Considering where we’re at in America (the world too) today, I felt moved to put this post from 2010 out again. I’m still learning…
I’ve been thinking lately about what we value and what we don’t. This is important because our values do define our lives.
For example, if your career is what you value most, then everything (I mean everything) will be second to that. I’m not writing to judge, just stating a reality. It’s ironic how little values are considered in our current age.
The above brings me to why men (significant numbers) don’t value their women. I know this post might generate some scathing comments, but I speak as a recovering jerk in the area of valuing my wife and her motherhood.
I worked, as many readers/subscribers know, in corporate America for many years. The majority of that was at a senior level. And yes, I drank the kool-aid, participated in the rah, rah sessions and terminated the employment of people who were deemed disposable. I was paid well and thought (at times) my path was only going to get better.
During this time my wife gave up her career to raise our two children. This decision was mutually agreed upon. The idea of her being the primary care-giver seemed like the right thing to do. To this day, I would say our children are the better for this decision.
But along the way I began to see our roles as separate and equal. She took care of things at home and I took care of things career related. There were times when we’d share the burdens, but I thought little about her struggles and work load. After all, I saw it as her role/job. The “taking things for granted” process settled in.
Many times she would call me at the office to vent or seek affirmation. I gave her words, but not my heart. Life went on, money was made and security (perceived) became the normal. We lived this way for almost ten years, and then things changed. My wife went back to work and corporate America said goodbye to me. I became a man who did many different things (author, consultant and stay-at-home dad). All of sudden the world looked strange. For example, work on the book manuscript and make sure my son got to preschool. Ironically, after about six months, I found myself longing for affirmation and encouragement from my wife for all of my hard work at home. I felt like a man exposed by his ghosts.
I don’t claim that my experiences are unique or more important than other men. But here are the reasons why many men don’t value their wives or motherhood:
- As men we are taught early on that money makes the world go round and you’d better work hard to get it. Therefore, making money becomes part of our root system. Like a tenacious weed.
- We assign roles without understanding or caring. I made so many assumptions without taking the time to understand my wife’s greatest needs.
- We’re too busy (cop-out) to give the attention where it’s needed. We decide that our wives are fine in our mind, and then we just move on.
- We don’t evaluate the magnitude of motherhood. We don’t consider what our wives went through to carry and birth a child, let alone be the primary caregiver.
- Being a wife and mother doesn’t, in form, produce money. Assigning value becomes tough and we just take it for granted. If wives and mothers started being paid for what they deal with, we’d probably stand-up and take notice. But it would be too late to applaud then.
The Eric that walked the halls of corporate America is dead. The post-corporate America Eric is learning how to live and has been given a chance to be remade. It’s very difficult to live differently. But I have found a life worth living-Epic if I may so.