I respect my husband's needs (and he does the same). Neither of us are morning people, so we take turns getting up with Mason at the crack of dawn every day. Sometimes Mason insists that mommy (or daddy) needs to be up, too, and we're very clear that he gets the undivided attention of one parent every morning because mommy or daddy is tired and she/he needs some extra rest. Or sometimes mommy needs to go to the gym alone, or daddy needs a night out with friends. We protect the other partner's needs out of love and respect. Those time-outs make us better parents—and better partners, too.
I recognize my husband's greatness (and he returns the favor). I am Chris' biggest fan (his publicist, even) and he's mine. We praise each other to other people, as well as to our son. Every morning when I come out into the living room, dressed for work, Chris points to me and says to Mason, "Isn’t mommy beautiful?" When Chris cooks us one of his amazing dinners, I point to the food and say to Mason, "Isn’t daddy the best cook?" We complement each other in front of Mason, both to build his respect and love for the other parent, as well as to show our love and appreciation for each other. It's our way of keeping the other partner from feeling unimportant, unnoticed, or on the back burner.
Are you married and a parent? Who do you put first?