Almost anything in your life comes down to the everyday choices and decisions you make that change your life. For example, you made a choice to get married and have children. But after you said I do and gave birth to your children, you feel or felt like you no longer have a choice when it comes to every decision that impacts your life. Working full-time, cooking meals, taking kids to daycare/school, or just using the bathroom in peace. It all has consumed your life in ways you never expected.
Let me ask you a question. Do you do things because you feel like you don’t have a choice or because you feel like things need to be done and done right? If your answer is yes, let’s talk about it!
I saw this ticktock video a few weeks ago where a woman was venting about the choices she has to make as a wife and mother. She said that as mothers and wives, there is no choice; that life happens every day, and the kids and home must be cared for. Do you agree with that? The video got me thinking about the choices I had to make as a wife and a mother when my children were younger and how those choices made me feel and impacted my life.
My truth about the choices I had to make as a mom and wife
I was a teenager when I had my first child. Thankful for my supportive parents, but I was my son's mother and father because his biological father was not in his life. Daycare, food, diapers, clothes, and doctor appointments, I did these things myself for years until I met my husband. When we had our first child together, I felt I needed to do everything because that is what I knew. Plus, I was sort of a perfectionist and had anxiety about how certain things should be.
It was natural for me to do things around the house or for the kids because I knew they needed to be done. Not because my husband didn’t help but because I was so quick to just do it.
Sometimes I wasn’t happy being a mom and wife because I was overwhelmed. That feeling would subside after a while when the kids would do something funny, or my husband would do something.
So much stuff would be on my mind at one time. I would say to myself, “I gotta do this,” or “this needs to be done now,” but failed to talk it over with my spouse. I used to get upset with my husband because our work schedules didn’t allow for much flexibility when it came to dropping the kids off for school and daycare. He worked 12-hour shifts, so the responsibility fell on me. I had it in my mind that I had to make sure the kids got off to school, clothes got washed, dinner was cooked, food shopping done, and the house was clean. I thought I had no choice until I slowed down, and opened my eyes and my mouth.
My choices and quick reaction are why I was overwhelmed. I didn’t give my husband an opportunity to do certain things because I was so quick to do them.
What I learned is, life is full of choices. We make them every day, whether they impact our life or other people's. We also have a choice to speak up and ask for help or be patient, but we don’t most of the time because we feel like we have to carry the world on our shoulders, think things need to be perfect, or are afraid of the response when we ask for help. Our husbands are our partners on this journey; unfortunately, they can’t read our minds. Also, they sometimes have a perspective on things that may be worth listening to.
Choices we make as a mother
Being a mom is a choice that we make every day. We often put our child(ren) happiness and well-being above our own. Selfless acts come with hard lessons and moments when we have to forgive ourselves for doing something wrong when we thought we were making the right decisions.
Give yourself grace. You will not always know what the right choice is. Being a mom did not come with an instruction manual, and all children are not the same. They have different needs and temperaments that we may not understand or know how to handle. That is okay.
When you say, “I don’t have a choice,” that is negative energy you are allowing in your life. Be honest; how do you feel when you say that? It shifts your mood and your energy. You may feel like you don’t have a choice, but you do. You are the choice. You are doing what you need to do for your children. Some choices are filled with regret, but no matter the choice, you will learn a lesson that was meant for you to learn.
Always remember to make time for yourself. Whether it’s putting the kids to bed extra early one night out of the week so you can have some quiet time, watch a good movie and eat your favorite snacks. Or pamper yourself with a massage or mani/pedi. It is important that you make time for yourself. You are no good to your children or husband if you fail to take care of yourself.
Choices we make as a wife
That man you said “I do” to all those months or years ago; that was a choice too. ‘For better or worse’ is what marriage is about. It won’t always be easy, and you won’t like each other every day, but you have a choice to stay or go. You also have a choice to communicate with your spouse about how you feel and what you need. And when you do, be open to listening to what he has to say, and don’t be quick to dismiss his feelings and thoughts.
As mothers and wives, we are expected to serve our husbands, cook the meals, take care of the children and their needs, and the household. It is not 1950 anymore, where the man is the breadwinner. Let's stop with the gender-specific roles in a marriage. Nowadays, most households have two parents working full-time. If your husband is better at cooking, and you are better at getting the kids ready for bed, that is great. Feed off of each other's strengths and make it work for your family.
Every day you are both faced with making decisions about child care, careers, and finances. That is why it is important to communicate.
Balancing work and family may leave you feeling guilty. You miss out on time with your children because you have to work, and when you come home, you are met with family responsibility leaving you feeling drained. Free up more of your mental energy by having what can sometimes be hard conversations with your spouse. Work together.
Balancing it all
It is important that you find a balance between being a mom and a wife. Carve out time for yourself, some ‘me time,’ whenever you can. And don’t feel guilty about it. That ‘me time’ is an opportunity to relax, reset, and refresh yourself so you can effectively function and not pour from a place of emptiness.
It is also important that you carve out time for just you and your husband. Have date nights, and take trips without the kids. Keep that connection strong.
Let go of thinking that everything has to be done a certain way or at a certain time. Perfection does not exist.
Being a mom and a wife teaches us hard lessons. Sometimes we don’t have a choice in the matter, but at the end of the day, it will all work out. There may be some situations that warrant quick reactions; however, not all the time. When you don’t feel like being a wife and mom, own that feeling and dig deeper to understand why you are feeling that way. Don’t sit in it because no matter the circumstances, you are blessed.
To all my moms out there, keep up the good work. It’s a demanding job that we are sometimes not prepared to handle. But, your children will thank you and repay you for all the choices you are making today.