Today, on To Love Honor and Vacuum, Sheila asks the question, Are You a Better Wife or a Better Mom? She even inserted a comment I made to her a while back about how society really stresses being a "good mom."
Think back to the moment you first learned you were going to have a baby... or perhaps the moment when you began the journey to adopt your child. Having done both, I remember buying numerous books and subscribing to different magazines as well. You also start to talk to other BTDT moms, and ALL of them are more than willing to give you advice on what to do, what not to do, etc.
The day comes when you finally bring that child into your home. Your heart has never felt this kind of love before... a love so deep and fierce that you know you would do anything for this child. The focus has shifted from preparing for this child to caring for this child. All your energy goes into caring for your new blessing. If you've adopted, your energy is spent on helping your new child transition into the family... and possibly redirecting behaviors that he/she has picked up prior to coming into your home. At the end of each and every evening, you're exhausted. But the love you feel for this child, YOUR child, fills your love tank and gives you a sense of worth and value.
What about when you first learned you were going to be a wife? You know... when he popped the question and you said "yes". What kind of books did you read? If you were like most brides-to-be, you stocked up on magazines and books that talked all about the wedding... how to pick the perfect venue, the latest and greatest in dresses and hair styles, etiquette for who pays for what, etc. But how did you really prepare yourself for the MARRIAGE that followed that beautiful wedding day?
After a child is born or brought into the family, you begin using all the knowledge you've obtained during the planning process to help nurture that child. Instincts take over and you give all you've got to be the best mom ever. Compare that to after your wedding... what have you learned while planning your wedding that can help you now? The dress, the hair, the music... all a thing of the past. It's now time to nurture your marriage.
While being a mom can be challenging, it's a role that most women step into quite easily, and most do a great job too! But what about the role of being a wife? Do you put as much effort into being a wife as you do being a mom? I completely agree with Sheila when she says that we need to prioritize our marriages. I don't mean we should neglect our children or not care for them when they need it, but if we give every ounce of energy and love to our children, where does that leave our husbands???
I'm going to be completely honest here. Until recently, I didn't understand that at all. I thought it was my job to care for my children. I gave every bit of myself to my children, and I didn't save anything for Scott. While things looked okay from the outside, our family was crumbling. Why? Because Scott and I were not focusing on each other enough. You see, the BEST thing you can do for your children is to love your husband... for your husband to be your best friend. Kids need to feel safe, and if their parents are of one flesh, they'll feel that security (as an added bonus, if mom and dad are on the same page because they are truly one flesh, it's harder to play one parent against the other!). Our children learn best from what they see us doing. If we show them how a married couple should act, then they'll seek that out when they begin searching for a spouse. Our daughters will understand what it means to be loved by a man instead of being lusted after... and our sons will understand how to truly love a woman.
And if that doesn't make you think more about being more intentional in your marriage, how about this:
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. ~Gen 2:24 (emphasis added)
Umm... that kind of says that our kiddos will leave us one day. Yeah, I know, hard to comprehend. But it's going to happen. Then you'll be with your husband. All alone. Just the two of you. Don't worry, it's not too late. Start nurturing your marriage now. Let the kids know just how much you love your hubby. Better yet, show them with your actions. Remember, your HUSBAND is the one you pledged to love and honor for the rest of your life!!
|Our family... taken by a friend, December 2011|