Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Identity of a Wife and Mom

I fancy myself a feminist.  You know; the kind that has a full-time job but really just wants to stay at home with her kids.  Ok…well, the title doesn’t read “Just Thinkin’ about stuff that makes sense…”  Andrew and I were arguing or bickering the other day about who knows what where one of my comebacks was something like “Well, I’m a feminist, so that’s why I think that way.”  He laughed and rebuked my statement.  “Maybe you were in college, but honey you are closer to Susie homemaker than a feminist now.”

His statement really got me thinking.  What do I define myself as now?  What exactly is the definition of a mother?  Just because you are a working mother does not mean you love your children less, and just because you have the luxury to be a stay-at-home mom does not mean you love your children more.  Honestly, I don’t know how to define myself.

Andrew’s right though…I was more of a feminist in college.  Not to the point where I didn’t shave my armpits and protested, but I did see myself as a strong powerful woman.  Before I dated my husband, all my other ‘interests’ were more of ummm appeasing guys; you know the ones who say ‘sure honey’ to everything you suggest.  The ones who do everything exactly your way…oh the days (just kidding honey).  And I think before me, Andrew dated girls who did everything he wanted without fighting back.  We both have to bend our personalities a little, but I like the challenge he presents to me to be a better person.
An example of who I am is the movie “Mona Lisa Smile”. Have you seen it?  If not, I highly suggested you rent, TiVo, Netflix it right away.  It is a must see for every woman!  It came out when I was in high school.  I was so excited to go see it in the theater.  A movie from the 1950’s portraying the early feminist…that was how I saw it in my head.  But I hated it, absolutely hated it.  It was not what I thought it would be.  *spoiler* The girl I saw as the ‘feminist’ character has a chance to go be a lawyer, but chooses to stay at home to raise a family.  Oh, I remember discussing it with my dad about how much I did not agree with it.  I watched it again a few years later.  I can now see the depth in each character.  I have matured so that I can see each story line.  Now I see that choosing to stay at home is no different than getting a divorce because your ‘perfect’ husband is cheating on you.  I would have to say this movie affects my life every time I watch it, and I’ve watched it so many times I can quote it.  It’s amazing how viewpoints can change or become skewed. 

I changed my last name when I married Andrew.  I changed my priorities when I had Leah.  In college, I was a different woman.  I was a loud independent who claimed moderate political status.  I wrote papers on how the Iraq war was just a cover-up to secure oil in the Middle East.  Now, I am a loud conservative.  I am often guilty of putting the needs and feelings of my husband and children before my own.  But does that mean the feminist side of me is gone?  I don’t think so.  I still think women can have strong roles in society.  I still struggle with the Bible verses telling me to ‘obey my husband’ and submit to him.  I still hate the fact that the Lutheran church does not allow women to be pastors or missionaries.  So, what is my identity as a wife and a mother?  Well, I guess I have my whole life ahead of me to try to figure that out! 

Update 4/9/10
I'm adding this post to Amy's Round Robin as well
I hope I don't scare anyone away with my insecurities, lol
I would love for you visit my UBP 10 party post as well and get to know me better!


  1. This was a wonderful post and I have had similar feelings. By the way I am visiting from Pour Your Heart OUt. I just started a blog separate from my main blog that is a faith blog, you might be interested in it. www.godsgirlramble.blogspot.com

    Thank you for sharing this and for being so open and honest!

  2. Very wonderful post! After I had my son I worked and I wasn't the stay at home mom, in fact I was the one bringing in the big bucks.

    Things changed when I had my daughter. I now am at home and while I haven't completely let go of my feminism ways, I see myself changing. It's just something that comes with motherhood I guess. I have a hard time w/the bible verses too, but I also at the same time know they're there for a reason.

  3. Glad you were able to pour it all out. I'm visiting from Shell's Pour Your Heart Out. It's nice reading posts like this knowing they're providing advice for the future. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Great post! I studied sociology in grad school and women's issues/feminism is a big topic for us. My personal favorite definition for feminism is being able to choose out of the paths that lay before us. It's about respecting the choice that any woman makes, while acknowledging that the women's rights movement gave us the chance to have that choice available to us.

    So no, I would agree with you that the newest branches on your identity tree don't mean that you're no longer a feminist.

  5. Great post. I wouldnt consider myself as a feminist but I by no means "submit" to my husband! I fight for what I believe I voice my opninions! Im my own person and i dont belive just because he's a male that he is superior to me. I play the 50's style housewife role, but I keep my self and my views alive! I will not lay down at his feet to please him. thats just not me! lol! its hard to figure out roles once you become a mother & wife but i refuse to give up "me"!

  6. It's funny how we change so dramatically when we have kids. I haven't seen this movie since before I had kids. I wonder how I'd view it now.

    Thanks for linking up!

  7. loved this... and boy have i felt the same way... becoming a wife and mother sure do change us :) not really in a bad way either. :)

  8. Oh, how my life and perspectives changed after kids! I so relate! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Being a mother and a wife puts a lot of things into perspective. I love how you approach this and allow yourself time to figure it out...

    I should watch that movie again..

  10. What a great post! I understand about our views changing as we grow older and wiser.

    The movie "Mona Lisa Smile" actually inspired me to write my senior thesis at Auburn on Women's education in the 1950s. I considered the movie my muse.

  11. Great great post....so glad to find your blog...and really cute deisgn...

  12. that movie was amazing.. Thanks for linking this up for the Round Robin..

    Off to check out your party..

  13. I'm your newest follower from ROUND ROBIN!

  14. Hi there, I'm visiting from Amy's Round Robin. Funny that I've been pondering what it means to be a feminist lately....it seems that in blogland it's stay at home vs working women/moms, at times. (I'm not a mom at all, so that's how it seems to me looking in from the outside)

    I feel that being a feminist means believing that women should have a choice to do what she believes is best for her and not judging other women's decisions. :-)


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