I was over at A Practical Wedding catching up on Meg's posts when I read today's (read the original post here). It's all about "reclaiming the word wife" and I just thought I'd share my own opinions on this for whoever would like to read it. My opinion might not be yours, but please remember it is my opinion and I am entitled to have it.
Before I got married I was very much the same in thinking that it was so unfair that being a "wife" usually was just another word for a stay at home mother. And for some reason, that meant something even worse. Someone who had no opinion in politics, social issues, financial obligations, etc. To me, it seemed as though the moment you say that you are a stay at home anything, the world seems to think you suddenly have given up everything you ever were before to become someone who knows how to make the perfect apple pie from scratch, miraculously knows how to sew anything and everything, drives a mini van and will always keep an orderly and immaculate house- a house with a picketed fence, a beautiful dog, and approximately 2.5 children running in the backyard.
Well don't get me wrong.
I LOVE to cook. I actually find a lot of joy in making things from scratch (and I make a really awesome apple pie). I also love to sew. Granted, I won't be making any ballgowns in the near future, but I am an artist, and when I'm not painting I love being able to *make* things. I can't find the right pillow? no problem. I'll make it. That goes into everything I do though- refinishing furniture, rewiring lamps...my mom is like that and I'm pretty sure I learned it from her. Pair that with the "refuse to give up/some people call it stubborn" attitude I got from my dad and I will pretty much try to do anything and everything myself before "giving in" and buying it.
I also love picketed fences. And I have a beautiful dog. And while I don't drive a mini van (and don't think I ever will) they are becoming a lot cooler. I mean come on, they have tables in back now! They are like mini houses themselves!
But does all of that make me a better wife than someone who can't sew? Someone who orders in dinner? Someone who prefers to go down to the bakery and buy their apple pie? No. Because that's not what being a wife is. (Let's not forget to mention that I loved all of these things before I became a wife, so honestly, it's who I am, ring or no ring)
To me, saying I am married doesn't feel nearly as important as saying I am J's wife (and that he is my husband.) It's a partnership.
Before getting married we both thought nothing would really change. We thoguht we were as close as possible. Then after we got married, everyone asked "feels the same, doesn't it?"
But it doesn't.
Being J's wife is huge to me. He's my family (as are my parents and my sister- who all mean the world to me- but it's different.) He is my best friend. Sure, I have other best girl friends, but J is the one I will tell EVERYTHING and ANYTHING to without feeling worried about being misunderstood. He is the person I know I can always count on to be in my corner, the one who supports me, loves me, and can always put me in a better mood. He comforts me, takes care of me, and feeds me soup when I am sick.
And while I knew all of that before we got married, the "huge-ness" of it hit the moment we said our vows. I actually started to cry at the "in sickness and in health part" because it finally all became clear to me. We were promising the same things in our vows. He wasn't just that person for me-by being his wife, I was that person to him. I was his rock. All the time that he was strong for me, I didn't even realize that I was also strong for him. That I was the one who listened and understood him, made him laugh, brought him soup, etc.
He takes care of me, but as his wife I take care of him as well. The love we share is something that still can choke me up when I think about it. Think about all that life has in store for us to share together.
As a wife, you're part of a unified front, of a partnership, of a bond that isn't to be broken.
I think that is what we need to focus on when "defining" the word wife. Not the activities you do after you're a wife, but instead what being a wife actually means.
A stay at home wife is no better or no worse than a wife who is an ER doctor. Just because a wife drives a mini van and attends soccer games (or any other activity), it doesn't mean she is less of a wife or a woman or that her thoughts and ideas are any less important just because she may fit a stereotype. On that same note, if someone decides they don't want to be a stay at home mom, or even a mom for that matter, it doesn't make them any less of a wife.
Instead of pointing out other wives for their life choices- I wish we'd focus on the one choice that ties us all together- that of becoming a wife. Because being a wife isn't about the cooking, the sewing, the kids, the cars, the houses, the picketed fences- it's about the bond, the love-the partnership.
Just my opinion, though. Feel free to tell me yours.
Hope everyone is having a wonderful day!