The day I learned I suck at serving people
The day I learned I suck at serving people.
You know how sometimes you think you are good at something but then your 4 month long husband helps you realize you suck at it? He didn’t intentionally help me realize this, he just put me in a position with expectations that I wasn’t willing to fulfill. They weren’t weird expectations either, I just have issues. Surprise.
Rewind. Back story: At the end of May, Tripp and I moved from Atlanta, GA to LA. We both work from home. The same, small, no AC, home. We went from not being married 4 months ago to living together in a city where we have no friends and we both work from home together. (I just threw up in my mouth a little.) So, as you might guess, this brings up some stuff everything possible.
Actually, it’s more awesome than I am making it sound. Tripp is a great person to be around all day long. I never know what to expect and he is always working on something more interesting than me. But for the sake of the story, stick with the most dramatic version.
So, ok. I like working. Having a job makes me feel significant. Creating things and selling paintings makes me feel significant. Having ideas makes me feel so significant. Fixing a sandwich and serving it to my husband makes me feel (don’t say it Hannah, don’t say it, here comes controversy…) insignificant.
There I said it.
Let me explain. I like making food for Tripp because it makes him happy, but if I’m honest, there is a voice in my head each time I do it that says
“You are worth more than this. You are not his slave. He’s going to start expecting this all the time. Who are you becoming? You make money too. You are weak. You are less.”
Weird, right? I am his wife. I should LOVE serving him. I want to be the kind of person that wants to serve people. Tripp walks to Starbucks and gets me coffee every morning. He hangs things on the wall when I need him to (even though they are usually crooked and sometimes fall off.) He is more tender (I don’t like the word tenderer) with me than I am with him and he is more willing to serve me than I am willing to serve him.
What the Hell is wrong with me?
This is not the wife I thought I would be and I haven’t even had much time to screw it up. Now is when I WANT to blame culture. But I can’t. Unfortunately, this is MY fault. This is something deep in ME and I am responsible for fixing it.
Where is this coming from? Insert less dramatic story so Tripp’s friends still like me – also note that this all happened one week after I told social media world that we have an open door policy.
Well, this morning Tripp told me two of his friends were coming to stay with us for a few days.
No big deal.
So I immediately started to plan my escape route.
I made myself needed in Atlanta for those days so I could leave and let the guys have their guy time. Sounds selfless right? What I was really doing was getting out of any responsibility to host guys that would be staying at my house. (gosh, that is so embarrassing when I say it out loud.)
Trust me, I have GREAT reasons.
We only have one bathroom
I can’t cook
I have tons of work to do
It will be more fun without me
I like to walk around in my underwear with no makeup on
I will be left out anyway.
If you have ever been in a debate with me, you know that I can reason my way through ANYTHING. Well bummer for me that reasons don’t equal right.
Tripp had an expectation that I would contribute to taking care of his friends when they were at our home. I had voices in my head telling me that made me less of a person. Literally, the first thing that popped in my head was Cinderella. Dramatic much?
I’m still sorting through why I feel this way.
I know that Christian culture’s expectations of women’s roles has always been a place of tension for me. I also know that my friends who are stay at home moms and also take on the role of cooking dinner and cleaning the house are some of my biggest heroes. It’s actually what I feel the most incapable of.
I’m finding answers in my pride and insecurity. Funny how those two affect each other.
I’m so scared of wife “duties” becoming my identity that instead I let my identity be defined by being the kind of person that thinks she is “too good” for those things.
I know that a Godly person would jump on an opportunity to serve people. Especially their spouse’s friends.
I know that someone who is “too good” to serve people is living a life without meaning.
I know that at the end of the day my identity cannot be defined by any of this.
I know that I have to figure this out and deal with the deeper issues in me so that I can be a more Godly person. I don’t think there is a formula to follow and I am 99.93% confident this balance of roles looks different for everyone.
I am also confident that serving/hosting my husband and his friends sometimes will make me a better and happier person, not less of one. So here’s to shaking the pride, insecurity, and attitude and eye rolls that keep me from experiencing the best life.