Becoming a wife..
I have written about this before. Perhaps it is something that ebbs and flows through my thoughts. I have been thinking about when did I become a wife? I don’t mean it in a bad way because I love being a wife. I am talking about the categorization or 1950′s description of a wife. Someone who stays home and just makes life work for everyone because she is the perfect wife.
Granted, being a wife is not all I do but sometimes I think it is. I am probably not the only wife/mother who feels this way. When you work and by that I mean going to work every day from 9-5, you are part of a team. You have to pull your weight and your intellect is part of the process of getting things accomplished at work. You are seen for your ability to think out of the box, get projects going, make sure businesses are profitable, direct the client, secure the legal documents. Whatever it is, your abilities at work are appreciated at a completely different level than being at home. You aren’t a wife, you are a player.
Don’t get me wrong, being home has been great for everyone including me. My time is very flexible, my kids have a support system at home, my husband can truly focus on his business because I take care of everything else and having one person at home creates a good balance. But sometimes, the balance is frustrating.
Helping the kids navigate their lives without passing any judgment on their thoughts is truly exhausting. I am the support system. Not to say that my husband isn’t completely involved but there is something about being the Mom, it is just different. Just like being the Dad is different. Even if there are two people who are married of the same sex with a family, one takes on a role that is more the Mom role. The person who manages their lives. Dates, food, dinner, vacations, events, clothing, camp, shampoo, etc. There has to be a breakdown of everyone’s role in the family unit. Each person just takes on their role as time goes on. That is how one person ends up being the wife. By the way, in some cases the man becomes the wife.
You get married, have kids, both have jobs and then all of a sudden, one of you stops working. That person would be me. Granted I waited sometime before making that leap but in some ways it was just an evolution. Yet I still yen for the information and intellectual conversations that I got out of work. It wasn’t like I was solving world peace but I was solving problems and my mind was working. My husband comes home after a long day and needs to chat with the kids, help with their homework, have dinner with the family etc. and talking about the latest at work or the political crisis our country is in is just not in the cards. I get it. Sometimes I could care less, life is good. Other times, I feel frustrated and an overwhelming desire to return to the days of college when we had really thought provoking conversations until 2am. Now I barely make it until 10 so that isn’t happening. But those are the times when I feel, when did I become a wife?
Don’t get me wrong, I am blessed to have 3 great kids and a wonderful supportive husband but at times I feel lonely. I spend a lot of time by myself during the year. I always have projects going on but being part of a working team is just different. I had an opportunity recently to go back and roll my sleeves up and be involved in a start-up again but reality took hold and I realized that not only did I not want to return to working 40+ hours a week, I couldn’t. I couldn’t because my life and my responsibilities to my kids and husband didn’t allow me to. I could have if I wanted to but truthfully I couldn’t because I didn’t want to work like that again.
I am involved with plenty of things, don’t get me wrong. I sit on the school Board, I am helping with the 10th Anniversary of MOUSE, I am heading up a real estate project that we are working on ( a new home and building), and about to become involved in something else that I am incredibly excited about. But, I still feel like there is something missing.
I am working on figuring out the right balance. In many ways, I am always working on having the right balance. Perhaps it is my generation who feels like I do. I have some friends, my age, who are so happy to be at home and never feel the way I do. They tell me I always have been competitive and enjoyed the challenge of work. Perhaps, perhaps not.
I hope that my girls will be able to balance the life/work thing easier. Maybe they will, maybe that won’t. I definitely enjoy the life we are living to the fullest but once in a while that tide comes in and I begin to feel the desire to do more than the mental challenge of the New York Times crossword puzzle every day.