Right now now I am reading the second part, "Good Wives." There is so much wisdom in it, so many godly principles. How I wish I could be a wise mother like Marmee.
I wanted to share a section of the book that I really loved today. Meg is caught up in her babies, worn out, stressed and neglecting her husband so much so that he is lonely. Here is the part I liked from the book:
Meg complaining to Marmee:
He's away all day, and at night, when I want to see him, he is continually going over the the Scott's. It isn't fair that I should have the hardest work, and never any amusements. Men are very selfish, even the best of them.
So are women; don't blame John till you see where you are wrong yourself.
But it can't be right for him to neglect me.
Don't you neglect him?
Why, mother, I thought you'd take my part!
So I do, as far as sympathizing goes; but I think the fault is yours, Meg.
I don't see how.
Let me show you. Did John ever neglect you, as you call it, while you made it a point to give him your society of an evening, his only leisure time?
No; but I can't do it now, with two babies to tend.
I think you could, dear; and I think you ought. . . .You have made the mistake that most young wives make- forgotten your duty to your husband in your love for your children. A very natural and forgivable mistake, Meg, but one that had better be remedied before you take to different ways; for children should draw you nearer than ever, not separate you, as if they were all yours, and John had nothing to do but support them. I have seen it for some weeks, but have not spoken, feeling sure it would come right in time.
I'm afraid it won't. If I ask him to stay, he'll think I'm jealous; and I wouldn't insult him by such an idea. He doesn't see that I want him, and I don't know how to tell him without words.
Make it so pleasant he won't want to go away. My dear, he's longing for his little home but it isn't home without you, and you are always in the nursery.
Oughtn't I be there?
Not all the time; too much confinement makes you nervous, and then you are unfitted for everything. Besides, you owe something to John as well as to the babies; don't neglect your husband for children, don't shut him out of the nursery, but teach him how to help in it. His place is there as well as yours, and the children need him; let him feel that he has his part to do, and he will do it gladly and faithfully, and it will be better for you all.. . Go out more; keep cheerful as well as busy, for you are the sunshine-maker of the family, and if you get dismal there is no fair weather. . . . Don't let John be a stranger to the babies, for they will do more to keep him safe and happy in this world of trial and temptation than anything else, and through them you will learn to know and love one another as you should.
I think it is easier with the second child to trust responsibilities to ones husband, but this is a wonderful reminder to keep ones priorities in a marriage, and to get out and keep cheerful so that I can be the "sunshine-maker" in my family.
I just love this book! Good Wives by Louisa May Alcott