I am the Chief Domestic Officer of my home. The CFO. Makes me feel super special.
The problem with that is that it also makes me feel like I'm in charge. Like I get to make all the decisions related to my home and to the rearing of my children. I will (maybe) consult my husband, but really, the final decision is up to me. I'm the woman. I carried those kids inside of me for 40 verrrrry loooongggg weeks (or in the case of my first, 41 weeks and 4 days, not that I was counting...) I have had major surgery to give birth to them - three times. I am the one who got up in the middle of the night to nurse them. I provide every meal for my kids. I take them to the doctor, sign consent forms, and hold them still for vaccinations. I do the grocery shopping and wrestle with whether or not organic milk is a trend or a necessity for us. I sign us up for a farm share to get fresh local produce every spring/summer. The fact that I carry the burden of those responsibilities sometimes leads me to believe that my husband is superfluous.
I'm calling myself out here. It's disrespectful. Acting like that makes our husbands into figureheads of our homes, not the actual head of our homes.
In her book Fit to Burst, Rachel Jankovic writes about this very thing.
Have you found yourself implementing some big system for cleaning the house or chore charts for the children or anything else that your husband wasn't a fan of? Did you think to yourself that he doesn't know what he is talking about because he isn't here all day and doesn't understand? Did your husband ask you to do something that you simply aren't trying to do? Has he told you that he would love to eat more of something, or less of something, and did you take that request seriously? Has he told you that he hopes to live off of the venison in the freezer when the boys are old enough to go hunting with him? Did you say, "Nonsense! We are vegan!" Did he want your children to be vaccinated and you threw down about it? Did he want to give presents at Christmas and you told him it wasn't godly? That you weren't going to? (p.58)Just because you're the mom, because you have "maternal instincts" (which, by the way, are not always correct), because you might be home with the kids all day...you do not get to ignore the input of your husband. You do not get to throw out his wishes. Sheila Gregoire writes, "This idea that women know best when it comes to children, and men should just get out of the way and stop 'whining,' is toxic to a marriage." (The Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex, p.199)
If he doesn't want you to co-sleep with your kids, then you don't co-sleep with your kids.
If he wants to vaccinate, then you vaccinate.
If he feels strongly about sending the kids to public school or about homeschooling, then you pursue those options.
If he doesn't want to spend the extra money to buy all organic products, then you don't spend the extra money.
If he wants you to stop buying convenience food and start making more healthy foods from scratch, then you figure out a way to make that happen.
DO NOT hear me saying that you are not allowed to have a dialogue about these decisions. DO NOT hear me saying that you never state your opinion or preference. No, no, no. If you have strong reservations about vaccines, I think it's perfectly fine to present him with your research and ask him to prayerfully consider and look at what you've found. If you disagree that public school is a better option than homeschooling, you can explain that to him, show him a possible plan and curriculum, etc. We should always be talking with our husbands about decisions and about what we feel is best for our family. There might be a way to compromise and satisfy both of your convictions. But you absolutely do not have the right to say, "Well, I want to share our bed with the baby and if you don't like it, sorry, bud, I'm the mom and I have instincts that you do not and you are overruled!" Wrong. Wrong. WRONG!!!
I'm not saying that your husband can never be wrong or that his decisions won't be sinful (and if he's asking you to actually sin, then don't do it). He might be wrong in demanding that you don't vaccinate. He might be wrong in demanding that you buy more Mountain Dew and less steel cut oats. He might be wrong in demanding that you use birth control. You could be absolutely right that he is ignoring God's leading for your family. But that's not your problem. You aren't held accountable for his disobedience. You are held accountable for your own. Communicate, state what you think, share what you've learned, but do not disregard him and make decisions on your own. Lots of husbands genuinely trust their wives to make decisions about education, medical care, etc. Others don't have opinions on childcare and household issues, but if he does? You really can't ignore him without being disrespectful. Rachel Jankovic believes that making decisions in that way is "breaking fellowship" with your husband. She believes that it will distance your husband from the family and I wholeheartedly agree. Interestingly, the same women who completely disregard their husband's wishes and preferences also complain that their husband isn't involved with the kids. Well, what did you expect, honey?? You can't ignore his opinions and then get mad when he withdraws into passivity. You reap what you sow.
You need to be teammates. You decided to have kids together. Once those children are born, your husband still gets to make decisions, even if your emotions aren't falling into line with what he prefers. Fight for unity, warrior wife, not authority.
Alrighty, then...stepping down from my soapbox. Fire away.
Sharing with: The Alabaster Jar, The Better Mom, Graceful, The Wellspring, NOBH, Monday's Musings, Covered in Grace, Rachel Wojo, Matrimonial Mondays, Time Warp Wife, Far Above Rubies, Growing Home, Wifey Wednesday, Deep Roots at Home, We Are THAT Family, NOBH, Wedded Wednesday,