Sunday, May 17, 2009
Finding Fulfillment In My Duties as Wife and Mother
In my last post about staying home with the children, I mentioned how I'm learning more about the joy and beauty of being a good wife, mother, and homemaker. It is definitely a challenging job, and requires skill to do it all well.
The other day my husband said to me, "Being a wife is a hard job, isn't it?" I replied, "Isn't being a husband?" He went on to say that being a husband is a different kind of job. He's responsible for providing and going to work, but he doesn't consider his professional job to be a difficult job, but rather easygoing, laidback work. I, on the other hand, work hard cleaning, taking care of our home, the children and him. And, it's like labor kind of work, he said. Hard work. "I bet you didn't think it would be this hard when you wanted to be a stay at home mom, did you?", he asked me.
In many ways, I did think it would be hard. I remembered thinking how hard my mother and grandmother would work cooking dinner, and being in the kitchen for so long preparing an elaborate meal, the great effort that it took to keep the house cleaned, getting all of us kids ready to go to church, or anywhere, cleaning a mountain of dishes, etc. I used to think it seemed to be so boring to have to do all of that.
Until I had to do those things in my own home. After seeing how much having a clean home and delicious meals meant to my husband, I had a renewed sense of motivation for being a good homemaker. And, I actually started to enjoy cleaning. Not usually the act itself, but the results of cleaning usually recharged me, and made me feel so good and accomplished, and I enjoyed that feeling. Having a clean kitchen to walk into each morning is so refreshing! I've come to actually enjoy washing dishes, and find it to be a great time to relax and ponder on different things.
I'm starting to enjoy catering to my husband as well. I admit that I had to let some feministic ideas go. But, the more I made it a point to fix my husband's plate, to cook meals that I knew he enjoyed, to wash and fold his clothes, to rub his back, to look pretty for him, to do the different little things that I knew he liked, the more I enjoyed doing those things for him. I actually look forward to doing those things. I receive so much satisfaction from serving him.
Just like I receive so much satisfaction from having a clean and orderly home. I just think if you set your mind to achieving a task, the more you do it, the more you like doing it. It reminds me of a story a preacher once shared.
He said that a woman went to her pastor seeking help because she wanted to divorce her husband, and wanted to know what she should do, since she believed divorce was wrong, but felt it was impossible to remain married to her husband. Her pastor advised her that for the next three or four months she should cater to him and treat him as lovingly as possible. Then at the end, spring him with divorce papers, because he would never suspect it coming. She thought that it was a great idea, and went about treating her husband like he was a king. Well, at the end of the couple of months, the pastor saw the young lady again, and asked if she followed through with the divorce. She replied, "Divorce? Why would I divorce my husband, I realize just how much I love him. I definitely want to make things work."
The pastor knew she would come to this conclusion. The message behind it is that our mind follows our actions. She acted lovingly toward her husband, and her mind and emotions began to follow.
You can't just follow your emotions. Just because you don't feel like doing things, doesn't mean that you shouldn't. Do your duty, and your emotions will follow.