August 11, 2010

Bad Radio

shorelyAlign Center

I feel like I was
made to be a mother, but I suck as a wife.

It does not come easy for me.



Why am I sharing this on the Internet?

Because I feel really alone in this.


jumper

Yesterday I had the sad. But I finally got out of my head and made a really excellent decision, if I must say so myself.

Before dinner, we got the whole house straightened up, during dinner the kids packed up the car, and then after dinner I cleaned up the kitchen. We took our time, we didn't rush. And then I took them to the beach.

We listened to bad radio. Songs with all beat and not much substance. Noah sat up front. We nodded our heads and swayed our shoulders to dance along, in the car. It made me feel good.

The sun was setting and the sand was like the big hug I was waiting for all day. Ivy ate grapes out of her dress pocket, because her hands were sandy. We stayed until dark, when we were the only people left.

[arms] out to sea

I wish I could stop substituting for sanctuary, for imitation relaxation, settling for sub-par, when this is right here the water crashing to the shore, in real life.

I've got lots of things to work on.


82 comments:

  1. i feel like mothering comes instinctual, wife'ing though, not so much. you're totally NOT alone in this. xoxo

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  2. *that should say 'instinctually'

    although, spell check is telling me it's not a word. i'm pretty sure you understand what i'm trying to say... right?

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  3. If I had to be completely honest in my feelings here, I mostly feel like I suck at being a mom and being a wife.

    My only saving grace is I'm really good in the kitchen, which kinda helps in both the mom/wife department.

    ugh. thanks for sharing.

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  4. Oh Steph, if you only knew how bad I suck as a mom AND a wife. I'm a pretty good teacher though. I think it's the things that matter most to us that we beat ourselves up over.
    My bad is that I WAY TOO OFTEN compare myself to others and think because I'm not a mom or wife like them, that I'm no good. It's not true. You and I both know that! The problem is getting that from our heads to our hearts. It'll happen. When it's time.

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  5. I don't even have kids and I'm a bad wife. So don't feel like you're the only one.

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  6. I feel the same way sometimes...and then I have those days where I suck as a wife AND a mother.
    Thanks for sharing.

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  7. What if you feel like you suck as a wife and a mother?

    As I write this, I can see designHer Momma's comment, and I'm so totally on that page. It's a good thing I can cook.

    I mean, truly. It is.

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  8. I've been a wife for 37 years and a mom for 35 years and I still have days when I feel like this. I have days when I think I suck at both. I think it is just human nature. Don't let it get you down.

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  9. I'm in the same boat as your commenter, Lisa. Good teacher, sucky mom & wife. But it's the efforts that will pay off, I gotta believe. :)

    as for the bad radio -- we were listening to a pointless song the other day in the car. Truth be told, I was singing at the top of my lungs. At any rate, at the end of the song my oldest asked "Mom, is this a new song on Positive Encouraging Klove?"

    Not so much.

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  10. don't we all suck at both of these things (along with many other things in my case) at times? i thought we did, please don't burst my bubble...i thought i was normal! : D
    but seriously, big hugs to you...it's not the best feeling!

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  11. Re: feeling like a bad wife AND mom-

    I am that way, too, but I guess I feel like I extra suck because I worry and feel bad about sucking as a Mom, and am willing to talk about that. But not the wife part so much.

    Steph

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  12. it's hard to juggle everything and be that perfect wife and mother. I've tried for 36 years and still don't have it right. Don't beat yourself up over it. I feel ya. I would have met you guys at the beach, but glad you got out and found something fun and relaxing to do.

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  13. Busy family life is such a balance. Oh, how I struggle with this. It is hard because my husband is not a needy or demanding person, but the little people, well typically they are going to demand my attention. It is so hard to focus on the husband when the kids are {more than} full time.

    But, I know we are commanded to, and I really want to, but oh how hard it is to align my family in the proper order. I have been encouraged my another mother to do 5 minutes of continuous praying for my husband daily. 5 minutes doesn't sound like long, but for me it requires a good bit of focus to make it happen {mostly in the shower}. It really takes the pressure of of me to think of my husband and allows the Holy Spirit to lead me.

    Praying for supernatural encouragement today.

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  14. alone? no! you are NOT alone!

    i feel like i've got a pretty good handle on the mom thing. i know what to expect (ish), and i know what my goals are. as a wife it's much more complicated. i have to face parts of myself that i don't really like and try to deal with them. struggle, i do.

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  15. You are not alone. Though I'm not very good at being a mother, either.

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  16. My dad (your grandfather) used to take us to Dunes States Park in the evening and stay until almost dark. We didn't even know about sun causing skin cancer, etc.and certainly didn't have such a thing as sunscreen. I'm sure late afternoon or evening was better for all of us with our fair easily burned skin. My dad didn't go in the water but watched because he was the only one of us who knew how to swim.

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  17. I feel the opposite and boy do I feel alone in that. I love my kids, of course, but I wouldn't say it comes naturally to me. Something I am working on day by day.

    I love that you're sharing parts of your heart that might be a little scary to share. That's a good way to grow and obtain even more insight into who you are and why and find support and love.

    Nell

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  18. Being a mom is hard because it's a 24 hour thing --- but God made us with an instinct that helps us nurture and raise our kids . . . even when we are drained of emotion and energy.

    But wifedom? Yeah, you're not alone in your thoughts/realization. Like others have said, being a wife isn't instinctual. At least for me, while I was given the instinctual desire to nurture my children, I wasn't born with that instinct when it comes to my husband. Because of this, it's so easy for me to get wrapped up in kids and subconsciously expect my husband to fend for himself.

    It's definitely a daily battle to remember my husband needs me too . . .and for more than just dinner after work. He needs my care, nurturing and love just as much as my children . . .. on some days, even more.

    {hugs}, Steph.

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  19. As always, I love the *way* you write about this. There is so much beauty in your subtleties, Steph.

    xo e.

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  20. As I am sure you are about to find out, you are not alone.
    Not 2 weeks ago my mom told me that she watches me with my kids and marvels at how natural motherhood seems for me. She did not feel that way about herself when we were growing up.
    I told her that that may be true, but that being a wife came very naturally to her and for me that is just not true. I completely love and respect my husband, but there is something deep inside me that groans against wifehood every single day. I do not want to be "free" and I do not want anything other than him. I want to be married, but being a wife does not easily flow from me.

    It is so interesting to me that you posted this because I have been thinking a lot about it since I had that conversation with my mom.

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  21. I'm having a some thoughts and will just continue discussing here in the comments.

    Do you think husbands see their Moms as the ideal wife (whether they know it or not) and (subconsciously) want us to be like their Moms but...

    their Moms had the instinct to care for them like that because she was their MOM and not their WIFE.

    Does this make any sense to anyone?

    Also, how do I prepare my boys for their wife someday... to make it easier on her?

    Is any of this even possible?

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  22. Stephanie, I know you, I'd say pretty well and let me tell you that you most certainly DO NOT suck as a wife. Maybe you want things to be different but you don't suck as a wife.

    And this post is AWESOME. Because it is and I love that you listened to bad radio last night and also we were *thisclose* to going to the beach last night.

    I love you.

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  23. I just had this conversation with my hubby the other day. Although I still have days when I feel like a bad mom (When we've had drive-thru dinner, when my work keeps me from being in the moment, when all I've done all day is yell and punish), I feel like a better mom than wife. For me, it's expectations, mine and his. The love part is easy - it's always in my heart and soul. But how do I show that love? And is the day-to-day grind of work, kids, housekeeping leaving me with too little for the person I've pledged to spend the rest of my life with? That means even after the kids are gone and on their own! But sometimes, showng that love feels like another chore, another responsibility, and you're an adult, so get it yourself. So. Hard.

    Then, I have two boys, and how am I (or really, we) showing them what a loving, productive marriage looks like? Will they want a wife like me, independent to the point of isolation, bad cook and housekeeper, family calendar keeper and money monitor, but at the end of the day, snuggled on the couch with the hubby, watching a favorite program? Is that even what I want from them?

    No, Steph, you are not alone.

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  24. I think being a good wife is hard. Particularly with a houseful of young children. But it is something I'm trying to do a better job of because my children will grow up and move away and I could still have another 50 years with my husband.

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  25. you are most certainly not alone in this. i feel the same way!

    and your thoughts on the wife/hubby's mom thing...i think that can be true. i've never thought about it that way before...

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  26. Some points:
    A. I often feel like I have failed at both.
    B. I had this meltdown last night - almost in tears to my husband about how much I suck.
    C. He says I don't. I judge myself too harshly and I'm fine.
    D. I think he lies because he's my husband and he *has* to be nice to me. He thinks I'm a bit nuts for even thinking that.

    I think it's a male/female thing. We constantly want to be good/better/best and get all things right. Him, as long as the house isn't burned down for the most part thinks I do amazing things all day long. I feel like I yell too much, spend too much time worrying about how the laundry isn't finished, the sink isn't clean, etc, etc.

    Why don't I talk more about the wife part? In general that conversation goes 1 of 2 ways: it often turns into a bitch session about husband and how much they suck OR people just don't talk much about it at all and go back to the kid talk. Not sure why that is.

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  27. Pretty much in the same boat. Could list a million and one reasons where I think I suck at both. But I could be worse and that thought is pretty much what helps. That and deep down I know I don't suck at either. But that's a lot of digging on a daily basis and that's hard. Certainly not alone!

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  28. "I wish I could stop substituting for sanctuary, for imitation relaxation, settling for sub-par, when this is right here the water crashing to the shore, in real life." While I never think about it with such eloquent phrasing, I DO think about it often. Daily. Hourly. It weighs on me and all I can say S is 'you are not alone.'

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  29. I feel like that too more times then not. But I also sometimes feel like I'm not good at the mothering thing too.

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  30. Some days I feel as though I suck at both. I think the biggest help in my marriage has been talking baout everything. Meaning everything. Like on the days I feel like crappy wife, I tell my hubby "I feel like a crappy wife" and he asks why and I tell him the stuff that makes me feel that way and we talk about it. It helps every time, since he can either tell me that my fears are unfounded, or we can talk about how something needs to change.

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  31. Not alone! I agree with the first commenter. Mothering is very instinctual, while being a wife... not so much. I was a bad wife yesterday. Hopefully today will be better.

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  32. A few things-
    I can totally relate to feeling like a sucky wife. It can be so discouraging and overwhelming, but I say if you work on 1 thing to improve (as small as it may be) your marriage, or to please your husband, it makes a huge difference. Just being aware and intentional- does that make sense?

    And on husbands wanting wives to be like their moms-
    I have thought this many times before. I know that there are lots of things that bug my husband about his mom, but the way that she knows how to take care of him makes me feel intimidated at times.
    Thanks for being so honest. It's nice to hear someone be real.
    -Krystle

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  33. I have the bad wife feeling often as well. The kids are just so much more vocal in their needs. The needs of the husband often go untended. Allison at O My Family touched on this today as well.
    As far as raising boys and mother vs wife, it is a fine line. I think there are times when men want different than their mothers as well.
    Many good thoughts to ponder today. Thanks again for a great post and support as Mom and Wife.

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  34. I can kind of understand -- but only because I'm not a wife, just a partner, or a girlfriend, or whatever you want to call me.

    It's been hard lately, our relationship has been hard, but I really things it's all worth it.

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  35. i am another born to mother major suck as a wife. i got professional help learning how to be a wife. it has helped. i still take time to remind myself that i am learning and it is ok if it takes me awhile.

    i was reflecting the other day , mostly to myself, on how the word "married" sounds so stagnant and done. as though once my husband and i said "i do" in front of the witnesses in my parents backyard i expected that it was done.

    i decided that saying "i am married to flash" doesn't feel as true to me as "i am on my marriage journey with a man named flash." i know it is just a matter of words but it gives me space to breathe, to forgive myself for the times when it is not coming naturally, to continue to strive to learn and grow as a wife.

    you know what, reading your statement actually gave me more space too -- a million thank you's for sharing it. if i am not the only woman who feels this way then i feel less stuck.

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  36. I've had many days of feeling like a terrible wife. I know the feeling, and judging from all the comments on it, I'd say you're not alone! From what I've learned in the such short time I've been both a wife and a mother...it's a daily struggle. But, from what I know from just meeting you a few times, you are so kind and caring! I'm sure you are a wonderful wife as well :) But, I understand where you're coming from. Thanks for such beautiful pictures!

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  37. I don't think you're alone at all.
    I do think, however, that most of us keep that hidden more than our feelings on being bad mothers at times. I know I don't write about my relationship with my husband much on my blog, that's one of my boundaries. But if I were to do so, you'd know I feel totally inadequate as a wife half the time.
    Gorgeous, gorgeous photos.

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  38. I'm also wondering how many of us attachment parents struggle with this in a different way than others, and how off balance we might really be, how we should apply a similar thought to our marriage- or at least put it in extra consideration.

    Steph

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  39. You are not alone in this. On some days, I feel as though I have it all "together." On other days, I feel as though I am failing in both areas, and that nothing is going right. Just be kind to yourself and do your best.
    -Jessica

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  40. Steph- yes, your last comment, THIS. imbalance is the perfect way to think about it. i struggle with devoting all my time and energy and "attachment" with our son and trying to balance that with our own adult needs.

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  41. Hello Steph,

    I am in tears reading this blog post and all the comments. It is so hitting home to me right now as I feel exactly the same way. Thank you for being so strong to write this and share a side of you on your blog that so many would not have the courage to do. I love the power of blogs and women who don't even know each other to be able to lift one another up in their moments of weakness/sadness.

    I will be praying for you that things get better. A big hug to you and all the Mommas out there feeling the same way.

    Take care,
    Michelle

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  42. oh dear friend, you aren't alone. brave for opening up and allowing everyone talk about it. I've been thinking about you a lot and started an email to you yesterday. I'll try to finish it up and get it to you today.

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  43. So I tweeted essentially what Corinne said - women think it but keep it private, in blogs and real life, because of privacy issues. It's so much easier to be open about mothering, because it's more a reflection of us, not so much a reflection of our relationship with our child or even our child himself. But with a marriage - you are bringing someone else into the conversation, the equation.

    As for your questions, in my case I know with certainty there's no Mom as the Ideal Wife issue. But it could be for some, no doubt. Even then, I think they might not be thinking about their mom in terms of her role as wife, but rather in terms of her role as mother. Like you said.

    And yes -- I think that for AP mamas, who probably are leaving their babies a little less frequently for date nights and weekends away, who maybe get stuck going to bed with the nursing toddler instead of staying up to have sex with hubby, or even just to talk with him -- those can be extra challenges. But they aren't insurmountable. Not even close.

    I have more I'd love to say -- I am happy and grateful for the quality of my marriage and the way things are between my husband and I -- but like I said, due to the privacy issue, it's something I don't feel comfortable blathering on about online.

    [Although I'm happy to share what's helped us make things work (through almost 10 yrs marriage and 7 of AP-ing 3 kids)if anyone wants to email about it. clarity.chaos at gmail.]

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  44. You are so not alone. Not at all. I feel like I was born to be a mom but not so much a wife. I often feel like I have no idea what I am doing.

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  45. One of my greatest failings is letting my intimacy go everywhere else but my marriage.

    Not sexual, but emotional. I give it all to my kids and friends and even my Mom when I have news to share or need a shoulder.

    When in reality, turning to my husband is often best for me and definitely for us.

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  46. I really appreciate your honesty in this. I often struggle with these feelings. If I go out, I feel like I'm letting Shane down, like I should want nothing more than to sit on the couch and watch a movie with him every.single.night. And wanting otherwise makes me feel like a bad wife.

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  47. Ok, so the thorn is jumping into the Roses. We ALL FEEL inadequate, but we are not all inadequate. Well, I am, but that's beside the point. What ultimately matters in the relationship is whether or not YOUR SPOUSE thinks you're a great wife and mom. Chances are, he thinks you're awesome. (So Brandi, he's probably not lying) We guys can be pretty hard on ourselves, but our expectations for our wives are always lower than A) what we expect of ourselves and B)what our wives expect of themselves. A first indicator of the fact that your probably doing just fine is the fact that you think you're not.

    Stephanie, as for the question of:

    "Do you think husbands see their Moms as the ideal wife (whether they know it or not) and (subconsciously) want us to be like their Moms but..."

    There may be some out there that this is true for, but I know that for me it's not. I could elaborate, but I need to go buy some propane to grill dinner!

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  48. Brian, I think I'm figuring out that my question doesn't really ring true for my hubby either, but maybe the caretaker part of it- not the personality.

    But I think I just want to understand it all better, and be better.

    Thank you for chiming in. :)

    Steph

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  49. I'm so proud of you for sharing, for talking, for making so many other people feel like they aren't alone.

    I struggle with the opposite. Maybe my husband is easy to please or maybe I'm just better at it, but I struggle with feeling good enough for my kids- I guess my expectations are higher for them. And I compare myself so much more to other MOMS then I compare myself to other wives.
    Love you xo

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  50. Well, obviously you (and I) are not alone as the previous 50 comments should prove.

    For me, I have days when I feel I'm both a bad wife and bad mother. However, it's easy for me to see what I need to do to be better on the mom front. It's less easy to figure out how to be a better wife.

    Also? They payoff from better mothering is quick. When I turn on my good mom charm, I see the results immediately. When I work at being a better wife, it's a longer road to seeing the fruits of my labor.

    Thanks for this.

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  51. honey, I think this is a phase that we all go through when our kids are that age. I was so good at the parenting but not so good at the wifey stuff. It caused strain because he thought I was putting the girls first, and maybe I was, but there was a reason. We have them for such a limited time and I really wanted to make sure I was doing the best job that I could. I needed to focus. In my mind if the dishes weren't done, or the house was a mess, if my girls were happy in the end and felt loved, then that was enough. Don't get me wrong, I didn't feel as if I was the perfect mother, so very far from it. I wish I was half as relaxed as I am now.

    I really have no idea about where I was going with this. Just know that this touched my heart and I will happily stand up beside you & hold your hand so that you know that you are not alone.

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  52. I think someone alluded to it but I know for me, it's the intimacy and physicalness.

    Mothering is all consuming. Mind, body, spirit. You have wrote about someone needing you physically touching, being on you, pulling on all.day.long. It's exhausting.

    Men are different creatures and they need physical expressions of love (not just sex). I had a long talk with my hubs about this b/c he was feeling unsupported and I felt like a crappy wife but when it's 100 degrees and I have had children climbing, pulling, holding, needing on me all day I just don't want another person in my space. It's a really hard balance. I had to remind him that I show my love in other ways to. I care for his children, I clean (mostly), cook, I do the bills, i maintain his house.

    Right now it's hard because the children are little and the need so much and I struggle to find a balance so in 30 years when we aren't alone we don't look at each other and think, who are you.

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  53. Wow, deep stuff. Like all the others, I also have moments of feeling like that. I think it's only natural. And yes I also agree with you that as AP moms we give so much to our kiddos, that sometimes we have little left to give ourselves and our partners. I often forget the AP principle about Balance. But actually since having my second, I have realized I just cannot feel sane, like a good mom, wife, person, without having some "me" time. I started a yoga class and go out with my girls a couple times a month. Hubby and I have also made a point of going on "date" nights at least once a month. It's so nice. Anyways, I'm writing a book here! Oh I also wanted to say it's my thought that all we can do for our sons to prepare them for manhood and husbandhood, is just to teach them respect and how to be able to open up and share their feelings, thoughts, etc with their partner. I think communication is key in any relationship, especially marriage and most problems in marriage arise because it's lacking. So if they are respectiful and are able to communicate without hesitation or fears, then I'd say they are off to a great start!

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  54. heh, i thought it was supposed to get easier? i've been married one year and it's been one of the hardest of my life...it's mostly me though. i have so much to work on.

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  55. i'm so proud of you for putting this out there.

    i remember the first time that matt and i "rated" our marriage several years ago. i was so hurt that his number was so much lower than mine, but i'm so thankful we did it. [and we continue to regularly.]
    it caused so much talk about how maybe things have changed a little, yet we kept our relationship right where it had been. we could both make changes and improve. i had NO idea that he had such a different view than me.

    i do think that our MILs play into it. as much as matt doesn't want me to be like his mom, those are all the things he grew up with. it is what he knows and that comes out sometimes in expectations.

    we had the most hellish 1st year of marriage and we thought we were so alone. we did not have a honeymoon phase at all and were so ashamed. i'm so thankful to be able to talk about that with young couples now. this is hard and it takes such intention.

    a lot of day? i really stink at it, too. [so thankful that we can both know that and want differently.]

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  56. Ah, i feel the same. and what's worst, i am suck at cooking too.

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  57. So not alone. Nope, sucking right there with you in wifehood but in mothering.... I'm defintely more than just treading water.

    Michelle

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  58. We all have things to work on in both departments, mothering and "wifing". I just try to do my best each day in balancing it ALL and know that God has my back and that I'm only human and that He loves me no matter what. And I say "try"...

    I think your beach trip was such a wonderful decision. Especially so we could see the awesome photos.

    Hugs and love, my friend in motherhood and marriage. :)

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  59. You are such a wonderful person and I've never even met you. Not that me saying that solves your issues of feeling like you're not being as good of a wife as you could be.

    I refer to you and your blog so often that my family knows you as "Adventures in Babywearing lady". :)

    As far as preparing your boys for their future wives, just talking about it helps, I think. Point out to them all the work you put in to making a wonderful household for them to grow up in, and talk about how someday they will probably be partners with someone who does the same thing for them. And how it's important to respect that person for who she is, faults and all, and appreciate her as a mother AND wife.

    My husband and I have talked about "Attachment Spousing" before. LOL. He is much more of a night owl than I am, but he made a promise to me early in our partnership that he would always lay down with me for 30 minutes while I started to fall asleep so we could snuggle and then he could get up and go on his way, coming back to bed hours later when he was tired.

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  60. You are most definitely not alone. I struggle with this daily. It was easier being "the perfect wife" before we had children. Now, it's a struggle for me daily and I find it's harder because I tend to take out my frustrations and the daily "day to day" out on the one person who supports me more than anyone.

    It's tough. Men are just like kids in some ways. They need nurturing and love just as much as the little ones.

    Hugs to you!

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  61. Such an interesting comment thread, Stephanie.

    I will say, Corey and I were married for almost 9 years before we had Natalie. And truthfully, those years weren't good. They were hard and fractured and we lived completely separate lives. I relate to what Love said about not having a honeymoon. The only reason we are married today is because God came in and shattered the relationship we had before and built something new.

    That said, I think our marriage has changed into a new creature with the introduction of kids. I'm not just a wife anymore. I'm a wife-Mom. And yes, many days, especially now with young kids, I'm more of a MOM-wife. But I know my husband is still there. I try so hard to not give him leftovers.

    It will get better, as long as you want it to. That's half the battle.

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  62. As some previous posters have mentioned, our first year of marriage was really really tough. We got married, moved, both went back to school, started new jobs, etc etc etc. There was no honeymoon phase, just LIFE being thrown at us left and right. Seven years and one baby later, I feel like I take care of him and our daughter, he takes care of himself, and no one takes care of me. Not even me. (I am trying, though.)

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  63. There are certainly some days when I feel sorry for my husband being "stuck" with me for a wife! I also have those days where I feel sorry for my kiddos too!
    I CAN cook - but it's nothing to write home about.....I CAN clean - but who has the time with 6 kids and a full time job? Hubby comes home most days to a fairly clean house (because the kids have chores) and finishes it off himself - because...honestly?! I just won't care! I'll want so badly to be curled up with one of my kiddos somewhere making up for the 9+ hours I've been away......
    I'm not always nice about it.....
    then when it's my sleep time I VALUE it!! :) lol - "no offense honey but PLEASE don't wake me up even if it's gonna be fabulously worth it" lol - because inevitably....the baby's gonna wake up probably 1/2 way through and then NO one's gonna be happy! LOL - Usually the worst times of my self loathing (j/k) are times when I've compared myself to others. So...I try very hard to make memories (much like your trip to the beach) and try try try to take time for hubby so that he KNOWS how very special he is to me and that I just get where I can't even fathom how I will divide myself one more way.....some day I will miss it.....the nursing, the "tattling" the rough-housing on the living room furniture....so I guess I will just be the best I can be - and make sure I tell them I love them all SO very much...the housework however....not so much! :)

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  64. As you can see, you're far from alone. I feel like I was meant to be a mom. Sometimes the wife part I could do without...however, I'd never want to tackle this whole parenting business without my husband.

    I've often thought about what you said about us attachment parents...what would happen if we had "attachment marriages," and applied the same principals...I'd like to work on that, but I feel like I can't until the baby is weaned, which could be another 2 years.

    I think we ALL have lots of things to work on.

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  65. Strike a cord? Hit a nerve? Seems like you ran across a subject that rings true with lots of mommies out there. Maybe you should post about this more often.

    I read most of the posts. Agree, you most likely aren't a sucky wife. I like Love's suggestion of rating and discussing is a neat idea. Might try.

    I often become overwhelmed at what i'm not and when I talk to Charles he isn't the least bit concerned with all my wife standards i place on myself. So...maybe I should ask him what makes him happy instead of getting down on myself for what i thought he wanted.

    I think with small children, babycarrying, co sleeping, nursing, etc we have to carve out that time for just our husband too. Parenting comes more natural to me than Loving an adult. I have to make conscious efforts [and falls] to get it right.

    In the end. Love Him. And you are, in a large way, by loving his kids so well.

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  66. p.s. i will think of this post every time we have "bad radio" from now on. my best friends bachlorette night cd is still in the SUV and my 2 year old often requests "stronger" and "boom boom pow" my 4 year old request "wannabe"

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  67. Yes and yes. I feel so much pressure - pressure to be this perfect mother, this perfect wife, this perfect army spouse, supporter, mentor, friend, this perfect cook, housekeeper, blogger - everything! And none of it pans out. Every time my children misbehave I blame myself. Every time my husband raises his voice, I cringe. Every time my husband and I argue, my heart pounds silently and I wonder what I did and how to fix it all.

    I. am. struggling. But within the struggle, there is so much love keeping us all together. I just wish with this love came some rest, some peace, and that the struggle wouldn't be so hard.

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  68. Well, clearly you are not alone on this one. I totally get where you are coming from and I worry about too...and I'm so great in the kitchen either so what's my saving grace?

    I try to make myself feel better by telling myself that my husband had all of my attention for 16 years before our son came along and that helps. But that will only work for so long.

    And like your other posters, I too suck at being a mom sometimes. It's hard work what we're doing. I've always said it isn't for the weak. But I agree that we can't be too hard on ourselves; we're doing the best we can after all.

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  69. I'm late to the game, as usual, Stephanie, but I just had to leave you a hug here.
    I read Proverbs 31, and I often have felt the same way about not measuring up as a wife. But I firmly believe that this is the devil attacking me in a place where I feel most inadequate. I don't believe that any of the ladies here or you or I *actually* suck at being wives. Maybe it doesn't come as naturally as mothering, yes, but I think being a good mom is part of being a good wife. My husband often reminds me that we are in a season of life that won't last forever. Our little ones are so small and still so needy. Naturally, I {we} have to care for their needs. This season will be over before we know it, and I can then put more of my focus on some serving my husband.
    My hubs also likes to point out that this is HIS time to help minister to MY heart as I tend to such intense needs from our little ones. That's comforting that he finds this as a time that is growing for him as a person as he caters a little more to me than me to him.
    {Hugging you over the wires}

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  70. I suck at being a mother...and you help me with that. So there ;)

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  71. Yeah, I'm with those who feel they stink at being a mother and a wife most days! I know what you mean, though - marriage takes work! And of course parenting takes work, too, but it's just different.

    And when our little ones take so much time & physical care, it's hard to have a lot left for someone who it's easy to feel should be old enough to take care of himself. :)

    I've really been hit lately, though, about how important our marriages are for our children- there are 4 marriages in my close friends/church family right now that are going through separation/divorce. If you would've asked me a year ago what the biggest problem in those families were, I would've said, "The kids are struggling, rebellious, etc." but now we come to find out that there have been deep-seated marriage problems all along - the kids acting out was just a symptom of the real problem - even teenagers/adult kids are affected when their parents marriage is not strong! I'm not saying that you are having marriage problems just because being 'wifely' doesn't come naturally - I get that and I feel that way, too, but I have just been strongly reminded lately to put my marriage first - which is why some things like co-sleeping, for example, don't work for our family - because my husband doesn't feel that it's best, and I submit to that.

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  72. love those photos. love them. i don't talk about my marriage, really, ever, because my husband is a very private person. like, veeeeeeery private. but i hear you.

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  73. You are totally not alone.

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  74. Okay, this really hits home for me, especially as a AP mom. We have two boys (5 and 1) and hubby sleeps with the 5 yr old is his bed and I sleep with the 1 yr old in my husbands and my bed. Divide and conquer we say. But it takes its toll. After taking care of them all day, homeschooling, cleaning, cooking, I am drained. Then husband comes home and I want to be done. I want to give the kiddos to him and have a break. But I can't. I have to realize that my job is not done. I need to tend to him and nurture him and his spirit. Spend quiet time after the kids go to sleep and just love him. I need to be that to him. But is it hard? Yes. Do I fail often? yes. Sometimes I want so desperately to be the one who is being taken care of, being nurtured.
    This mom/wife/self balance is hard and draining but also lovely and beautiful.
    For me, my marriage was struggling for a while, and I made a conscious decision that I wanted it and I made myself dedicate more to him. Now it is so much better and we flow better. He is my friend again and I deeply care for him and want to take care of him. So it is kinda a reward. The more I do for him, the better our relationship goes, the more I want to do for him. So although the initial sacrifice is hard, it becomes so much better very quickly. We still have our issues and we still sleep apart (for now-working on getting a certain little someone to be able to sleep alone :)) but I love that man. Know you are not alone girl...

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  75. This is a great topic. Your honesty will be so helpful to so many. I'm going to talk about this on my blog. Check it out when you get a moment.

    It's www.Bintentional.com

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  76. I'm always awed by your honest, beautiful heart.

    And I love that you took your kids to the beach at sunset. I'm slowly learning to just let go and do "crazy," spontaneous things like that.

    stephanie@metropolitanmama.net

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  77. just reading again.
    marriage is on my mind a lot lately. [maybe it should be always!]
    anyway. i'm glad you wrote this.

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  78. me too. i didn't catch this post the first time around, but i echo love's comment: i'm glad you wrote this (and linked back to it).

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  79. I think a lot of this has to do with biology. Our hormones are telling us to care for and nurture and be self sacrificing for these creatures who are helpless, who need us, and who are our flesh and blood.

    Our husbands are not our flesh and blood, they are adults and though they need us, it's in a different, less urgent way.

    And our hormones only tell us to take care of our husbands about one week out of the month. LOL! (At least that's what it's like in my body.) If a mom is on hormonal birth control she doesn't even have that.

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  80. I know this is a very late comment on a post from months ago, but I just wanted to put out there that no one is alone in feeling like a bad wife or a bad mother at times. And when it comes to the wife part, honestly, it may not be just the wife that is "bad". I just happened to fall in love with someone who wasn't a good husband. So, it didn't matter how hard I tried to be the good wife. It didn't matter how "bad" I thought I was. When I tried to correct it I saw through it. But, is there anyone out there that knows in their heart that they tried their best at being a wife and it still failed them? Is there anyone who knows that in their heart, but still covers it up with blaming yourself for being a bad wife? Is that even right to post here?

    Truth is, we, as mothers and wives, blame ourselves for a lot. It might not always be you, if I may post that truth here. But, I think what matters in a marriage is having a partner that feels similar to you at times. Because a husband that thinks he does no wrong does not give equally into that marriage. A wife can't fix that. No matter how hard she tries.

    I hope that things have worked out for you, Steph. The discussion on this post was very powerful.

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