Good wives or good persons

I’ll probably never be a good wife.

In my family I have examples of women that are hard to match. They take care, they put others first, they’re able to love others no matter what, and in doing that they sacrifice for the good of their families and the ones they love. This is what a woman was supposed to be in the generation just before mine. I’ll probably never be a good wife in this sense.

I struggle on a daily bases, trying to figure out how to take care of others without forgetting to take care of myself. It’s so easy to forget to take care of ourselves. Personally I’ve done it for so many years that for long I didn’t know who I was. I took care of others until I completely lost the energy I needed for myself. I just recently started to love myself as I loved others, to take care of myself the same level I take care of others, to trust myself as or more than I trust others.

It’s probably a past of too much giving that made me fear giving away too much now. And now, to avoid that risk, I feel unable to give myself completely.

That put me on the edge of two generations: the generation of the women who gave too much and the generation who give too little. The generation just before mine is leaving us with a memory of sacrifice for the family, the generation ahed is giving me a dream of equal care for ourselves and others. I’d like to find my balance between these two historical moments, but history pops up in my daily life: sometimes I try and be like my mum and her generation, sometimes I want to break free from that vision.

Some say feminism brainwashed us all. I don’t know and we’ll never know. What I know for sure is that my generation lost its identity, and we’re still trying to build a new model of woman who’s able to love others as much as she loves herself, nothing less. A woman who’s a good wife because she’s ambitious and smart, not because she knows how to sacrifice. I know, for some of them it wasn’t a sacrifice. But for some of them it was. No one is technically asking women to sacrifice for the family, nowadays. But 30-something women like me have this internal voice that tells them everyday how they should sacrifice more. It’s an internal voice coming from a cultural heritage that is always there, at least for some women who are juggling between two identities.

I’ll never be a good wife as my mum and grandma had in mind. I compare myself to them sometimes, and I feel I’m not even close to them, not even half as good. The way they gave love unconditionally will always be an example for me, and I feel the pressure of the comparison sometimes, I feel I disappointed them. But unfortunately, I’m simply not like them.

So I know I’ll never be a good wife as my grandma and my mum have been, but maybe I can be a different kind of good woman, just by being a presence in the world who proves how women can be happy and bring happiness by loving others just as much as they love themselves, not more than themselves. Maybe instead of good wives we can simply try and be great and loving persons.


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