For the past week, my family was visiting my parents house. It was wonderful. My parents love to spend time with all of us and they go above and beyond with my kids. The soak up as much time with them as they can and my kids can’t get enough of being there. What’s more, Maritus and I love to visit just as much. Being there is like taking a break from the world for us. We shoot, we drink, we sit, we talk, we laugh (a whole lot) and then we do it all again.
As we were packing to head home yesterday, Maritus asked me how I was doing and if I was sad. I was. I always am when we leave there, sometimes near tears. While he loves it, he is always ready to head home while I could stay for another week. It’s not that he is tired of being around my family, it’s simply time to go home. This got me thinking about another of the big differences between men and women. Growing up, Maritus was always told that a man leaves his family when he marries and joins the woman’s. I have seen this happen with many other couples as well. The man marries and as a couple they will generally spend much more time with the woman’s family. The woman will feel the loss of her mother and father much more keenly than the man (I know this is not always the case, but I think it is more the norm) and she will strive to maintain those ties. For a man, he will meet his duty to his mother and father and he will love them, but the connection is much different. He has his own family now to care for and his priorities have changed. Women, I think, have a far more difficult with this shift in priorities (I know I struggled with this at the beginning of my marriage).
For so many women, our lives revolve around our families. First our mothers and fathers (and siblings, though I think to a lesser extent) and then to our husbands and children. Even though we are being told practically from birth that we can have a career, a family, our own lives outside all of this, it’s not really what we are wired for. It’s not how we were made. Our focus is our families, even when we try to make it something else. This all makes me wonder about so many women these days who have children, who don’t need to work, but do anyway. I have been told countless times by other mothers that they could never have the patience to stay home with their children. I understand that they don’t have to in today’s culture, but I always wonder, do they regret it when they get older? Do they feel as if something is missing? I have watched as these women strive to spend time with their mothers and fathers as most women do, but they do not feel as if they need to spend a lot of time with their kids. Have women changed so much that this need to foster and care for a family is somehow being stamped out or have women gotten so good at ignoring this that they realize something is not quite right and are simply not able to figure out what went wrong? I believe it is the latter. I also believe that women are (ever so slowly) beginning to see their way back to caring for their own. It seems to be a slow process, but more women are turning their focus back to their families and I believe it will continue to grow.