Being Wife while Being Mommy
We are just starting the recovery process from the Royal Wedding over the weekend. The reviews and critics are coming in fast and furious on everything. I am most interested in the ones regarding the sermon and the preacher for obvious reasons ? ? ?
The institution of marriage brings with it new roles for both parties. For the woman being a wife is a new role that most often than not comes with a limited script and an unlimited dose of advice, beliefs, myths and ideas especially from fellow women and society at large. As an African woman these unlimited doses of just about everything is dispensed most publicly at the wedding reception where the chosen ‘Aunt’ takes time to address the newly wedded couple. Let’s just say most of the times it is the woman who gets the larger part of the advice including one of the most ridiculous of them all: “Your husband is your first child . . .” Followed closely to this piece is the importance of immediately conceiving and the ‘warning/threat’ that the nine months countdown has begun; so, you as the new bride, new wife, woman better do your part.
Unbeknown to many of those ‘Aunt’s’ and people at the wedding, conceiving leave alone carrying a pregnancy to term is not an automatic process. It is sadly assumed to be, but it is not; I have walked that path I know it only too well.
Well, by God’s grace and in His perfect planning the ‘wife’ one day becomes ‘mommy’. Once again the woman is thrown into another deep end with no script, no step by step formula for success; she’s in there with ‘only a wing and a prayer’ quite literally. Most if not all the times the woman is still navigating the ‘wife’ role and then she now has to navigate the ‘mommy’ role; on both roles, she is learning on the job. It is not as easy place to be and many women more often than not in the failed quest of balancing the two drop the ball. The result is that they then chose to focus on the role they feel is working for them, either ‘wife’ or ‘mommy’ and in the worst case scenario on none of the two.
Being wife while mommy is not easy, I am a mommy of five ? (Two are with the Lord, and three are with me). Many times it feels like being ‘mommy’ is an emergency – it has to be done now, or never and just in case you have doubts about the priority level there are the sporadic instances of life and death in this department. Being ‘wife’ is important but many times doesn’t feel or even look urgent. It feels like without any consequence whatsoever being ‘wife’ can take a back seat, to be revisited when the children are 18 years old! But that can be fatal to any marriage. So, what to do? Balance? Definitively not an option for me, I am all sold out to Integrated Living ?
Yes, Integrated Living.
Yet even here, it is still so easy to lump being ‘wife’ and being ‘mommy’ together. It is a trap to be consciously avoided. The two roles can compliment each other but they can not replace each other. I know children are such happy and jolly and draining people, that pay for all their wrongs and rights with the most genuine sloppy kisses and hugs in the world; I also know that a husband can be the opposite of that. Children arrive in your arms with a clean slate, totally dependent on you for everything, looking up to you with those heart melting adorable eyes. The husband arrives in your arms as an adult, of the opposite gender, with a developed personality to boot. They also come with baggage, baggage they have gathered along the way of growing up; you bring the same to the table.
Sometimes when ‘wife’ looks at ‘mommy’ they feel the ‘mommy’ deal is an easier load to carry, so consciously or unconsciously they slowly begin to divest interest and energies from being ‘wife’ and direct them all to being ‘mommy’
Sometimes when ‘mommy’ looks at ‘wife’ they feel that ‘wife’ deal is an easier load to carry, so consciously or unconsciously they slowly begin to divest interest and energies from being ‘mommy’ and direct them all to being ‘wife’
Sometimes when both being ‘wife’ and being ‘mommy’ feels overwhelming, consciously or unconsciously a woman can begin to divest interest and energies from being both ‘wife’ and ‘mommy’ and direct them all to another role they feel is rewarding their efforts
However, as a woman when you are both ‘wife’ and ‘mommy’, you step up to the plate and get counted in both areas. You lost the luxury of choice when you became both.
So help you God.