I read an article the other day that tugged on my heart strings, and I knew I needed to express myself. What better way than my blog. In July’s Issue of Real Simple it tells about a mothers struggle for her own independence after 14 years of marriage and two children.
Though I’m only at three-and-a-half years of my own marriage, I’m certain that my struggles in my marriage and for my own independence are different than the writers, but I felt her words resonate in my own life. I grew up independently. I had caring and loving parents that let me take my own journey. I lived with friends and on my own, traveled to Africa, and West Virginia on my own (trust me, they’re more similar than you would think), and even went to the movies and snowboarded alone. I learned carpentry from my father who never believed that women were less capable than a man; he made me feel like I could accomplish anything, even wire my own playhouse. Which I did. Successfully. I took basic car care in high school and had to coach a boyfriend how to change a tire in college because he didn’t want to sit by while I changed the tire. With all this, I would watch my own mother ride contently in the passenger seat as we traveled; she would wait to have my dad fix things around the house and help her navigate through airports. I secretly hoped I wasn’t that dependent. I wanted the control. I wanted to be self sufficient. And honestly, I thought women in that role would be considered weak. I was not weak.
Now with my own marriage, I find myself letting my husband take the wheel, navigate new cities, even ask him questions when I know the answer. He installs the light fixtures or hangs picture, even though I’ve done all of those things by myself in the past. I think this struggle of independence is a struggle a lot of women face and it made me happy to read this article. I make some of it up in having my own career, traveling to see friends on my own and knowing where our money goes, but I think the author makes a great point. At the end of the day, you now decided to be part of a team. Now, you get to choose if you want to ride along or take the wheel. Sometimes, it’s nice to have your suitcase carried up the stairs or have a picture hung while you run errands. My mom made a choice. I’ll make that choice, too. As long as my husband realizes I can still do these things, that I still have those skills, it’s nice to just sit back while he’s cooking and pour us some wine.
Happy weekend friends.