Let's face it, life is going to bring us roses and thorns regardless of what profession our husband may be involved in. Let's take a look at some of these work-related implications for wives.
1. A doctor's wife
Positive: Discount or free medical care
Negative: Lonely nights and interrupted meals
2. A farmer's wife
Positive: Wholesome country living
Negative: Long work hours involving home, field, and garden
3. A missionary wife
Positive: Long-distance separation from troublesome relatives
Negative: Called to work in other cultures than where you were trained
4. A minister's wife
Positive: Lots of opportunities for social interaction
Negatiive: Early sainthood expected and proficiency required in spur-of-the-moment quantity cooking
The positives and negatives of administrative life
An administrator's wife's life also carries with it undeniable advantages. These include prestige, opportunities for travel, involvement in momentous events, and opportunities to meet important and interesting people.
On the other hand, disadvantages include finding herself alone frequently while her husband is involved in committees and appointments that keep him constantly traveling.
There will be many occasions when she may not know very much about what he is doing or the problems with which he is involved.
Because of his leadership role, he may have to terminate or discipline other workers which results in unpleasantness. Often anger is expressed in various derogatory ways against administrators and their families by people who have been disappointed or disciplined.
The administrative wife may feel isolated when others hesitate to become closely associated with her for fear of being accused of "buttering up the boss."
She may even begin to wonder who she is and where she fits into life in general.
Reactions to role demands vary
There are a variety of ways to handle the pressures and stresses of being an administrator's wife. Some women withdraw and cloister themselves away in their homes refusing to become involved in community and church programs for various reasons including:
—fear of being hurt by gossip and remarks, or
—because of feelings of inadequacy and shyness.
Others bide their time, just waiting until their husband's term of office is over and they can once more lead a "normal" life.
Then there are those women who seem to actually flourish during their husband's administrative careers. Whether they are directly involved in his work or not, these women get involved in life in general and often grow professionally, personally, and spiritually. They are interesting people in themselves and are genuinely happy with their lot in life.
How do they do it? What strategies do they use that others don't seem to know about?
Following are seven secret weapons which most women can use to enhance their enjoyment of life, regardless of role pressures, and to help find fulfillment and joy.
1. Find a quiet corner.
True peace and contentment has its roots in heavenly resources. When we take our problems, concerns, worries, and perplexities to Jesus, He will carry them for us and in turn fill us with peace and hope. We can always turn to Him especially when there seems to beno one else.
Make a special place in the home that will beckon and invite meditation and prayer. One woman told me how she made her quiet corner cozy and attractive by putting a desk next to a window that looked out through pretty curtains to her garden. On the desk, she had her favorite inspirational reading material, pictures, and special mementoes that reminded her of God's blessing in her life.
Another described an attractively decorated basket in which she kept her Bible, some inspiration books, a daily journal, etc. This basket was placed by a comfortable, favorite chair in the living room.
2. Establish a goal.
There is real satisfaction in accomplishment. Women who are constantly learning new skills, studying and working toward a goal have something to share and be enthusiastic about. This is a great method of improving one's self-confidence.
One delightful elderly woman told me how when she was first married she had a terrible time entertaining the large and frequent dinner parties that she and her army-officer husband were required to give. She was very shy and afraid of the dignitaries with whom they were required to associate. But she took this problem as a challenge and really worked to improve her skills.
To broaden her knowledge base, she began to keep up with the local and national news, found out what she could about her guests before they arrived in her home, and then made determined efforts to speak to everyone at social gatherings. It was terribly difficult at first with lots of embarrassing moments. But she kept at it and eventfully developed into a lovely, gracious hostess and a delightful conversationalist.
3. Develop a good friend.
A close girlfriend is really worth her weight in gold. What comfort there is to be found in being able to talk over problems and frustrations and to find support and companionship in one who can share our feminine points of view. Getting together for a visit, going shopping, or just sharing some time together is like a mini-vacation with all the benefits of helping us get on top of life's challenges once more.
4. Create attractive surroundings.
You don't have to live in a palace in order to have an attractive, comfortable house. Keeping the house clean, decorating it with inspiring colors and things that have meaning to us can be done economically. Even our places of work can be made attractive and inviting.
We tend to be happier and feel better about ourselves when our environment is inspiring and interesting.
5. Become interested in the needs of others.
Getting involved in helping people can be demonstrated in many ways. Some women enjoy helping out with church-related community outreach programs. Others become involved in special projects of their own, such as one woman who enjoys making clothing for a local orphanage and another works with a foster baby program. Still others open their homes and invite young people, the elderly, or those who need encouragement to come for fellowship and meals. There is something about helping others that is personally beneficial. Our own problems and worries seem to shrink in the light of the challenges that others face and the love we give often is returned in the most unexpected and interesting ways.
6. Make a time for yourself.
Whether you are worked to a frazzle or find a lack of things to fill the day, we all need time just for ourselves. Things we can do during this special time can include:
—Take stock of our wardrobe. Cull out what doesn't fit and give it away, mend what needs fixing, and organize the rest.
—Get a haircut or perm
—Give ourselves a manicure and pedicure
—Write a long overdue letter to a friend
—Begin reading an interesting book
—Try a new recipe
—Attend a community program
—Clean out the underwear drawer
—Engage in some form of exercise
These little boosts women give themselves are very helpful in contributing to their sense of well being and inner satisfaction.
7. Cultivate a sense of humor.
People heal faster, learn quicker, and cope better when humor is present. There are many things that can cause us to smile and laugh if we will take time to see them: kittens or puppies playing, interaction between small children, jokes and cartoons, the occasional mixed-up words of a public speaker, and, well, just the irony of life in general.
Watch for other useful weapons
Along the road of life's experiences, we will pick up other secrets of success. The important thing is to studiously avoid becoming bogged down in negatives. All of us have some good things going for us. Even in the most adverse circumstances there are unique opportunities and blessings. And overall there is one thing of which we can be most confident: along with God's calling to the responsibilities of administrator's wife (or to any role for that matter), He promises to be there with us all the way and to help us develop the inner resources required to ensure our happiness and success.