Thursday, September 16, 2010

Husband & Wife As Equal Partners



Today's guest blogger is funny, sassy, and in general the life of any party...even when that party is happening in line at Target.
I give you Linda of See Mom Smile...


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"...Fathers and Mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners."  The Family: A Proclamation to the World

 When I was 16 I had dreams of  careers, other than that of wife and mother.  I thought of law school or usurping Barbara Walter’s journalistic throne.  But now over 25 years and six kids later I am full-time wife and mother.  I don’t cringe at the title and don’t want to work outside the home.  Part laziness, part lack of skills and mostly because I have six kids.  

Before I got married, my mom offered this simple advice, “Do you want to be happy or do you want to be right?”  My selfish 23 year old self said, “Both.” It did not take long to understand what she meant.  Being right all the time did not exactly make for happy conversations with my husband.  Being right all the time did not allow for compromise or equality.  (Though it did allow us to kiss and make-up.)

The word "equal" in the Proclamation does not mean equal as the world sees equal. Does equal mean my hubby makes the same amount of meals as I do (which would not be hard since I cook so little) or change as many diapers, drive as many carpools?  Does equal mean he rubs my feet as often as I rub his?  I don’t think so, though a foot rub every once in a while would be nice. 

Trying to have a traditional home and feel like “equal” partners is not always easy.  Some days I feel my husband is the lucky one to leave the house and work all day.   Have I said that out loud?  Yes, maybe.  Have there been days he has come home to a messy home, no dinner and a cranky wife?  Yes.  Have I nagged him to help more.  Yes.  Does any of this help the of our marriage?  No.  

The “feminist” movement has not served relationships well.   Telling women they can do anything a man can do and that it is beneath them to serve their man is a disservice to marriage.  A wife and mother with a “me” mentality can only harm a family.  A woman who embraces her role as a partner with her husband and God is not being degraded, but acting according to the Lord’s  plan.  

In a large family there are all too many ways to serve and it would be easy to put my husband last.  If he comes home to a clean home, a warm dinner (homemade or otherwise) and a smiling wife, does that make us unequal?  If I don’t complain and nag does that make me less of a woman?  If I happily accept the life I have chosen and support my husband in his job, hobbies and desires does that degrade me?  I would answer no to all of the above. 

On a daily basis it can be a hard task to summon strength after a long day of kids and crankiness to put a smile on my face when the hubby walks in the door.   As hunters and gatherers men like to know their family is being taken care of.  If a spouse is continually whining about her life, then he feels he is not doing his job correctly.  

Equality in marriage comes from service.  It comes from respecting each other's different roles in the marriage.  It comes from loving one another's strengths and strengthening our weaknesses.  It comes from the kisses, the tender embraces.  It comes from sharing our struggles without putting the other down.  It is making the big decisions together and not blaming the other when something goes awry.  

Whether a wife stays home or works, has kids or not,  the same principle applies.  A favorite author of mine, Dr. Laura Schlessinger, says a man's needs are simple.  So along with the principles of the the Gospel and the words of our prophets, I try to abide by this simple rule, “If he is not horny, feed him a sandwich.”  Now, you can say, let him make his own darn sandwich, or, you can make it for him and have more time for the other.  That is equality.  


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Thank you, Linda!
(I think I'm going to go pack my husband a lunch now and then crawl back into bed! :)

Now, please remember to enter our CRAFT LINK-UP happening here.
And enter for more chances to win this week's party favors by commenting on this post!  Then go check out what they're talking about over at Chocolate On My Cranium today!
  

Here are the party favors for this week:
I will announce the winners of the following prizes on Sunday!
Custom Family Tree for Kids - 8x10 print
a custom family tree for children displaying four generations of family names
Para Siempre print, LDS Temple font
an 11x14 print of "Para Siempre" using LDS Temple Font
Description:  "Para Siempre", means "Forever". The font is made exclusively of LDS temple parts. This print can be personalized with your family name and established/sealing date." 
by Pseuzyn's Shop

LDS QUAD scripture cover PURPLE, BLACK and GREY

a quad Scripture Cover from To Jameson With Love


a customizable Family Proclamation Photo Album
It includes words from the entire Proclamation...You just insert your own family photos!

I BELONG handstamped baptism necklace

"I Belong" hand-stamped baptism necklace
Description:  "I BELONG 2010 stamped on one inch nickle silver disc. Attached to 24 inch silver plated ball chain. Chain may be cut down to shorter size. This item is designed with creativity and is custom hand stamped especially for you! That is what makes each piece unique." by Just Be Jewelry

Birthday Countdown- balloons

Birthday Countdown Blocks
This item helps you countdown 31 days until a birthday.  Lettering is customizable.

Expandable LDS Temple Tote with outside pocket (Black and White Houndstooth)

Expandable Temple Tote Pattern in PDF 
(There will be 2 Winners of this pattern!!)

23 comments:

  1. Thanks Linda! What a great post. I get a lot of flack from my friends because I get up every morning at 4 am, cook a hot breakfast for my husband, put his lunch together, make sure he has a jug of ice water(he's in construction) and then make sure he's up, dressed, and out the door on time so he can drive the 1 1/2 hours it takes to get to work, put in 9 hours and drive another 1 1/2 hours home. I feel like it provides some equality in our marriage. He works so hard to provide for us and I just want to make that journey for him a little easier every day that I can. I'm not looking for an award or even comments about what a great wife I am, I'm just trying to do my best to help my husband to help his family. Thank you for your insightful thoughts. I really appreciate them!

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  2. interesting. The only think my husband ever asked of me when we were first married is that I pack him his lunch for work and get him breakfast. All his life he watched his father scavenge for food to eat or pack because his mom didn't. So yes, I joyfully have done so. It's become a part of our lives, our routine, our love. I don't understand women who can't do this, who can't/won't iron their husbands' shirts (altho i am a lover of ironing so I might be an exception), who have to have time away from home and kids. Seems counter-productive to their families forever attitude. But that's me....as always....opinionated.

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  3. I just found your blogs today & I love them!! Thanks so much for sharing them!! I have 2 blogs in case you want to check them out - http://www.odysseyofamomscholar.net/ and http://www.healthylifejourney.com/ - the first is about my adventures of going back to college at the age of 35. The second is about trying to get healthier in all aspects of life, especially weight loss.

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  4. great post . I have really been thinking lately about the Nurture statement in the proclamation so even though it says we should nurture our children i don't think we should be told we are weak women if we take the time to Nurture our husbands It can only strengthen our relationships

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  5. Wonderful post. It is an honor when we serve our husbands who work hard to support our families.

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  6. Great post, I totally agree. Selflessness is the way to go, and maybe a little nagging? JK

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  7. I read through this whole post thinking AMEN, then hit the last paragraph and laughed out loud! What a great post. Thanks so much for sharing.

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  8. Nobody said this job was going to be easy! But sometimes it's surprising how hard it can be to take care of all the people in our lives- www.thepuentes.blogspot.com

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  9. Beautifully said. I agree wholeheartedly. A great disservice by feminism and generally, the world. But those of us who understand are required to remind and teach those who are swayed by the very loud voices of Satan's army. And THAT is just what this post is. Love it!

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  10. I feel really good when I take time to do simple byt thoughtful things for my husband. And I know he appreciates it too.

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  11. I remember for years waking up early and making breakfast and lunch for my husband before he left for work. Back then he worked a pretty long day and I got to stay home with the baby. But as "baby" turned into "babies" and he settled into a better schedule he would tell me to go back to bed (after nursing all night) and he got his own breakfast. No my job, your job...just being aware of what the other needed. Now that the kids are older, and tend to sleep in, it's been fun to be sharing the kitchen in the early morning again....both equally happy.

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  12. I sure wish people would stop defining equal as "exactly the same." You're right, that's not it! Hooray for equality!!

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  13. I agree whole-heartedly. What a great post!

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  14. Love the thoughts from Linda. We need to remember all the reasons we fell in love with our husbands and cherish them....not letting small things get in the way! :)

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  15. I totally blogged about this whole equality issue, too! It's a crazy word in the world. And I'm learning what all of this means. And I think about the oxen who were equally yoked -- meaning that one didn't walk in front of or behind the other if they wanted to move the cart. And the yoke around their heads sometimes kept them from doing either of those things even IF they wanted to. They were yoked together . . . walking together, carrying the load together, looking forward together. They were equal partners! Thanks!

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  16. My dad used to ask me "Do you want to be helpful or do you want to be right?" whenever I was arguing with a sibling. Darn that pride. :)

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  17. What a wonderful post! I feel blessed to have such a wonderful husband that I am able to be able to care for, since he takes such good care of us :)

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  18. My mother-in-law gave me a book called "Fascinating Womanhood" that talks about this subject. It was written by an LDS woman in the 1970's when the feminist movement was really getting swing. I blogged about it, you may find it interesting. http://secretsofmom.blogspot.com/2010/03/book-review-fascinating-womanhood.html It really goes against everything that the feminist movement was about.

    Now there is a part of me that is very pro-feminist. Woman are not to be degraded or abused because of their lack of a y-chromosome. I don't think the lack thereof makes women lesser in anyway. That kind of chauvinism makes me angry. Like you said Linda, equal. Does that equality mean that I feel I should be like a man? Ug, no. I have no interest in being like a man. There needs to be a balance. I do some things and my husband does some things and together we make it work. I liked your line "equality come from serving". That is so true. I feel that as a woman I was designed to be a mother, nurturer and homemaker and am thrilled to pieces to have that job and for the opportunity to serve my husband and children in that capacity. Of course I love it when he pitches in with cooking and cleaning, but I am by no means waiting for someone to liberate me. (Even if I do love my other career.)

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  19. Great thoughts! Awesome quote!!!! I want to put it on a t-shirt I like it so much & I will pick up some more sandwich stuff at the store. :~)

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  20. Haha! This was great. I especially liked, " If a spouse is continually whining about her life, then he feels he is not doing his job correctly." for what it teaches. I know my husband gets enough stress at work and I want him to feel good about life when he gets home.

    Thanks so much!
    -CK

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  21. I often wonder how society has gotten this so messed up. Like I am supposed to treat my husband as a idiotic servant and that makes us equal. I like your plan better. Where we both try to serve each other (especially with foot rubs).

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