‘Guilty mom-wife’, those were the words Jane’s friend said to her when she tried so hard to make her feel bad for being a career woman. guilty-mom-wife-what would you say to Jane?
What would you say to Jane, as those words plagued at her heart? Is she really a guilty mom-wife who denies her husband and kids of certain pleasure in choosing to pursue her dreams?
Coming into the house, Jane collapsed into her favourtie couch in her home. Taking off her shoes and kicking off her heels, she folds up her sleeves, ties her braids hair into a ponytail. Getting up, she walks to the fridge, scanning through, trying to figure out what to make for supper. Today was one of those days she does not get to have the luxury of time to catch her breath before going from boardroom Jane to mom-wife Jane.
Upstairs, she could hear her husband trying to convince their four-year old son to finish changing into his nightwear, before going down to say “hi to mummy”. Unlike her husband- John, Jane does not enjoy the luxury of flexible work hours. Perks you get for being your own boss. But it is a blessing as John helps pick some of the balls she has to juggle as dictated by the shackles of culture and tradition.
She enjoys her work as a policy consultant with the government, she also loves her mentorship group with ladies and teenagers she runs on weekends, but more than those, she loves being a wife and being a mom to her two little kids. Some might say she has a pretty good life, well balanced, with well-behaved kids and an amazing husband.
Why then does she feel so disappointed in herself sometimes, almost as if she feels guilty for having this amazing life, and for choosing to share herself with the world, to live for more than herself. To live purposefully? Is she really a ‘guilty-mom-wife’? What does that even mean?!
It does not help either that her friends and family make comments that add to this feeling of guilt, of not being enough for her kids and husband. Just when she thought she had heard it all, it did not help that her friend made a cruel joke about ‘being there to take over the care of her husband and kids, when he got rid of her’. In her friend’s words “no man likes a woman who has it all put together, so stop being this super woman, because if he gets bored and leaves you, I will be here to give him all the fun he wants and as a good friend, take care of your kids”.
Of course, she got rid of that friend- oh no, not the kind of ‘rid’ you are thinking about- like she stopped being friends…just focus please, will you? Thank you! So back to Jane, she stopped being friends with that lady, but the words have not left her. Is she really a bore for wanting to do the things she loves? Is her husband really not happy but just masks it? Do her kids really have more to lose than gain?
Is there really a cost to a woman wanting to be the best version of herself? To contribute to her home financially, and ease the burden on her husband so they can both have the life they want with each other and their kids? Could there really be something she is missing? What do men want, materialistic dependent ladies, or women who truly know their onions and are unafraid to pursue their dreams? If tables were turned, the expectation is for the wife to fully support her husband.
So if two truly becomes one, why can’t the husband support his wife’s dream, especially where there is no conflict like in her and John’s case? Even if there was conflict, can’t two matured adults talk through their dreams and aspirations and come to an agreement of how to make it work? Jane was getting tensed as she thought of her friend who has lost a sense of purpose in the name of ‘supporting her husband’s dream. “Who made these rules anyway?” Jane muttered under her breath as she pulls out a sizzling baking whole chicken from the oven.
My husband and kids are well fed and taken care of, Jane thought to herself. Given, she does not always cook as often as some other mothers, nor does she clean personally all the time. Considering she makes enough to pay for certain services other women do as chores and feel like the supermoms of the 21st century, she didn’t think it mattered if she personally did these things, as long as they were taken care of. If someone thought otherwise, that is not on her, it is on them for leaving their brains in the 1st century. Besides, her husband always reminds her that he is with her hundred per cent. So who cares what anyone else thinks? Right?!
Jane walks over to the dining, setting down a fresh baked whole chicken from the oven. “Honey, kids, dinner is ready”, she yells as she sets down the rice and peppered sauce plus a bowl of salad. She steps back to take a look at her work (did I mention she does love to cook fresh meals for her family?), she smiled very brightly as her husband and kids walk down the stairs, kids already in their sleepwear, giggling on the shoulders of John.
As she hugs them, she can’t help but think that she truly has a good life, and her husband and kids are part of the reason she strives to live purposefully. She reminds herself of why she does the things she does. So once again, as every other time in the last three years, she convinces herself to make peace with her choices.
Guilty mom-wife? Is that even a thing? Who made the rules? Who said she couldn’t? Jane wants to meet with them, perhaps it’s time for a little mind-shift. What say you?
Anita Adefuye, the author, shares her story of sexual abuse, low mental health, suicide, and how she overcame them all. Today, she is the founder of LoudSilences and more.
Her book, Reve-Healed – A true story of pain, healing, and hope, is available for purchase. Get yourself a copy today!