Whenever Tim travels, I find that I continuously ask myself the question – Who am I without him? and what am I going to do when the kids are grown? It’s honestly so easy to feel like I’m lost in this “wife”/”mom” thing. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the fact that I feel like I won’t find me when the kids are bigger. Or that, all I am is “Tim’s wife”. (note the tone of how I’m saying that is with slumped shoulders)
It’s at this moment that as a wife and mother, I immediately want to justify or defend my feelings and say, “I love what I am and what I do – it’s the greatest job in the world”. Yes, this is all true – but let’s be real here. I’m not the one traveling the world and meeting new people throughout the year. I’m the one that just woke up twice during the night to replace bottles for a two year old boy. Who has already (at 6:30am) had to firmly tell the kids to keep it down because it’s too early to ride bikes outside (yes, they wanted to ride at this unseemly hour) diffused multiple arguments. This all before 7:20am. Ugh.
I remember when Tim first started traveling – earlier on in our marriage. I was still working, so I just had the “wife” factor to deal with. He went off to Australia and got to experience jet lag, new cultures, interesting food, difficult relationships, amazing worship experiences at a conference there and every time we chatted over the inter web I found myself having to be excited (which I was) and genuinely interested in what he was up to – but at the same time a part of me was really heart sore, and I think it was jealousy more than anything. I was jealous that he was off gallivanting, being all cool with he international passport stamps and stuff. And here I was, the lowly wife – waiting for my crumbs of excitement and expressing my genuine support while turning my fork through my two minute noodles. (Newlywed life peeps)
I honestly didn’t handle it very well when he came back – and there were a few days of trying to settle back into being who we are together, again. Jealousy is such an ugly thing and I’ve come to learn that if I don’t exercise self control on my part and give that feeling over to God – then it can potentially drive a massive wedge between me and my best friend. It’s not easy, let me tell you – because, hey! Tantrums are nice to throw! He should know how I’m feeling right? He should bare the brunt of my “losing out” – I should get to throw my tantrum and have him comfort me stroke my head telling me, “one day my love, one day you’ll get your turn”. But actually, no. That is not what my vows said and that’s not who a Godly wife should be. (One quick smack across the face-which is what my tantrum needs)
I’ve come to realise over the years, that who I am and what my role is in this walk of being “wife” and “mom” is a calling no one can actually put a price to. That no one can measure up against traveling across the world, impacting people in various ways. It can’t be shoved in a corner and given worth or merit because it is an unseen kind of job. It’s like being the sound man at a Beyoncé concert – without him, the money isn’t worth the show-right?
It’s taken me a very long time to come to this place and to constantly remind myself that who I am is unseen, its in the shadows – having to be gentle, strong, patient, kind, loving, supportive, self controlled and the more the list goes on, the more I keep realising that this list comes from somewhere and it’s a standard of ‘being’ that not only “wives” or “moms” have to be – it’s the standard God calls us all to be.
I realise that if I don’t surrender to the process of personal growth through this walk of “wife” and “mom” – then I am denying myself the chance to grow closer to God and what He intends for my life. Oh, and don’t let me fool you into thinking that, “I’ve got it together chick! and this comes naturally to me” absolutely not – then I wouldn’t be human.
By me always coming back to this place and asking, “who am I without the title of ‘wife’ and ‘mom’? will I get lost?” and the answer the Holy spirit always gently whispers in my ear is, “you are mine, and that’s enough”