Saturday, August 04, 2007

Wife or Mother?

I found this article the other day and thought it was very interesting. It really made me think about how I view what I do each day as both a wife and a mother. I know I say that I'm a stay-at-home-mom more than I do that I am a wife. I think part of it is that I was a working wife for seven years before I stopped working outside the home. I think though, that Mrs. Jaynes raises some interesting points with some very serious repercussions. Here's most of the article:

First and Foremost Wife or Mom?

In Becoming the Woman of His Dreams, Sharon Jaynes recalls a time when "a wife who became a mother remained first and foremost a wife." When did we change "working wife" to "working mom"? When did "housewife" suddenly become less important than "stay-at-home mom"?

Mrs. Jaynes writes of this paradigm shift:
I think the change is more of a reflection of the culture's shift of importance from being a wife to being a mother. Our focus has shifted from a home that is centered on the marriage unit to one that is centered on the children.
She quotes Dr. John Roseman, who reflects in the Charlottee Observer:
"This shift came about largely because America's shifted to a self-esteem based child-rearing philosophy, and women became persuaded that the mother who paid the most attention to and did the most for her child was the best mom of them all."
Mrs. Jaynes makes a powerful point as she notes,
Unfortunately, many times this [shift] has occurred at the expense of the marriage. The wife becomes engrossed in her children's lives, and the husband becomes engrossed in his career. Twenty years later, they look up from their cereal bowls and say, "Who are you?"

A mother should never feel guilty for putting her husband before her children. Giving them the security of knowing that their parents love each other is one of the best gifts she can give them in the long run...

I believe the best mom of all is the one who loves her husband and gives her children the security of living within the protection of a rock-solid marriage, a marriage that exemplifies and models for them what God intended.

I know that I've definitely seen this emphasis placed on the children over the marriage time and time again. I am guilty of it as well at times. Because Sweetheart and I were married for so many years before having kids, we have a very strong relationship with one another. We are each other's best friend and closest companion. I want to maintain that!

As time goes on, more kids are born, and raising children demands more time and energy, I want to make sure that I do not neglect my relationship with Sweetheart. This article really has made me think more about this over the last few days. I don't want to end up married to a stranger, nor lose who I am as a person to being a mom. At the end of it all, I want to please Jesus, not try to be the Mother of the Year.


Tracy said...

I'm in agreement 100%. Most people look at me like I'm crazy if I say that my husband comes first.

Anonymous said...

Soon after my younger sister went away to college my dad left my mom of 25 years. He later told me part of the reason was because they didn't know who they were without children in the home. When it was just them, he didn't have enough reason to stay. I had just turned 30 years old and it rocked my world for years.

Sharon Kay said...

This is a very good post and I think we can all stop and think about your words. I was a stay at home mother until my children were in school and I enjoyed that time in my life so much.

Mimi said...

thanks for visiting my blog and adding your good wishes for our Miss Molly... I see the picture of Abner on your blog and he is a very handsome dog.
Your comments and the article on the importance of being the "wife" are very true... you were the "wife" before becoming the mother and you will be the "wife" after the children have left the nest.. so it is of the utmost importance to keep the marriage alive...
we are enjoying some of our best years now because the children have given us grandchildren to play with and we are comfortable with Who we are.

Susan PA said...

I think this is very true. However, my husband and I had our first child 13 months after we married, I have NEVER worked outside the home since we were married, and EVEN SO, we are still best friends (by far)! :)

Also, I have always, always, always disliked the word "housewife" -- to me, it just seems pejorative, as though keeping the HOUSE clean and nice is the most important thing I do. As Jill Bond said once, "No, I'm Alan's wife, not my house's."

That's why I PREFER homemaker, though I usually identify myself as "writer and mother" -- YET, as I said, being a wife is by far the most important (after Jesus). I think, since I considered us "one flesh," it didn't seem necessary to me to identify myself as E's wife PRIMARILY. :)

Just my opinion. (I linked to your blog through Brenda's (cofeetea...).

Susan (mama to 8 and wife to 1)

Jodi said...

Very good article, Kimberly. I do quite agree that Hubby must come before the children. It actually enhances their childhood to know the Mom and Dad are deeply and securely in love!


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