Wednesday, September 19, 2007

BEING A WIFE & MOTHER and building a strong MARRIAGE

Hi ! My name is Susan and I blog as Penless Writer.

I am honored to have been asked to be a Guest Commentator for Multi-Tasking Mom's. I begin by quoting a past Pastor of ours who use to say "Commentators are nothing but Common Taters"!!!! I think I easily fall into that category.

When first asked to participate my reaction was, "It's been so long since I've been an active, hands on Mom I'm not sure I qualify". On further reflection, I believe living so many years (69), active mothering for over 35 of those years, being a grandmother for 21 years, and being just Mickey & I as Empty Nester's for the past 18 years I do have something to say.

Any of you who read my blog know that I am the mother of 4 adult children and that there is a 15 year age span between my first born and my fourth born. This explains why I held the active mothering position for those 35 years. It also explains why I have granddaughters 21 and 12 years old and a grandson 8 years old. You also know that we are a very close-knit family.

All this mothering experience aside I am going to comment on
BEING A WIFE & MOTHER and building a strong MARRIAGE.

I believe strongly in the family. The family is the first institution God set up. It all began when God created Eve to be a help mate for Adam. God created her to complete him. That's an awesome thought isn't it? Adam was not complete by himself alone. I believe our first, and most important role and love, after God and Jesus, is to be our husband.

We are first husband and wife and we will be husband and wife long after the children are gone from the home.
I have seen too many woman take their role of mother and motherhood to such a degree that it becomes the center of their world. Consequently the husband is pushed off to the side and into second place. They begin to live separate lives to a certain extent. The woman is concentrating all her time and effort on the children, with the husband on the side lines. The man is concentrating all his time and effort on his job. They begin to grow in separate and different ways. The wonderful husband-wife connection, which started it all, starts to fade.

My strong feelings in this regard came even before I was married or had children. I had two very loving parents and grew up in a good Christian home where I was taught good moral values, responsibility, truthfulness, hard work, etc. The one thing my family lacked was my parents lived two separate lives to a great extent. I determined, at a very early age, I wanted a marriage where my husband and I had a lot in common and were a strong family unit.

Over the years I've seen far to many mothers that have centered their lives on the children front and center. Then when the children are grown you find two adults looking at each other and saying, "Who are you? I don't know you any more. What happened to the love, fun, excitement we use to have?" The children leave and you have two strangers living together who do not share common interests or goals any longer.

So be sure to keep that guy you fell in love with front and center throughout your child rearing years. When you do this you will share a wonderful, full, exciting, "empty nest" life together.

Now, having said all this......I also have to add that.....ONCE A MOTHER ALWAYS A MOTHER. I tell my kids this ALL the time and they know it well. They are as important to me now, as adults, as they were when they were small children growing and finding out who they were and who they were becoming.

It truly is a balancing act....It's important not to fall in the ditch on either side of the road. Just remember to keep things balanced and not push either your children or your husband off to the side. Always remembering that JESUS CHRIST is the most important person to keep front and CENTER.
Just one more comment, from this "common tator".
If you are a single-mom, as I once was, I have this advice.

When another man comes waltzing into your life your first concern has to be making sure he will be the kind of father you want to help raise your children. When Mickey & I were "dating" most of those "dates" revolved around doing things with and for my two little girls. I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, Mickey would be a wonderful father. Almost 49 years later I am here to tell you he lived up to all my expectations.

As a single-mom your first priority has to be to those children whether that means raising them by yourself or finding that right husband and FATHER.
BUT once you decide to entrust yourself and your children into the love and care of another man you must NEVER, and I mean NEVER EVER say anything like "Leave MY kids alone" or "Don't treat MY kids like that". This is of course UNLESS there is being physical harm done to them.....that's a whole different thing. But I'm talking about just establishing and making a good, caring, loving family.

When he marries you and takes on the responsibility for the love and care of you and your kids you become a "family" and the word "ME or MINE" has to be set aside forever. If there are disputes about the discipline of the children you must never discuss that in front of the children. Rather, later, in a private setting between the two of you discuss with him then, "I don't think you should have......." or "I think you were being to hard on......" This is good advise for all marriages. Put up one standard to the children at all times.

post signature


Anonymous said...

Great words from a great woman! Although I don't think I ever set my husband aside, I did get way too focused on my children and forgot who I was. I never knew this could happen, but it sure did. Our children are such a blessing, but it's amazing how the enemy will use whatever he can to destroy us...even our family.

Tracy said...

Excellent advice. I see too many wives/mothers loving on their children while rolling eyes at their husbands. It's bad for the marriage and the children.

Alycia said...

So happy to read your post this evening! I agree with you and praise God that you shared this with the MTM readers. It is so important to first honor God, then love your husband then our sweet children. Blessings to you this week!

jennifer said...

Common tator !No way! excellent post Susan. You are so correct, we must remember our marriage is first. Stay in love, by making a conscious effort to be in love:)

Great advice for single moms too.

inspired said...

wow! what great "Common Tater" ;]

Lori said...

Great post.
So very true. Thanks for the great reminder to spend some quality time with my husband.

diana said...

excellent post, susan. i couldn't agree more. i received these same words of wisdom early on in my marriage. i've remembered them and made my husband and family a priority. i can say that i'm looking forward to spending the next 30+ years with my husband as an empty nester.

Karolee said...

Great thoughts, Susan. Those of us in the 'trenches' appreciate the wisdom of a been there/done that gal like yourself. Thanks for sharing.

Amber said...

What an INSPIRING post! I LOVE your word of wisdom about the balancing act! You are right!!! We need to keep Jesus front and center, because I have fallen into that ditch many many times. Thanks again Susan!!!

God Bless,

kdwhorses said...

Wowp-what a great post and something to always remember. I know staying in love is a hard thing to do. Satan and our world is right there to discourage you to stay strong in your marriage. We have been blessed with a great church family and our faith to help us through. Like my Nannie used to always say "Love is like roses, but expect many thorns along the way." Thanks for your great words!

Barbara said...

Lots of wisdom as usual from Susan and very well written.

Susie said...

Hi Susan,
Wonderfully written post just filled with good advice!
This line is my favorite "So be sure to keep that guy you fell in love with front and center throughout your child rearing years. When you do this you will share a wonderful, full, exciting, "empty nest" life together."
Absolutely 100% true!

LilyLakeMom said...

Thank you for the wonderful words of advice. With all the day to day nonsense that goes on with the kids, laundry, activities, etc. it is nice to be reminded that my husband and I matter too and to push the other stuff aside and make sure we stay connected as the couple we once were. This is better for the kids and the family!
I appreciate your wisdom so much.

Coach J said...

Great advice! My hubby and I leave our children in the bed on Saturday mornings and head out for a date. I love that time with him, time to reconnect, or time just to have him all to myself!
I did not know that you were once a single mom. I learned something new about you today, Susan.

annie said...

Great advice, as usual Susan.
I think the reason my marriage has lasted through some rough times is because we have always had a good line of communication. We've spent many nights talking half the night and making ourselves be quiet and go to sleep.
You're an inspiration to me.

SusieQ said...

Susan, this is superior advice. I could not agree with you more in many areas especially with regard to "once a mother always a mother."

You and I are close to the same age. You are 69 and I am 67. Hard to believe that much time has gone by in our lives. We've experienced a few things in life.

I have learned that just because our children grow up, it doesn't mean they will never need us again for anything. As a mom to mature children, my role has changed from what it was when my children were young. I am now the family matriarch. My children come to me for advice about all sorts of matters but especially about matters pertaining to their own children. It warms my heart to know that they have that much confidence in my judgment.

In looking at your profile, I see you have listed the Mannheim Steamrollers as one of your music favorites. I don't have them listed, but as a matter of fact, they are one of my favorites too.

Mountain Mama said...

Experience is a great teacher, and you have obviously lived it. You have given some great pointers.

Larissa said...

I really enjoyed that...and I take that advice (all of it) to heart!

Mary@notbefore7 said...


Thank you for sharing what you have clearly lived and walked in your own life. This is excellent advice! It is so easy for me to focus too much on myself and my needs after a day of exhausting mothering and I need to keep my marriage in focus as well!


weavermom said...

Great post - glad you were asked to be a guest! :) I think it is such a blessing to hear the perspective of one who has "been there, done that" and can tell me what pitfalls to avoid. Thanks!

Short Stop said...

Oh, WOW! Thank you, Susan for sharing this! My husband and I were taught these points SO well by our pre-marital counselor, and we have found this advice to be immeasurably valuable in our marriage. With God's help, we have been able to put our marriage first, but it has been a deliberate decision and one we pray about for ourselves and each other! We want our children to see us putting our marriage first, so that they will do the same when they are older!

Again, thank you for stating this so wonderfully and for sharing your life's experience with us!!


Kristie said...

Oh Susan where were you when I was rasing my little ones? I could have used a mentor like you in my life. So easy to allow satan to distract us even with blessings such as our children. Great post as usual!!