Friday, June 25, 2010
Girl time and mommy rhapsody
I must agree it is worth it, but it is really hard to assume the role as caregiver all the time and not assume the role as woman-- and I mean aside from the role as your man's woman. I don't know about you, but I feel guilty about taking care of my own needs. I feel like I am cheating on my family when I take time away and spend it just chatting with friends with no responsibilities of watching the children, or being beside my husband. You know, I think the "play date" is a mom's way of somewhat meeting her needs (the ones that involve an adult conversation about something other than poop, money, what the spouse did at work today...) while alleviating this guilt at needing time with girlfriends. Why else would we mom's create play dates for our infants? Yes, I had a friend when Olivia was a baby (sad but true-- I had only one good friend then) who I would meet weekly for our kids to play (they were in car seats or laying next to each other on the play mat) and while they "played" we would sit and just talk about anything and everything.
This, even though it was very helpful mentally and spiritually, was still not the quality girlfriend time every woman needs. It was still interrupted by breast feedings, naptimes, poopy diapers and I don't know about you, but when my children are present (at any age) the conversation seems to be about them or comparing tales what they do to what other kids do-- you know the whole "does little Johnny do... it must be a phase... Oh, yeah he does that too..." type comparisons. These are important conversations, but a little more just being a girl type talk is important as well.
Have you ever read "Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus"? I am sure there are other books out there too that talk about the differences in men and women. Even the Bible pointedly refers to the differences between men and women. Men desire and need respect from their mates, and women desire and need love. These two words alone imply so much. A woman's need for love comes from her feeling nature-- her emotional nature. Men need respect and to me this is more of an action oriented verb. Even though both are Agape love towards your spouse (respect even when there is a major disagreement, and love even when the person is unlovable...), they are expressed differently. Notice the Bible does not tell women to understand that men need respect so accept their respect as the love you desire, and it does not tell men that women need love so accept her love for you as the respect you desire. No instead He tells men to step out of their normal thinking and love their wives in the way she needs to be loved and same goes for women. We are to respect our men in the way they desire to be respected.
"What does this have to do having girlfriends" you might ask? Well ladies, we don't have to work and struggle to understand the emotional sides of each other and we can be ourselves with each other. We can share things with each other that our men struggle to understand, IF THEY EVER GET IF FOR SURE! Having girlfriends has taught me that even though I feel alone-- (not that my husband has left me alone, he just doesn't get me; how could he; he is a man?-- though he does love me) like I am the only person to feel the way I do, it is not true! Other moms and women feel too. Our men might listen to us; they may really try hard to understand us but they never really get it, they want to fix us. It is funny because I think even in Ernie's acceptance of the fact that I need girl time and some alone time, he thinks it will fix me. Not that he has said that in so many words. I don't need fixing, I need someone to say, "Oh man that happened to me to and I felt..." Men think like men. Sometimes I really need a woman to talk to so I feel understood.
I can tell the difference in myself having gone so very stinking long without having women friends to talk to the differences in our conversations. Other women who have not neglected themselves in this way will sit and talk and ask questions about what I am feeling, going through, and genuinely want to know how you are. I have been so accustomed to talking to my man only that I just answer questions and talk about what others are talking about. I don't even know if that makes any sense.
Men get together and do stuff-- watch a game, play a game, slide down slip and slides, fix something broken, dig holes, and make things... You know I can't picture my husband wanting to, much less actually going to another man's house and sitting with other men just talking about how they feel and what personal problems they are having and how they feel about them... or sharing Holy Spirit stories about how the Holy Spirit has led them. Um, nope can't picture it. I see them at most chowing down on a hotdog with each other and talking sports, politics, maybe the Bible, but not anything about personal issues and feelings. Do men have feelings? No, seriously they must.
Last night I went to a friend’s house after the kids were in bed and spent 3 1/2 hours with her and another girlfriend just talking about everything-- everything that is but the kids. I felt a little guilty and said so, and I was reminded of my own frequent words-- "Guilt is from Satan not God". Satan wants me to sit at home and get discouraged in feeling like I am trapped and am the only one feeling like I do and that my job is only to take care of my family and not me. He knows that if this goes on long enough I could get resentful of my husband and children and be so overwhelmed I give up and let the TV and government schools raise my kids and well I don't even want to consider what could happen if I started to resent my precious husband!
I think that God designed us to need others in our lives. Men need men friends who want to get together and be men, not dads or husbands-- you know to fix things and be industrious, show off (maybe even their women) or just do something fun. Women need to get together with other women and feel like a girl again as opposed to our role as mom or wife.
Don't feel guilty about needing to be yourself as well as someone's mom or wife. Guilt is from Satan. The Holy Spirit will lead you, not shame you. The Bible mentions friends over 100 times and many times talks about how to choose and keep friends. If friends were not important once you got married and had a family to raise then the idea of corporate worship in a church would be absurd. Proverbs on friendship would be moot. Jesus would not have called his disciples His friends. The friendship relationship is just as important as a spousal relation ship, a familial relationship, a parenting relationship. Jesus uses all of these realtionships to describe His relationship to us. We are God's children, His friends, His bride, His mothers and brothers...
If He did not create us for these relationships, He would not use them as metaphors to help us understand who He is.
Posted by Kristan at Friday, June 25, 2010