February 6, 2009

Playing Mommy?

I saw a screen t-shirt that someone was wearing yesterday at school. It read "I don't need to have kids. I married one." Yes, it's funny. And I know it's supposed to mean that the person they married is childish. But it also set me thinking on a parallel track. On whether some of the new generation married people had gotten the whole marriage deal right. I, for one think that many women tend to turn their mommy-ing instincts to the wrong object of attention - their husbands. Maybe that's because of the lesser age difference between couples these days as opposed to our previous generations, as SM pointed out. And of course, not being one of them ensures that I can look at it objectively and point out how weird the whole idea is.

Sometimes it's tempting I suppose to tell someone you can, for example your husband to do certain things. And well in the grand scheme of things, you are replacing his mom's role in his life, in that you take care of him now. So it's easy to place a misguided sense of babying on the husband and what's worse is that I've seen some men enjoy it and wrongfully take that to mean that their wife "loves them so much". Don't get me wrong... I love my husband as much as the next girl on the street loves hers, but I don't take it up to me to baby him around. He is free to do what he pleases however and whenever he wants. For instance, although I enjoy eating together with him, my rumbling tummy has sometimes propelled me to the dinner table sooner than him. And I know when he is hungry he'll eat. I don't have to keep going on about it or worse, spoon-feed him. Believe me, I've seen that happen. So what's wrong with that? Many women in the situation, I think want to make sure that they are a stellar wife. While it's easy to understand that urge, it does affect you finally. How? It makes your husband depend on you too much, makes him unwilling to do anything unless exclusively requested or told and anything that remains undone will turn out to be your fault because you did do it sometime in the past. And then throw-in the baby-talk and you have a muddle here. Yes, we all have pet nicknames for the 'significant other'. But does it really have to go- 'Does my honey-bunny need a huggie-buggie?' or something? Sorry if that sounded weird.

I guess it's time for wives to realize that they can be stellar in their "wifely" duties without going overboard. Being attentive is an entirely different thing than being nagging. They can be compassionate without being smothering. And if they are too much 'in-love' to notice it, maybe the husband who no doubt enjoys all the attention for a while should snap out of it and point it out. Think of it this way. As a wife, Mothering may just be smothering.

12 comments:

Sachin said...

Related question - do u, or girls in general, want their husband to be like their dads?

The reason for asking this is, maybe guys look for their moms in their wives which might be a reason for girls to unknowingly take up that role...

Jaya said...

Sachin -> I read in BBC that it was subconscious and most women in some way or the other chooses someone with characteristics/qualities vaguely like their dads, eg. spirit of generosity, etc. I mean, having qualities like kindness to people/animals, etc can be something that you can look for unknowingly and take a liking to it... but being "mothered" is a step further, I would think. Don't you agree?

Gandalf said...

Interesting perception. I'm not married myself, so I find it hard to comment. But I don't think a lot of guys are going to complain if their wives mollycoddle them. Being a guy myself, I don't think I'll spot the difference right away. But incidentally, i think I read something about this on msn or something once and they said the same thing - how it was important to show a wifely love as opposed to a motherly view. So you're probably dead on. Nice post. A bit different from your usual ones.

Jaya said...

Gandalf -> I guess from a guy's perspective... why complain if things are going your way... but I believe that in the long run it may lead to trouble. I think I saw that article on MSN too sometime last year. However, please keep visiting.

Anonymous said...

Aren't you jealous of the next girl on the street who loves your husband as much as you do? He He.

-RATS

Jaya said...

Rats -> Corrected my error :D

Sangeetha said...

I totally agree with you Jay.. I guess that's why a lot of guys are scared to take that plunge fearing nagging...hopefully that opinion changes soon enough

deepanddeep.com said...

Looking for "mom" in a "wife" doesn't necessarily have to do with "Does my honey-bunny need a huggie-buggie?". It could be a positive impact mom had on her boy. (Although I am not a true believer myself in the looking for "mom" in a "wife" deal!). But one thing I noticed, ever since we had a baby, I see a lot of my "mom" in my "wife" and it has got nothing to do with "pet nicknames" or "babying".

Good Post!

:deepak:

Vidhya said...

I agree J..The mothering women totally make me feel incompetent sometimes (like I don't love my husband enuf). They take care of every need before it arises.. But I always end up at the same conclusion..If I became mothering it would be a charade that would last for exactly a day and then it would be tiring (for me). Its hard enuf taking care of all of my needs and to add another person's 100% needs to that :P
And frankly wasn't marriage supposed to be an effort on both sides..

Sangeetha to your point of commitment phobia due to nagging, women shud probably try the route of treating men like they treat u (eye for an eye I say).

Jaya said...

Sang-> Well, for every guy that doesn't commit, there are 5 who probably do. And I agree with Vidhya on that one.

Deepak -> That's what I said in reply to Sachin's post. Looking for qualities is a different thing from wanting the exact same 'treatment'. Yeah you probably see 'a mom' in your wife and maybe not necessarily 'your mom'. I meant it more in terms of not making your wife act like your mom to you. With a baby, every wife becomes the mom in her wholesomely. Thanks for the comment n keep visiting.

Vidhya -> That's what I meant... the effort to become a 'stellar wife' leads to all of this in the end. Thanks for the point of view... and duh, keep visiting :)

Sandhya said...

Vidhya, I think in our generation just being able to go to work come back,cook a nice meal for our hubbys and be there for them make us stellar wives. For the ones that do the mothering ,all of it comes to an end or slows down once the kids come along anyway. So why do it in the first place.

Sang, I think for the guys that don't want to commit the biggest thing they fear is change. But its a big change for women too. We are just ready for it sooner I think. Eventually all the guys realize they want it. It just takes some longer.

Jaya said...

Sandy -> Agree with all that u said. Thanks for the comment. Keep visiting of course :)

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