In a recent interview with Essence, LeBron James’s wife, Savannah, explained why she is a vital part of her husband’s success. “It’s a part of the role that I play as the mother of his kids and being his wife,” she said. “The balance that I create in our house is for his success.”
I appreciated Savannah’s transparency and her pride in her role as a stay-at-home mother. It’s a role that I have been trying to adjust to for some time, and it’s not always easy.
Long before I was married, I had a pretty good idea of how the relationship with my future husband would work. In a marriage, I envisioned that I would raise children while pursuing my lofty career goals. Why couldn’t I have it all? I never thought twice about how supportive my husband would be and would have to be in order to help me achieve my goals or even the sacrifices that both of us would have to make in order to run a successful household. And I definitely never thought about the sacrifices, especially regarding my career, that I would have to make. In order for him to succeed in his position, we would both have to give up important things.
For my husband to be prosperous in his career, he has to be willing to work in various positions within his company. What that means is, we have to relocate across state lines every few years. Of course, I knew about this prior to marrying him and was fine with it since my future entrepreneurial endeavors and freelance job hopes would allow me to make such transitions. However, things got real once we had kids.
When we first married, I had a traditional 9-to-5 job and made more money than I do now. About 10 months into our marriage, I found out I was pregnant while working a television production gig. These jobs normally last a few months and this production ended two months after we found out about my pregnancy. That left me unemployed about five months before our baby arrived. The timing was somewhat perfect as I was able to really focus on my freelance career while growing my business. Also, daycare is quite expensive, so it made sense for me to stay at home with our daughter for at least six months. I ended up staying at home much longer than I initially planned.
From the time our first-born daughter was three months old, I decided to stay at home and focus on being a freelance writer while working on different projects. The gigs don’t pay as much as my former full-time job, but it’s definitely been something. Plus, the flexibility has allowed me to better juggle my responsibilities.
Now that we have two small children under the age of two, my role as a mom has intensified along with my role as a wife. I never considered the idea of being a stay-at-home mom and still don’t truly consider myself one, but I do feel like my household duties are drastically different from the responsibilities of my husband, who actually goes to work every day and supports his family.
But sometimes I still struggle to accept my role in our family. While they will always be my first priority, I see that some of my career goals have been slightly delayed due to my decision to become a mother, and more so, the lack of income on my end. And choices I make create a domino effect: 1) Putting two kids in preschool or daycare would be really expensive so it still makes sense for the youngest to stay home; 2) A kid staying at home means most of my time is spent taking care of that child; 3) With my attention on said child, that means I have less time to work as aggressively as I need to in order to bring in more income.
And then there are chores around the home that can also get in the way. Even though my husband doesn’t mind doing them here and there, it doesn’t make sense for him to come home and fold clothes after a long day of work. I would rather have him help with one of the kids until their bedtime and then rest up for the next day of work, as he needs to be on his “A game.”
At the end of the day, my priorities have changed, and while I sometimes have the standard shoulda, coulda, woulda thoughts, I’m okay with that. I appreciate that my husband supports my endeavors, no matter how far off they may be from my initial plans. I want to continue to make sure that I play my part to ensure the well-being of him and our family, and if I have to make a few sacrifices along the way to make that happen, so be it.
Image via Shutterstock
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