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When Being A Wife and Mom Conflict

I have always wanted to be a good wife and a good mom. At some points in my life, I only wanted to be a good wife and a good mom. For me, there is no achievement greater than a happy, healthy family. The saying goes “happy wife, happy life,” and “when mom is happy, everyone is happy.” Nothing gives me greater happiness than smiles, laughs, and hugs from my husband and children.

Obviously, not every moment in life will be happy. One of my favorite movies, Inside Out, explains the purpose and the need for sadness. So we know those days will come. As moms—the boo boo kissers, righters of wrongs, fixers of problems—we expect to be able to handle the not-so-happy days with little problem.  And even though we may not always need it (or want it), a little help from Dad can make it all better.

The times when being wife and mom conflict are unexpected

But then there are the kind of bad days when the need to be a wife and a mom conflict as competing priorities. Those are the days when your mettle is tested emotionally, mentally, and physically. You feel inadequate in your ability to meet everyone’s needs. Surviving those days takes a whole lotta faith and (sometimes) a little wine. I have faced a few of those days and I hope to never have to face any like them again.

The last week of July/first week of August is always a busy time in our family. The pinnacle of the track season for Alexandra, the beginning of the school year for Olivia, and summer conferences and conventions for Jack and Jill almost always collide on our schedule. This summer of 2016 was no different. So we made an elaborate plan for travel, hotel and lodging accommodations, and most importantly Harold’s aunt and grandfather came to stay with Olivia at home, while we traveled with Alexandra.

You can’t prepare for moments being wife and mom conflict

We were very focused on preparing Alexandra to compete in the AAU Junior Olympics. She hadn’t competed at the level she wanted, nor the level we knew she could. And running in the heat and humidity of Houston is nothing like running in the midwest. Coach Daddy was laser-focused and locked in on her diet, her daily schedule, her warm-up routine, and even her clothes.  So when he got a call 30 minutes prior to a qualifying race that his grandfather had suffered a massive heart attack and did not survive, my world went into a tailspin.

Who can get Olivia out of the house?
How will he keep it together to get Alexandra warmed up?
If he collapses in grief will I be able to get him up by myself? Without alerting Alexandra?
How do I keep him from collapsing?
Do I tell Alexandra? When? Do I let him tell her? Will he want to tell her?
How will she respond if/when she sees Daddy crying?
Did Olivia see what happened?
How will she respond to seeing great-grandpa removed from the house in a body bag?
When are we going to talk about it?
How do we do that without telling Alexandra?

How to respond when being wife and mom conflict

In those moments over the next few days, I had to lean very heavily upon the support of trusted friends back home. Alexandra advanced in that race, which meant we had two more days to stay in Houston. I felt helpless not being home with Olivia, not being able to provide Harold the comfort he desperately needed, trying to put on a brave face for Alexandra, and weighing each of those needs against the other.

I can’t possibly predict every scenario that may occur in your life, or in mine for that matter. But I do know that those moments, when being a wife and mom conflict, will be stressful. The following strategies may help you to better cope with the stress and inevitability of not being able to be everything to everyone.

Take a deep breath.

This can be the most patronizing thing to hear when you’re under pressure, but it really does help. The theory of emotional intelligence confirms that forcing oxygen to the brain will slow adrenaline and give you time to make a clear-minded decision.

Get by with a little help from your friends.

I would never have made it through the 48 hours immediately after receiving the news without relying upon my trusted network of friends and family. Everything from caring for my child to picking up my mother-in-love from the airport was handled by people whom I trust because I was unable to do it. Get some help.

Give yourself some grace.

It’s already stressful enough without you adding the hardship of self-induced pressure. Do everything you can to meet your family’s individual and collective needs. And accept that the needs you can’t meet are not for lack of trying. Do what you can, and do it well.

How will you get through the next time being wife and mom conflict in your life? 

18 Replies to “When Being A Wife and Mom Conflict”

  1. Lol if I ever found out my mom was blogging about our life online for strangers to read, I’d never speak to her again. You social media moms are wild and its weird y’all’s whole social identity is your kids/family’s privacy.

  2. Oh wow, that was a great story you shared along with your point. I will have to remember these tips for when I get married and start a family.

  3. Wow I never thought of the conflict that might happen between being a mother and a wife. Great info i will try to remember when I get those roles one day

  4. Sis! This is such a great reminder for us moms and wives. Like you said, we must give ourselves grace and then rely on the help of others.

  5. I can’t even imagine what that must have been like. A lot of real time decisions have to be made in a flash. It’s always a blessing to have a supportive system surrounding you though.

  6. Asking for help is the best and hardest thing to do. One of my friends is helping us with our son tonight so my husband can join me at an event. We also just need some adult time without the boy.

  7. Take a deep breath. One of my favorite things to do when you need to step back and think. It is hard being mom and wife too.

  8. I seem to have more and more of these moments as the years go by. You are so right about the importance of having a trusted network of friends to depend on. That makes such a big difference!

  9. I agree that you should always give yourself grace in the situations and realize that you just simply can’t do it all! I always take a deep breath and just get it done!

  10. These are all very good tips. It can be hard to deal with so many things at one time Finding the right time to tell kids about serious things can be an issue. I think your tips work well – I especially like the one about the wine!

  11. Too many times others try to make an event about themselves, rather than who it really affects. Great suggestion on take a breath and focus!

  12. I can so relate, I’m thankful for great friends to help. They help when I refuse to accept their help but know I really need it. Sometimes I just need them to keep me sane while I deal with it all. I’m trying to learn that I can’t be everywhere and do everything. But I can out-source to get the desired outcome.

  13. It’s great that you had a support system among your friends who could help. This is definitely a reminder that we need each other and we can’t or shouldn’t act as if we were an island.

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