Wednesday, June 25, 2008

It's just words, after all

Jennifer's recent posts have really hit home for me. Much like her, I am the spouse that takes responsibility for the home and kids. I willingly and lovingly do these jobs. I do not claim to do either perfectly and am frank about my failures as a house-keeper.

I'd much rather blog than vacuum!

But I struggle with the same problems and conflicts that Jennifer and many other SAHMs do.

I am frazzled.

I rarely eat in peace and quiet.

I rarely poop or pee alone.

I am almost NEVER alone. I think the last time I was really alone for any period of time, besides my annual ob/gyn visit, was.........

About 7 1/2 years ago. (Yes, Stinkerbell is 7 1/2. You're so smart!)

Last week, much like Tate, The Mighty Hunter was very busy with work. I was also busy with family obligations, doctor appointments, etc. But my busy was with kids in tow. His busy was at work, on the road (ALONE), golfing (with business contacts), etc.

The Final Straw for me was Friday afternoon. Thursday was a very long day for him. He worked so late that he didn't get to see the kids before they went to bed. Stinkerbell cried before she went to sleep for missing him so much. The next morning, he had an early meeting and left before they awoke.

During that morning, I spoke to a friend (fellow member of our little country club) who was going to the pool with his kids and several other mutual friends with their kids and cooking hot dogs, and did we want to go also? "Sure, but The Mighty Hunter won't be there, he's going fishing with a friend over at the lake, overnight." So, I loaded the Pimped-Out Mamamobile with the swimming junk so that me and the kids could join the party at the pool.

I made the point to leave early enough to stop by the office so The Mighty Hunter could see us before we parted ways for the night. Had I not made that special effort (which wasn't a big deal to me), he would have not seen the kids for 65 hours.

The Final Straw = Mommy needs an ESCAPE

cue Beverly and the Girls Night Out

Last night, she reminded me of my Plan To Escape and asked if I wanted to do it at her house. I mentioned this in passing to The Mighty Hunter.

It's Girls Night at Bev's Saturday. How's that work for you?

(considering that Lucky had screamed for me for 30 minutes while I helped Stinkerbell shampoo her hair, I didn't have high expectations)

"You're kidding, right?"


cue screaming child again, to drive the point home.


And our vows? No "obey" crap for this Gal. Our ceremony was officiated by my Southern Baptist Preacher Dad and was very traditional. Yet, I wrote our ceremony by taking things that I liked from different ceremonies in my dad's Wedding Book. Coincidentally, I used the same vows that my parents, my brother and my-friend-Rachel all used in their weddings. And there was no "obey" in them. (Well, maybe in my mom's but that was 1965)

Here's the thing though. And it's a thing that I struggle with every. single. day. of my life.

My faith teaches to husbands first. It tells them to love their wives as themselves. And, considering how the men in my life love themselves, that's a lot to ask. The Bible teaches that wives submit to their husbands.

Submit, NOT obey.

I don't have a problem with this. In theory, anyway. Yet, I still struggle with it. I am entirely too independent for my own good and readily admit it. I love and respect The Mighty Hunter. I believe he loves me dearly. He has proven over and over his devotion and faithfulness to me, his wife. He tolerates and forgives mercifully. He teases and taunts lovingly. He provides and protects tirelessly. He's The Stuff. His faith and relationship with Jesus are unquestionable and unchanging.

Here's the problem for me (and I suspect many many others)...

For me to submit to my husband, I must trust him to put my interests and concerns first and care for me as my Heavenly Father would.

In my heart, I don't doubt this. I believe The Mighty Hunter can and does do this daily, to the best of his ability.

But the problem with submitting is in my own heart. Born in 1971, I was raised during the wonderful(?) time when girls were finally taught they were equal to their male counterparts. Much like other struggles against discrimination, some women wanted to take over the roles of those who "suppressed" them.

Lemmejusttellya, I don't want to be a man. I don't understand that desire in the least. But the struggle against discrimination for women planted seeds of distrust and malice against the other sex. And it's this distrust and malice that causes me to hesitate to submit.

So, I don't obey. I love and honor. Just like he does me.

And I try to submit.


Anonymous said...

Oh to poop and pee alone...!!

As far as submitting, I can do that. It kind of takes some pressure off of me. I'm lazy like that. Of course, it was all that "submitting" that helped us get into one big financial mess at the beginning of our marriage. I quickly learned to submit, but be involved at the same time.

My problem is that I want to call all the shots (think the My Big Fat Greek Wedding line where the mom says the neck turns the head) but I want HH to take all the grief if it doesn't work out. Does that make sense?!

Michelle said...

Girl you read my heart today... I had to make a post myself.

Super B's Mom said...

Ok first of all I had to laugh because I intentionally placed the word "obey" in my vows. Holy crap what did I sign myself up for?? :)

Your post brought out a lot of thoughts that I roll around and around in my head quite frequently. Years ago this was a VERY volatile subject in our home. I felt so overwhelmed with the pressures of my job, my family, my home, and just life in general.

One day I practically exploded on Super Dad and told him that I felt like a "single mom." And I'll never forget the look of hurt on his face. He told me that his sole purpose in life was to make sure that Super B and I are happy and provided for. As we talked, I began to realize the pressures that he faces and felt that although mine might seem more "urgent" on the surface, his burdens weigh just as heavy.

Please don't get me wrong - I'm NOT taking the Mighty Hunter's side here! :) But as wives and mothers, I think we often overlook the "invisible" struggles our husbands face on a daily basis. Although I have worked outside the home since we had Super B, I realize that our livelihood as a family rests primarily on Super Dad's shoulders. And that's a mighty heavy load to carry.

Disclaimer here: I am VERY old-fashioned. But it wasn't until that talk with Super Dad that I realized how important is was for me to surrender to my role - to give Super Dad the freedom to "take care of business." I had to do A LOT of praying because I felt like I was getting the raw end of the deal for many years.

So many times the "give and take" feels more like "give give give and then give some more." But one thing I learned after years of butting my head against a wall - the female mind is wired oh-so-different than that of our men. Lightbulb, T. *ding ding*

Take it from Cool Hand Luke:
"What we have here is a failure to communicate."

Perhaps the Mighty Hunter isn't denying you ME TIME, he just doesn't get what ME TIME is all about. Please don't do like me and let it all build and build and boil over until your head spins around on your shoulders and you change the locks and..... technically I didn't change all the locks.

Please don't take this the wrong way - I'm not taking sides. I just know the struggle you are facing and it can eat at you from the second you wake up until the moment you finally rest your head at night. It can really strain a GOOD marriage. I am going to help you pray about this!! ((((HUGS)))

jennifer, playgroups are no place for children said...

I'm right there with you and feel your pain.

I know we're lucky to have husbands who provide for us and I know they have a lot of stress that they put up with each day of their own. HOWEVER. That doesn't mean that we're not allowed to feel frustration.

It's hard. Kids are hard, marriage is hard.