all relationships we had our ups and downs but some things were overlooked that shouldn’t have been. Things I overlooked because I wanted it to work so much for my children.

My decision to finally leave was because for consecutive months I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t laughing, hell I was barely smiling. We lived past each other. I wasn’t living my life, I was simply existing in theirs. I lost myself and I didn’t know who I was anymore. I was Candice, mother to Kadey and Connor but that was it. That was my identity and that just wasn’t enough anymore. I realized that had I not had kids with this man, I would not be in a relationship with him and that was one of my deciding factors.

Today, I look back and I don’t regret anything since walking out of my relationship. It was hard for the kids at first but kids are resilient and they adapt quicker than we think. We just need to make sure that we are there for them emotionally when they need it and we need to help them adapt the best way we know how.

I have said in a previous blog post that I see myself as a stepmom. I love kids so much and I think it’s a role that I will be really great at. But even then, my future step kid/s won’t be number one, why? because I want our relationship to happen naturally. I will not bribe them with things to get them to like me. I won’t jump to their tune in the hope that they will accept me. I want them to love me because I treat them with the same amount of love and respect with which I treat my own kids.

I want all my children (future step kids included) to see that the relationship I have with their father is incredibly important to me, to us, and that that’s the one that needs to be worked on because they need to see what a relationship should be like. A relationship where two adults make a conscious effort to be an example to them so that they one day know never to settle because of what’s been dictated to them. They need to grow up seeing two people who are genuinely happy and people who work together to build a great life, not because they have to, but because they want to! Life is too short to settle. 

So here I am, finding my happiness and navigating through life according to my rules. That’s the best example I can be for my children.