FYI To My Readers – I did celebrate “Pi Day” on March 14th with a Marie Callender’s Razzleberry Pie – my favorite!
Sometimes women joke that their husband is really their “other” child. I love to laugh, and I don’t have a problem with lighthearted humor. However, I think women need to remind themselves not to believe their own tales.
We all want to feel valued, needed, and that we would be missed if we were to suddenly disappear. This, coupled with some moderate control issues, can lead a woman into a whole heap of heartache. Add to that normal “Mommy guilt” and/or “working Mommy guilt,” and quite simply, a woman is doomed to failure.
Just because you do the dishes, and you’ve spent 10 years mastering the perfect way to load the dishwasher does not mean your child – or the husband you jokingly refer to as your child – CAN’T do the dishes. Your method may be better for some reason or it may just be your acquired preference, or both. The point is to get the dishes clean. Even if an occasional dish needs to come out of the “clean” dishes and get extra soaking, the rest of the dishes were cleaned. Even if you THINK it will take twice as long, the point is still this: THE DISHES GOT CLEAN.
About once a year, my boss finds a reason to send me on travel for business. Usually, I visit our customer and smooth out a few issues. This does a couple of things:
- It shows the boys that this working mom is willing to travel.
- Gets me out of my comfort zone, honing my social skills.
- Shows me, my husband, and my kids that they can survive without me and they will still have food to eat and the house won’t burn down – and I suddenly have kids running to the door to greet me, not “Mom! Why did you pick us up early from school??” [Sorry, just wanted to hang out with my kids.]
For many years, I think I tried to make up for the fact that I worked full-time. In reality I didn’t really “make-up” for anything, I just used my perceived failures as a self-flogging device. And when I worked harder until I was completely exhausted and hated life, I then blamed my husband. Because of course, “I was doing everything.” If I was failing, it was because he wasn’t an adequate “helpmate” to our forward progress as a family.
If we degrade our husbands to the role of a child, guess what also disappears? Help. Emotional support. Sanity. I had unattainable, ridiculous goals for our family — goals I didn’t really care about, but that I thought would make us all happy. When I viewed my husband as a child to take care of, he no longer stood proud and strong as the husband who could provide emotional support and keep me sane. We could no longer work together to be more effective and efficient because I had shut him out. Of course, this also meant he had to learn to not laugh at my silly meltdowns.
As our children have grown, and we’ve realized how much more there is to teach them about work and responsibility – we’ve also learned to separate our frustrations with our children from our feelings toward each other. “I get it, you are ready to scream at a kid – but take a breath, because I’m not the one you’re mad at.” “I get it, you are overwhelmed, and our kids are ungrateful – how are WE going to change that TOGETHER?”
Yet another chapter in the series – “how to avoid driving yourself crazy” … Take a breath, love your husband, see him as the man he is and the man he can become. After all, he was smart and savvy enough to snag you for a wife. And you’ve never been wrong before.
And if he reads this, Happy Anniversary to my husband! I pray this is less than the half-way point.
Molly A. Kerr
Molly is on a life long quest to figure herself out. Born to be and educated as an aerospace engineer she is also blessed to be a wife and a mom of two in the present, previously served as a full-time missionary, is consistently called to teach the youth in her ward, is eagerly though slowly doing home improvement as money and time allow, all while gradually learning how to be herself and find peace and balance somewhere in between. Despite her attempts to make “the right” decisions in her life, she has learned to deal with some unexpected challenges over the last two decades. Total tornadoes, really. What she has discovered is that her career has taught her a lot about the Gospel and being a better mother, and the Gospel, when applied to challenges at the office, has made her a better professional. She has also learned that it is okay to be herself, and God still loves (and forgives) her for it.