I am just tickled at those of you who took the time to respond/vent/talk about your feelings and views on my post. I can tell you put some thought into your response and I truly appreciate it.
Miss Krys? I love reading about your and Mr. Jack's marriage. You are just a tad bit ahead of The Man and myself and I admire the team work you two show and share. I'm learning how to communicate before I come to the tears and you made it sound so simple...which it is! You don't hold it in and let it fester and grow. You simply TALK about it. "Teamwork. You work together. You do for each other. You appreciate each other. You say thank you and you mean it. And others notice." Well said, my friend. Well said.
"Marriage is a partnership" says Andrea. You're so right! I believe that's where couples can go astray and quickly when that one statement is forgotten. "Everyone should contribute.". I love that statement. It doesn't say the women should do this and the men should do that. Everyone covers every single person in the home and I couldn't agree more. I know you don't have children yet, but I know you have adorable puppies and a certain behaviour is expected of them and they know it. I feel you're going to make a wonderful mother one day and I can't wait to see it happen!
Another wonderful blogger, Andrea, states "My kids are learning, even the tiny one, how to be self sufficient and contribute to the family." My mother didn't let me leave her house without being secure that I could reasonably take care of myself. My husband deals with young sailors day in and day out that left a home where they did nothing but live. No contribution whatsoever. The real world is hard. Add in being in the military and you're going to sink or swim quick. I believe that teaching kids to "serve" the home and contribute to its success is vital for their futures.
I have observed the dynamics at Neighbor Debbie's first hand. Every kid has jobs all the way down to the youngest. I admire her ability to teach her kids and have threatened to send my own over to her for boot camp. Neighbor Debbie lost her Mama while in her teens and it just makes me sad that this happened. Yet, I can admire a lady I never met because, even though she was taken tragically and early, she had still taught Debbie and her sister to take care of themselves. Farm living isn't easy and gender biased roles get blurred quickly when "a body" is needed to help with chores. This household runs smooth and I have certainly been taking notes. She sums it up best with "I think that the way Greg and I are show the kids that they should do for their spouse or children as they would want to be treated." Amen, Sister.
I'd like to welcome Bonita to The Edge. She's a new friend I met a few months ago. She's so sweet and was a participant in the Crafts and Conversations program. She's younger than most of the responses and I'm so glad she piped in. I love the perspective from the generation coming behind mine. "So when I do things for my husband I make sure he can do it w/out me in case something ever happened.", says Bonita. That really struck a chord with me. It really did. Why? Because I'm so scared of what my Daddy would do if something happened to my Mama. I know he would "survive", but it would like learning a whole new world. Take for instance, the finances. I don't know if he's gotten more involved in that since Mama's stroke (and it's really none of my business), but I hope he has. I really do. Bonita, you really drove a point home to me with that statement. I might even have to change my mission to make sure my people can keep going if I'm not here.
"Sometimes it seems like women are *so* determined not to be a servant that they go too far the other way and lose some of their softness. " YES!!! Denise? You put an amazing thought into words. Women are soft. Women smooth rough edges. Are we so afraid of appearing weak that we can no longer be soft? I'm all girl. I love makeup and perfume and pretty pretty jewelry. I wrinkle my nose at offensive smells and avoid dirt and grease (car stuff) with all my might. I think the new generations are so afraid of being stereotyped, the softness might soon be a thing of the past. "Service is a good thing, and not at all degrading when its done willingly and with a loving heart." Perfectly said, Denise. I do what I do with love in my heart and actions. I could not have said this any better. In fact, I thank you for arranging my thoughts (because I sure couldn't find the wording my own self.)!
Here comes Girlfriend. Oh, how I adore Girlfriend. She is a friend of mine I wish I spent more time with. She's going to be gone soon and I'm just going sit down and be sad about it. Every single time we see each other it's "Hey Girl!" and we start talking like nobody's business. I had to gently encourage her to stop emailing me and just post a durn comment. (I laugh so hard over her emails sometimes concerning a blog post. She's also been with us every step of the way with The Boy. She never fails to send me an encouraging word.) Girlfriend says, "It is simple~ We are in a different time now than we were way back when we were little. And times are changing every day. I think the whole “serving a man” is going out the door. More and more people are waiting longer to marry, more independent than they were way back then…." This is true, but what I'm worried about is this.....I need to teach both my daughters AND my son how to give and take in a relationship because I do want grankids one day so they'll need to get along with someone eventually. You and I both agree that being appreciative and showing simple basic manners ("Thank You" and "Please") doesn't demean a person, but shows simple courtesy and acknowledgment. I don't hesitate to tell my four year old thank you when he does something for me. I will happily say please to my 9 year old if I want her to get me a soda. Courtesy is just too important to ignore.
Now we have Dani. I am just humbled that she took the time to respond with such a great comment. I'm going to step out a second and tell you all something. Dani is serving our country in the Navy on a surface ship while her husband is serving in the Navy on a submarine. These two have busy careers with loads of responsibility, yet they take the time to be married and they work at it. I am so proud of both of them and I just get chill bumps that our country is so fortunate to have people of this caliber defending our freedom. Dani says, "In our house, it needs to be a partnership with both of us working outside the home with crazy schedules. It's a lot more fun when you are working together." I believe that work is work but it doesn't have be drudgery. Right? Working together can give you more time to talk and just be in each other's company. The Man comes in the kitchen with me while I cook so we can just talk. He helps some and putters around, but he's there with me and we have those few moments to bond over our day. I look so forward to those moments. To know that Dani and her husband already get that? Amazing. Yeah, work needs to be done, but make it quality work. Thank you, Dani, and know that you and your husband are in our prayers.
Missy chimed in about her Mother and how she thought with, "She said, more than likely you both will work and have children and there will be times of struggle." This is so true, Girl. Marriage is a job, but when you add in the kids? It's a job you are never fully prepared for but you work like crazy to do it. The comment she said with, "We have set things we do but we aren't defined into those roles. " is a really good point. We have set things we do here at The Edge, but it doesn't define us. Sometimes someone else will have to kick in and help do what someone else normally does. I do the evening meals, but if I'm feeling bad or need a break? Paige can jump right in and pinch hit with no problem. It soothes me to no end that my child could pull together a meal if need be. The Man has even been known to rescue suppertime. I always amazed at Missy and her husband being full time students and working. Oh, don't forget raising a child, too. Whew. Wears me out just thinking about it. Good job, Missy!
I was almost afraid Stef wasn't going to come give her two cents. I knew she'd come through and share her thoughts with us. I won't doubt you again, Stef! This is a luxury here at my house, too: "Everyday like clock work he will call to say " I am leaving the base, do you need me to bring you home anything?" ... thats what I am talking about " . I never knew how much I would come to depend on someone being thoughtful enough to call and ask me if I need anything. Milk and bread are abundant in our home because of The Man's consideration. Food for thought here with: "My hope is that we will be demonstrating a way that works for our children and that they will be able to bring their best possible self to the table." I think this is truly what we wish for all our children. While I may not always be the best I can possibly be....I surely want my children to be able to. We simply have to show by example. Parents who ignore their children and don't take the time to look them in the eye and make human contact ...oh, the sadness that thought puts in my mind. I believe that when we teach children (not just our own...but ALL of them...) through demonstration? We are teaching ourselves.
"I always ask if he wants something while I am up because it is the polite thing to do and he does the same back." says CCMommy. EXACTLY!!! I'll say it again..it's just being courteous and in being so...you're showing love. That seems to be a recurring theme through the responses and it just thrills me that so many people feel the same way. "I think that all kids need to learn the basics of taking care of themselves." Yes! I just can't agree more with this statement than I already have.
Boymom? Tell me how you really feel! Seriously, your comment just touched me deeply. I could see your frustration from here. One thing kept standing out, though, and that is that you love him. Love is a powerful thing. I have always said it has the power to make or break a person. Please, let it make you. Let it make your marriage work. The Man and I have started counseling to help with parenting skills, but we can't parent to our best ability until we can be married to our best ability. Trust me, a good Daddy is a hard thing to come by in today's world and if you got one for your children? You are blessed. I don't mind you venting not one little bit. Heck, you can even email me and I'll email right on back and talk you to death if need be. "I think that our world has changed and so much more is required of us from the world than was required of our grandmothers. We are a much busier society and live so differently, it is hard to not have both parents working at making our lives successful, financially and at home." Times are changing and it seems like the requirements for 'happily ever after' keep changing, too. You hang in there and know that even if you are so very upset? You love the guy and that is worth fighting for.
Hung was gracious enough to give us some feedback. The only male brave enough to get into this discussion. I think he deserves a round of applause, don't you? Hung is a rare breed. Never have I seen a man work like he does and keep a house while raising a kid (who is too stinking adorable for his own good). Yeah, he has a wife, but the roles are really wild over at Casa de Hung (sorry if I got that wrong, man). You are a good man, Hung, and on behalf of the women of the world? You are going above and beyond and I, for one, think that is very very cool.
I didn't mean for this post to end up being so long. I just thought each comment was worth so much and needed to be acknowledged. This is just my way of saying I appreciate each of you who came forward and shared your thoughts.
We'll lighten things up tomorrow with some pictures I think you'll enjoy.