Yes that is what I asked. Same concept as "the chicken or the egg". Traditionally yes, the marriage comes before the kids. So let's use that scenario, shall we?
When you stand up there in front of witnesses and take the vows of commitment to the person standing across from you there were no kids in the picture. You didn't say "to you and to the children we will someday have".
Let's also say for sake of argument that you don't even know if you can have kids, I am going to assume however that you are both in agreement on whether you want kids or not.
Now, why is it that once the kids come they are constantly being put first? Not in a "basic nurturing" way but in such a way that keeps you completely busy and stressed to the point that you don't have time for your spouse? BTW this includes people that have to have a schedule "date night". If you have to reserve "Wednesday Night" for your spouse than you aren't giving him/her enough of your attention.
If you don't maintain that original commitment than how is this affecting your kids? They can't survive without a stable marriage as the source of stability in their lives. So by puttig your spouse first you are actually ultimately thinking of the kids' well being. Interesting.
Here is a good article with some good perspective on the topic:
Keep this in mind, the kids don't miss what they don't know. If you choose to attend "mommy groups", "soccer practice", "dance practice", "play dates", "shopping trips", vacations for the whole family", "weekend trips to the zoo", "weekend trips to theme parks", then it's your choice. Not the child's. Sure they will get upset if you suddenly stop doing it but if they never become used to it, then it's not an issues.
I remember getting to go to "Astro World" in Houston as a kid several times. I also remember an occasional trip to the zoo. But it wasn't habit and we never felt deprived if we didn't go. So many kids today are senselessly spoiled with the idea that they "need this". Says who? Who says they need all of that?
So before you tie yourself up with these unnecessary things, think about what else you should be doing. Planning a long three day weekend for you and your spouse? Special dinner somewhere new on a Friday night? Don't be afraid to ask the grandparents or aunts and uncles to babysit. Guess what? You and your spouse will be happier for it and in the end so will the kids.