This is a photo of my wife Lindsey taken 10 years ago in Twin Falls, Idaho. She has her hands full. At my request, she wasn’t thrilled with the idea of a family photo while driving back home. But she’s holding it together, juggling the kids, smiling for the camera.
The next month, she would unknowingly become pregnant with our fifth child. Surprise!
I love this photo. It perfectly captures the chaotic, selfless, and devoted life of not only my own wife, but mothers in general.
Truth be told, I wouldn’t be where I am today without my wife. I don’t mean that in a vague, feel-good type way. I literally mean I wouldn’t be the full-time writer I am today without my wife. Let me explain.
Lindsey and I were married the summer before my final semester at BYU. We’re Mormon, which means we got married in our early twenties, a full 10 years before the average American. She worked full-time as an office manager so I could finish school.
After graduating, I decided to go into business for myself, first as a web consultant (which is what I did as a student), and shortly thereafter as a freelance writer. Lindsey continued working for two more years while I built my portfolio.
For the first year after graduating, I could only afford to pay myself $800 a month—a far cry from what we needed to live. Lindsey made up the difference. If it weren’t for her, I would have been forced to accept employment to support myself.
Sure, I might have started writing on nights and weekends like other entrepreneurs sometimes do. But I doubt it. I’m pretty lazy when nightfall hits.
In other words, I might not have found my calling as a writer had it not been for my self-sacrificing wife. She financially, emotionally, and homely supported me for the first three years of my married and entrepreneur life, until I could afford to support our little family with my own two hands. Like many wives and mothers, she gifted me a career-giving runway.
Of course, I can go back even further. I wouldn’t be where I am today without my own mother, grandmothers, and all of their mothers—all the way back to Eve (or whoever you believe the first mother was).
Moral of the story: I’m am grateful for the many selfless and nurturing women who usually work behind the scenes without seeking credit to make the world go round. While many men fight over who should get the credit, the answer actually lies in between the lines. For that, I’m forever indebted to my wife and own mother.
Yes, men have played an important and contributing role in the symbiotic history of humans. But everyone knows that women have played an even greater role. Behind every great man is a greater woman.
Happy Mother’s Day.