The Roles Women Are Defined By
And trust me, there’s no place in the world that wants to see us as more than just a wife or mother.
The first time I told my father I wanted to get married there was immediate rejection. He was angry and disappointed. The feeling of hopelessness glared so evidently on his face that I felt guilty of even bringing it up. He wanted me to focus on my education and career, first. He wanted me to be independent before stepping into a marriage. He’d repeatedly tell me how important it was for me to have an identity of my own — one that was not limited to only being a daughter or a wife or a mother. I remember him telling me that I must not see the world from the perspective of a man, but from my own perspective which will only develop once I venture out into the world. At that time, I didn’t understand why my father thought marriage will withhold me from all of this. Years later, I’ve come to understand that my father’s personal experience is what shaped his views. He has lived his entire life seeing women toss away their passions and skills for a life that is chosen for them by their families and/or society. And he wanted different for me.
My father wanted me to wake up every morning feeling accomplished but more than that feeling complete. And although he would tell me I could feel this sense of wholeness by being a wife and/or a mother he would tell me that one day I will wonder why I didn’t pursue my true passions. Why I didn’t try to become someone. I still wonder why in so many cultures, a man is given the liberty and encouragement to be so much more than just a son/husband/father. But a woman is only given the appreciation and recognition of only being a daughter/wife/mother.
The honest truth is, that before we get married we all have a passion. Many times, we bury that passion somewhere deep in the ground hoping that whatever blessing we have at the moment is enough. Most times, we don’t feel a lack of wholeness. But sometimes we do. And we wish we had made something of the skill or passion we were blessed with. I think all the years my dad spent trying to tell me that besides fulfilling the role of a wife and mother, there is something even more important; having a sense of personal identity.