Someone posted the question “who taught you how to be a mother”. I responded with “I think some things are learned from women in our lives (the good and the bad; what we want to be and don’t want to be). And then some things come naturally, for me anyway. It’s the motherly instinct; its like we automatically get it once we have a child”. For me, being a mom is second nature. I respond to my son’s needs instinctively, without thinking about it. I became unselfish when I had him; I no longer thought of myself or my needs first, everything I did revolved around him. There’s a piece of my heart walking outside of me and there’s nothing that matters more. He will get everything I have, and more if he needs it.
I also would be remised if I didn’t mention my own mother here. There are a lot of values and standards my mother instilled in me that I will certainly pass on to my son. I learned strength from my mother, I learned discipline from my mother, I learned perseverance from my mother, I learned spirituality from my mother, I learned how to be independent from my mother, the list goes on! I am forever indebted to my mother for all she taught me and all I learned from her, just by watching. Remember Mommies, more is caught than taught, as my pastor says. Your kids learn more by watching your actions than by what you say out your mouth. I’ll forever repay my mother by living out what she taught me and I hope my son will do the same.
I’ve also seen a few posts this week about how self-care is more than just manicures and pedicures. I wholeheartedly agree with that statement. Self-care is also about your mental, physical and spiritual well-being. As moms, we wear many hats – we take care of our husbands, our babies and we run our homes like bosses! And sometimes it’s hard to find time for ourselves. How do you retreat? How do you build yourself up spiritually? How do you take time for YOU? You can’t pour into your family from an empty vessel. You must take time to recharge, refill and replenish yourself. Your family is no good if you’re running on fumes. And trust me, I’m speaking to myself here too. It’s imperative that we take the time we need for US. Part of my self-care is going to therapy. I gotta talk out what’s going on in my head and my therapist makes suggestions and recommendations for me about how I can be a better me. Some may think they don’t need therapy and some genuinely may not, but I have no shame in admitting that in this season, for me, therapy is useful.
So for some reason being a wife is kept quiet. We don’t talk about it; but why? I submit the same question asked above about being a mother and put it here – WHO taught you how to be a wife? More often than not, we come from homes where our parents weren’t married, or they were married, but it wasn’t healthy, or our mothers raised us alone. Not many people come from happily married homes (and if you do, this statement obviously doesn’t apply to you); this is not a put down, but it’s a truthful statement. We aren’t taught or positively influenced on how to be a wife… a GOOD wife. So it’s safe to say that most of what we know about being a wife either comes from the influences of TV or social media; because what or who else are you influenced by? And let’s be honest, that’s not good.
Being a mom is instinctive most times, even if we didn’t have any influences on how to be a mom, we would still instinctively know how to do it. However, being a wife is not instinctive; it’s not something you “just know”. You have to learn it! We prepare for everything else in life, except marriage – we prepare for a drivers license by taking a driver’s test; we prepare for the job we want by getting some kind of training; and for first time moms, you even prepare for your child by reading books, taking classes and watching videos. BUT… how do you or how did you prepare to be a wife? What are your influences? What does being a wife even mean? It could mean something different to each person, so what does it mean to you? Do you and your husband have the same expectation or definition of “wife”? It could mean one thing to you and something totally different to him.
I’m a Christian, and Holy Spirit has been dealing with me lately about learning what it means to be a wife the way God intended. So I’m not just writing this blog and asking these questions to you, this is for me as well. I am going back to the basics and learning how to be a wife the way it’s supposed to be done; the way God intended when marriage was created.
Your beliefs may be different from mine, and that’s fine. But no matter what you believe, if you’re a wife or plan to be, it’s still important to know and understand what that means.
My pastor says, “The power to define is the power to fulfill”. If you can’t adequately define a role, how can you fulfill it? If you don’t know what it means to be a wife, how can you be adequately be one?
~a mom and wife in progress
As always, thanks for reading and feedback is welcome!