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Remarried Mom Says Kids Should Not Come First In A Blended Family — But A Divorce Attorney Strongly Disagrees

Photo: Weekend Images Inc. / CanvaPro
Two parents smiling with their young children.

Life is messy, love is unexpected, and relationships are hard — it’s no wonder so many families today are “blended.” Blended families are often the end result of a lifetime navigating the difficult landscape of love and companionship. 

Almost 40% of families in the United States today are “blended” with at least one partner having a child from a previous relationship, if not both. Being that our culture holds “traditional” relationships to such a high standard, despite their rarity, “blended” families often become the topic of controversial discussions. 

Creator and stepmom coach, Alicia Krasko, admits that her own “blended family” has been at the heart of a great deal of her conversations with her marriage counselor as she and her partner navigate their relationship while also having their own kids. 

“The kids shouldn’t come first,” she plainly wrote over a now-deleted video from February 13, “I’m just going to go ahead and say it.” 

Krasko said kids are ‘your responsibility,’ but your partner should be ‘your priority,’ especially in a blended family. 

“If you put the kids first in a second marriage, you’re going to end up in the same situation that you’re in right now,” Krasko explained, recalling her marriage counselor’s advice, “divorced again or single again.” 

   

   

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Despite the narrative that many people share online, Krasko said being devoted to your partner before your kids is the best way to approach being in “a blended family.” Your relationship “is the foundation” of your family, she admits, and if you’re not in a healthy partnership with your person, you can’t provide for your kids. 

“When we didn’t put the kids first and we were on the same page, that’s when our relationship changed,” Krasko shared. “It’s not a competition — our relationship being more important than the kids — but your relationship should come first… it’s a trickle-down effect.” 

Krasko said unwavering focus on your kids will only alienate your partner and lead to a separation once the kids are ‘out of the house.’

“We’ve got to be good, because at some point those kids are going to move out, and they’re going to have our relationship to look back on as a template or a blueprint,” she said. “That’s why your relationship should come first.” 

Remarried Mom Says Kids Shouldn’t Come First In A Blended FamilyPhoto: Syda Productions / Canva Pro

She was very clear in her argument that putting your relationship first doesn’t mean you should completely isolate your kids or make them feel unloved by focusing on your partner. It simply means creating a healthy balance where everyone feels appreciated. Make sure you’re giving your kids the love, essentials, and safety they need to thrive while focusing on your partner. 

Many parents, whether it be their first or tenth relationship, often find their connection with their partner deteriorates as they focus solely on their children. Partner isolation leads to resentment, potential parental alienation, and mistrust in relationships, often resulting in separation or divorce. 

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Ensure that once your kids are gone, they have all the tools to succeed and you do, too. The empty-nester divorce trend can be easily explained by people failing to do this. They put all their time, energy, and love into their children, only to back away and realize their partner is gone. 

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Instead of noticing and addressing the issues in their relationship, they go on for years focused on their kids until they’re forced to acknowledge them in their “empty” house. 

One divorce attorney disagrees, saying kids should ‘always come first.’ 

“I think what’s more bizarre to me is that somebody would consciously subjugate their own children's needs to those of a new partner,” marriage attorney Brian Pakpour said in a “stitched” video of Krasko's original post. Pakpour is a child of divorce himself and admits he’s also been divorced and has children of his own. 

   

   

Pakpour believes the opposite of Krasko. He explained that parents who prioritize their own relationships often breed strained, unhealthy ones with their children in adulthood.

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“My father remarried soon after my parent’s divorce… we had a blended family,” he said. “It was clear that we were not the priority. His priority was his wife… it had far-reaching consequences.” 

As an adult, he shared that he never held a "significant" relationship with his father or stepmother — neither did any of his stepsiblings. “They ultimately got divorced, but contrast that with my mother who always made us the priority… we now have happy, fulfilled relationships with her.” 

Remarried Mom Says Kids Shouldn’t Come First In A Blended FamilyPhoto: fizkes / Canva Pro

“To see it from your children’s perspective, they only get one mom. They only get one dad. They can’t choose any other partner. Whereas you could choose a partner that understands that you put your children’s needs first. If they don’t — you find another one.” 

Ultimately, each relationship and family dynamic — blended or not — is unique.

You have to do what works for you, your partner, and all the children involved.

Find a balance that works for everyone, and ensure communication remains constant for when things inevitably get “rocky.” 

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Zayda Slabbekoorn is a news and entertainment writer at YourTango focusing on pop culture and human interest stories.