Unconformed Motherhood

May 12, 2013

Who wasn’t raised with the idea that there are certain roles for each gender? Now, before you think I’ve gone off the deep end please note that I do believe there are certain roles that should not be given to the other. However, I fully believed that I was going to be an amazing housewife who could cook delicious meals that people would be asking the recipe for. When we were first married I was dead focused on making my own homemade salad dressing. My husband, God bless him, couldn’t understand why I was being so hard headed about this. I tried and I tried and I tried. Never got it. One of the first meals I attempted to cook for him was stir fry. That night my husband held me as I cried my apologies for destroying one of our wedding gifts. The recipe had told me to heat the wok over high and so I did. I had no idea that “high” on a stove really meant “inferno.”

Thirteen years later {and many tears} I’ve finally accepted that I can. not. cook. I have more Bob Vila in me than Donna Reed.

This past week my loving husband encouraged me to try something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. You see, I was raised by my grandparents and three uncles. My grandfather has had a workroom in the basement as long as I can remember. And I’ve seen all the amazing things he’s created and what my uncles have built. I would venture down there every once in a while and tinker around. My biggest accomplishment was making a pair of crutches {despite the fact I’ve never broken one bone in my body}. One of my favorite classes in school was woodworking in seventh grade. I loved when we were asked to create a blueprint of a house. But that’s where it ended. To me, that was a man’s gifting. A womans gifting was to cook, sew, do hair, know how to dress, etc. I can sew but I can’t cook, I am terrible when it comes to doing my daughters hair, my sister has to teach me what to wear {thank you, sister, for the hand me-ups}.

But dag gone it, I can build and I’m great with finances. Two things I thought were considered man giftings.

So I began building a table. I had seen it all over Pinterest and our family was getting bigger and we didn’t have three grand to drop on a new table. I knew it had the possibility of being a complete waste of money but I was thrilled that I had the support of my husband in finding a new hobby.

We went out and picked up all the wood and screws.

The next morning I began notching out the legs. Glue and screws. Saws and mallets. Levels and sanders. It was like being in my own toy store.

Halfway through building my oldest daughter asks me, “so is this going to be your new hobby?”

“I’m really having fun so, yeah, I think so.”

“That’s just so opposite of what I’ve read in my books…”

Thank you oh-so-much Laura Ingalls for convincing us that there is only one role for a mother. But this mother is going to step outside the comfort zones and do what I enjoy and what I know God has gifted me with. Creating. I need my husband to help me with my projects because, let’s face it, I’m not as strong as a man. I need him to lift what I can’t bear on my own.

This project has brought us closer together and has released him from my constant guilt trip of taking what should have been “my” talent. You see, my husband is an amazing cook. I mean, a-maz-ing. He’s the reason I can’t get rid of this baby weight. So after thirteen years of marriage I’m finally admitting that we don’t fit into the cookie cutter gender roles. No where in the Bible does it tell me that I have to be able to cook. Wasn’t Jacob a great cook? Good enough to take his brothers birthright, I’d say that’s pretty darn good. Take this as you will but Jael did save Yahweh’s people by using a hammer and peg. Yeah…I may have gone too far with that connection. I have no intentions of hurting anyone. But you get the point.

My daughters have already bought into the belief that we fit into certain molds. And you know what? We do. There are definitely some  things that are meant only for moms and some only for dads. There should be both a father and a mother in the household. Women should be soft spoken and men should be leaders. But when it comes to giftings…well, I won’t be stealing my husbands talents any more. Unless the Bible instructs me in one direction I will listen to the Holy Spirit on where He leads me. Rather than pushing Him aside and listening to the norm.

So if one daughter excels in knitting – great. If the other really loves hunting – great. If my boy is great at cooking, just like his pops – I’ll be thrilled. It seems this is the year of acceptance. I hope my children long to learn about everything Yahweh has created. As I know there is so much more to be explored.

By the way, for Mother’s Day I’m getting raw materials to build my own workbench. Take that Martha Stewart!



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