Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Stepford Wife

****WARNING: I'm about to completely put myself out there for all of the world to see. I just need to get some of this stuff out, and after a talk with my Aunt Laura, I figured I'd go ahead and blog about it.****

I have to admit it...I'm NOT a stepford wife. I'm not too good at keeping up with the laundry, or on a strict cleaning schedule. I can't say that I slave behind a stove all day to make dinner for my family. I struggle a lot with being a wife in all honesty. It's something I've noticed, but it wasn't until reading a friend's blog about her struggles with maintaining her status as a wife in light of being a new mommy that I started thinking about it in depth. In my friend's blog, she talked about how she's worked so hard to maintain her role as a wife to her husband, not just as a mommy. They've welcomed her into their home as an addition, but not the center of their lives. I think that this is so important, and when Braydon was younger, I was so good at it.

As life has gone on, however, over these past few years, I've quickly let that slide. Braydon really did become the center of my world but not intentionally. I think I focused life around him because it made me feel less lonely. If I spent my free time focused on Braydon, I couldn't possibly be reminded that my friends lived hundreds of miles away. I wouldn't have time to think about how I longed for a significant other. I became a "PROUD SINGLE MOM" and wore it almost as a badge of honor.

When Kenney came along, it was very hard to relinquish my authority as a the only parent in Braydon's life. I did everything and even though Kenney tried to help, I wouldn't let him. When B had a birthday at Chuck E Cheese, I took over. Those were Kenney's words. I didn't even realize it, it was just something that I'd become accustomed to.

Now that we're married, I find it so hard to put Kenney first sometimes. I'm being completely honest here, and I know it probably sounds awful. I struggle with the idea that although I gave birth to Braydon, I am in a covenant relationship with Kenney, and told him that I would be his helpmate. I chose that word to include it in my vows to Kenney because I think it's a neat role that God has ordained for us. To be there to help our spouse. But now I struggle to explore and define myself as WIFE and mother, instead of MOTHER and wife. It's been interesting that's for sure.

Speaking of helpmates, a few Sunday's ago, I was struggling to get all of us on time to church. I had already gotten Braydon dressed (while kenney was getting ready). I went downstairs to iron my skirt, and had just finished ironing when Kenney asked me to iron his shirt for him. Ok, it's like almost 9 AM (church starts at 9:15), I'm still in my pj's, I haven't brushed my hair or my teeth, no makeup on what-so-ever....I had already taken care of Braydon getting him dressed and fed...not taking a minute for myself...AND NOW YOU WANT ME TO IRON FOR YOU TOO?!?!? I was steaming mad, but I took his shirt and ironed it anyway. The whole time I was ironing, I was churning and ranting and raving in my head about how he got to spend all of his time for himself, and I haven't even gotten out of my jammies yet.

As I was finishing up his shirt, I was reminded of my vows I had said to him on April 7th. I promised him to be his helpmate. No one had chosen those words but me. No one forced me to recite something someone else had written. I put that word in there, and it was my time to honor those vows. As I walked up the stairs and heard him getting out of the shower, I figured I'd check his pants and see if they needed to be ironed, which of course they did. So I ran downstairs and ironed them as well.

What I realized as I was ironing was that it didn't matter if we were on time to church or not if I couldn't even be bothered to help my husband. I made vows before God to help Kenney. To take care of him when he needed it. After all, I hadn't been upset that I had to get Braydon dressed. I hadn't tried to make Braydon feel guilty for having to put him first before myself. So why would I do that to my husband?

So, I'm trying to learn about sacrafice. I'm trying to walk out my vows to kenney on a daily basis. I try to make time for him, where it's just the two of us. We play cards, or watch tv. But even though I sometimes fall short, I am now aware of what I need to do. I can no longer blame it on being unaware.


Anonymous said...

Ahhh the elusive stepford wife... Wasn't that some creation? wasn't she unnatural and manipulated? You are not expected to be perfect. I don't remember "and always have the laundry perfect, a gourmet dinner on the table each night, and to have the dishes done before bed" in your vows. I would have remembered this because I would have LAUGHED being 6 years in when you married.

As far as remembering your married, I think I went into it having it a little easier than you as we didn't have a child yet. This said, wasn't / isn't easy for us. It is amazing how much work it takes and sacrifice it involves. But when it is good, it is so good! relish those moments!

The good thing is you are struggling to get to church. That means your going to church! We were not there when we were 6 months into it. (not till I was pregnant - how cliche!) Some times are better, some times are worse but trudge through the first years, I think they only get better as long as you do it together. You figure it out as you go, just like being a mommy, which you seem to be doing well. One thing that has happened with Alex and I is that we have learned not to be so stubborn in some areas lol.

PS.. I think sunday morning is a contention point in many homes lol. I never get to get clothes on before like 2 minutes out the door and I always do my makeup in the car! lol LOVE YOU - Aprille

Anonymous said...

Reading this blog made my eyes fill wih tears as I realize just how much of your dear mother you have in you. I am so humbled to have a daughter like you. I owe it all to the influence of your wonderful mom, who has shown me unfailingly (and you and your sister) for thirty years just what marriage is supposed to look and feel like.

laura said...

I am so proud of you, Christie.
I know it takes courage to look at these things, and even more to actually do something about changing.
You are an inspiration and a truly beautiful person.
~aunt laura