Consider This! : Chapter 3 – On Being a Wife

6 Feb

Note: This is the first draft of chapter 3 of the book I’m writing entitled “Consider This!  Mommy’s Personal Manifesto, 33 Rules/Guidelines”.

Dear Lorin,

First thing I thought I would never be when I became a wife?  A nagger.  However, I think I never really changed after we got married.  We just changed “scenes”.  We moved from one venue to another.  I just removed my “girlfriend” hat and put on my “wife” hat.  I was still basically who I was.  The changes occurred much later.

When I married your father, the only other things that immediately changed were my civil status and my name.  There were a lot of forms to be filled out to update my records and IDs.  I had to get used to writing my new name, signing my new signature and ticking of “married” instead of “single”.

The advantages of being a wife?  At weddings, I don’t dread the part where single ladies are called and gathered up to catch the bouquet anymore.  People stopped asking me the question “When are you getting married?  Why aren’t you married yet?”.  It was replaced with “When are you going to have a baby?  Why aren’t you pregnant yet?”.  When I have to go somewhere, I have someone to accompany me.

The disadvantages of being a wife?  It was more difficult to make plans.  And I do plan a lot.  I set goals.  Decisions are not as simple to make anymore.  I have to consider how it will affect our marriage.  I now have someone whose opinions and thoughts must be considered before I go ahead.

I experienced actually being a wife a year after we got married.  A few weeks after our wedding, your father left to work in Saudi Arabia.  When he got back, we rented a condominium unit in Makati, where I work.  Your father started working for my family’s business at the comfort of our new home.  Every weekday morning, your father walks me to the jeep terminal.  On weekends, we’ll go to the grocery or mall or visit the OB-Gyne.  You were conceived shortly after your father got home.  =)

We lived in 3 other homes after that.  We stayed with my parents during my maternity leave, during your father’s six-month work contract in South Africa, and during the two-month construction of our own home.  When you turned 6 months old, we lived at your father’s mother’s house.  When your father got back from South Africa, we stayed at my cousin’s house for about four months.  Each time, I behaved differently as a wife.  Like it or not, my environment – where I was – affects what kind of wife I was.

Your father is a very caring son, brother and uncle.  When we got married, I made an unrealistic expectation.  I expected his world to revolve around you and me alone.  It was very evident when we were living at your father’s family home that that wasn’t the case.  My world revolved around you and him and expected him reciprocate.  I was resentful.  I forgot to be grateful instead and see that the reason he was a caring husband and father in the first place was that because he was first a caring son, brother and uncle.

I came to realize that being a wife is just another role or hat that a woman may wear.  It does not replace or take over my whole being.  It doesn’t mean that I’m no longer a daughter, a sister, or a friend.  It’s just that my priorities are shifted.  In addition to personal goals, I now have married life goals and eventually motherhood/parenting goals.

I cannot stop being an individual just because I married and became part of a couple.  I shouldn’t have let being a wife consume who I was.  Worse, I shouldn’t have expected my husband to do the same.  It only made me feel miserable.  I learned that my happiness should not rely only on my marriage.

What kind of wife am I now?  I am now more an individual than ever before.  I have learned to set realistic expectations from your father and our marriage.  My happiness does not rely solely on your father.  I pursue my own interests.  I have a different set of goals: personal, marriage, and motherhood.

Am I a good wife?  There’s still a lot of room for improvement.  I have a very short temper.  I still lash out.  But I am a faithful wife and a homebody.  When your father comes home, he can expect me to be there whether he likes it or not.  Ha ha.  I’m a very lucky wife for having married a man who does not expect me to become a submissive wife.  I have since stopped expecting him to be the submissive husband.  Ha ha.

It doesn’t take much to make your father happy.  I just “let” him watch all the basketball games he wants or go out and have a drink (or two or more) with his buddies and friends.  He’s the cheerful one while I’m the one who worries and makes a big deal out of everything.  He’s the social butterfly, I’m the wallflower.  He’s the patient one, I’m the one who is sarcastic. Your father has a lot to put up with.  But I know I am improving.  Just don’t confirm this with your father.

As husband and wife, we shouldn’t take each other for granted.  We still say thank you and I’m sorry.  I appreciate your father for just letting me be and for not trying to control me.  He will surely fail anyway as I am very stubborn.  He doesn’t raise his hand and as far as I know, he is faithful.  He doesn’t do anything to make me jealous or to think that he is unfaithful.

I have also come to accept that he will not be interested in everything that I am interested in.  It doesn’t mean that he doesn’t care about me.  It’s just that his interests lies somewhere else.  Anyway, there are things that he’s interested in that I don’t care about either.  Ha ha.

Space and time apart and individuality are important.  Just as long as at the end of the day we are both at home.  So that when we  wake up the next morning, we can greet the brand new day together.

Love,
Mommy

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