A number of years ago there was an article that went viral written by a woman about the seeming conflict between being a mother and a wife.
The very fact that the issue was brought into the public forum was important because it is not discussed enough. This woman [Jewish but not religious] wrote the following. She is madly in love with her husband. Physically, sexually and emotionally. She loves her children too but her love for her husband is far more intense. She can imagine life without her children but can't imagine life without her husband. She loves her children but her whole life is her husband.
This article generated a storm of protest! How can she say that?? There was even a suggestion that she should be reported to the authorities and measures be taken to protect her children. She even had to defend herself on Oprah. [Oprah is called the richest black woman alive. How can someone be called "rich" when they hve no children?? I am not blaming her but a child is worth BILLIONS so anyone with a child has more than all of her billions. Poor Oprah].
She mentioned that she suffers from a serious emotional disorder so I can't imagine what type of wife or mother she is personally but that doesn't concern me here. What concerns me is the principal of what she wrote.
There is almost NOTHING she could do that is better for her CHILDREN than the attitude she has. Not only is it GREAT for her husband [I know a few husbands who would be more than a tad bit jealous] but is also great for her children. Children need to grow up in a loving environment not only in relation to them but between adults - particularly their parents.
It is interesting how many people divorce their spoues but no normal person divorces his or her child. That is because people have a skewed view of marriage. The spouse should come first - before the children. If people had that attitude there would be far fewer divorces and far more happier kids.
So if you want to help your children grow up emotionally well developed then work on your relationship with your spouse. Stage 2 is to focus on how to be a better parent and to constantly show your children love and understanding.
We live in CRAZZZZYYYY times. Every kid is essentially "at risk" because the whole world is DANGEROUS. So be consistently vigilant in being FIRST a good spouse and a good parent and see a kiyum of the pasuk:
וראה בנים לבניך שלום על ישראל.