Here is my list of priorities:
1) the family
3) the kids
And here's an example of some people who have it all mixed up, parents who go wild for their kids.
when it comes to their 2-year-old daughter, the young parents -- she is 21, and he is 23 -- simply can't say no.
Why can't young parents say no to their little kids? Are they putting their kids first? I'd say no. The priorities for those parents in the article goes ME, kids, family (afterthought). They don't want their kids to say "mommy never did that for me". The mom doesn't want to work because her 13 year old daughter "needs her" home 24/7? Are they really thinking of their children, or are they just thinking of themselves?
Living on $30,000 a year, one family ends up moving back in with their parents with credit card debt exceeding their yearly income and $600 party extravaganzas for their two year old. What 2 year old is going to care about a $600 party, and how spoiled will he be when he grows up?
This isn't putting your kids first, its putting yourself first. What 13 year old needs a stay at home mom? And what example is that setting, parents strapped for cash and overspending and mom won't lift a finger to help. These aren't simple parenting "mistakes", they are ongoing damaging lifestyles.
Do what's best for your family. If that means that you have to sell a house you can't afford, work extra jobs, and have kid birthdays with cheap balloons and second hand toys to get out of debt, so be it! By putting what's best for your family first, ignoring your own selfish wants and kids wants (kids don't have the perspective to make rational decisions) you create a stable environment for your children. A $50,000 sweet sixteen bash can't even compete with that.