Standing Up For What Is Right For Your Family (No Wife Bullies Here)
There has been a lot of talk lately about teen bullying, for good reason. The increased suicide rates due to cyber bullying are alarming to say the least.
But what happens when the person doing the bullying is a grown woman? Didn’t realize that was happening? It happens more often than you think.
In Monday’s post, Bronnie Ware shared with us the 5 regrets she’s heard most often from those in the final days of their lives.
She spent several years caring for the dying in their homes and their number one regret? ”I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
Last week, after writing an article entitled What is the Role of the 21st Century Wife, I knew I’d get some interesting emails.
I was, after all, suggesting couples choose for themselves what their roles should look like in their households and not allowing others to influence what they know to be right for them.
What I didn’t expect, however, were women declaring my desire to continue working outside of the home after having children “disgusting” or emails like this one:
“Please DO NOT have a child if you don’t want to raise it. Why would you bring in someone to your life and then turn around and dump it on someone else to raise, minute and instill values in them? That is abandonment and neglect. NO ONE can love your child like you will. How dare you be so selfish?
“Why bother having a child if they are going to get shoved aside for your career…your career could have to change tomorrow if you became disabled in someway…yet that baby will ALWAYS depend on you as it’s mommy. You preach all this loving your husband crap, but toss the baby (that is formed in your body!) out because you don’t want to be inconvenienced. That disgusts me.
“Feel judged? I don’t care. You hurting a child by abandoning them for someone else to raise sickens me.”
So if I understand this, my desire not to be a stay-at-home mom –which is supported and encouraged by my husband- is not only selfish but the equivalent of “dumping” my children? I am not able to love my child infinitely, and care for them at the highest level, if I work outside of the home?
My baby sister Christy Joy, on the other hand, is a wonderful stay-at-home momma of three. She’s living the life of her dreams. Being a stay-at-home mom from the beginning was not only something her husband supported, but encouraged. Yet, somehow, that was not enough for many of the women around her.
At times, she’s been made to feel less than by women who’d determined being a stay-at-home mom was outdated. Her decision was treated like she’d just single-handedly reversed all the strides we’ve made as women to be treated as equal.
But isn’t that equality at its best? Having the ability to choose for yourself what you want out of life?
After Christy Joy’s third child, she began a thriving online fitness community, PregnantNotPowerless.com. She wanted to contribute to the income of her household while not giving up on her dream of being a stay-at-home mom.
My sister and I are a lot alike in many areas, but in this area we’re different. She thrives off of being a stay-at-home mom and wife. I thrive off of being a serial entrepreneur who dotes over her family nonstop. Both of us told repeatedly by other women what is best for our families.
The fortunate thing for both of us is we have always been strong in our conviction for what works in our household. We decided early on that we owed explanations to no one. God and family…then everything and everyone else. We remain confident we are doing what is right…for our families.
So to the wives who have felt bullied: Stand your ground. Make decisions based on your family and your faith alone. The opinions of others (or their interpretation of fact) are just that. They may be valuable, but only inasmuch as they line up with your own values. If opinions thrown your way are contrary to what you and your husband have decided are best for your family, in one ear…out the other.
And to the wives who didn’t realize what you are doing is the equivalent of bullying: Grace to you. Now, is a beautiful time to change. With marriages falling faster than flies, wives around us don’t need wife bullies, they need our support. They need to be built up; not torn down.
QUESTION: Have you ever felt bullied by other wives and/or moms? If so, how did you handle it?
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