My husband knew what he was getting into before he asked me to marry him. Perhaps that’s why he took so long to decide. I am an unstoppable force. This I think is due to the fact that I was raised by a community of strong women who didn’t let anyone tell them no. From the moment I could legally drive a car my independence was established. I had my first job at 13 working in the cornfields in Michigan. 12 hours in the hot July sun for two weeks straight is the definition of hard work. I always questioned if it was worth it until my first paycheck arrived. I decided from that moment that I didn’t ever want to ask anyone for money again.
I have had a total of 13 job titles since working in the fields. I was addicted to independence like people are to the tingling sensation of alcohol. I remember when my husband, then fiancé, said that he would love for me to be a stay-at-home-mom and I was immediately taken back. Me? A stay-at-home-mom? I was really going to have to think about that one.
Not only was I surrounded by strong-single women my whole life; I was also adopted and raised by my grandmother. I witnessed her go through some life events that I wouldn’t wish upon even my worst enemies. She was a traditional yet 21st century woman. She let us explore our passions and rarely said “no” to new hobbies. Once she remarried I met a whole new side of her. She was an incredible wife and worked endlessly to please her husband. She would make comments like, “the house is a disaster, he will wonder what I did all day.” Or “clean up your mess, he will be home soon.”
Who cared what he thought? You helped us get to and from school, made us lunch, and fixed our school project– that’s what you did. I was so confused. Where was the unstoppable independent woman who showed the world that being a single grandma was her greatest strength?
My grandmother is an incredible wife. Me on the other hand, I fall short.
I am selfish, independent, hard working, and a pure dream-chaser. I remember the moment I had to introduce myself as Mekayla Eppers after we got home from our honeymoon and I felt like part of me died inside. I worked so hard to make a name for myself; 27 years to be exact. I rose above everyone’s expectations and put my stamp on history as Mekayla Diehl. No one is going to know who this Mekayla Eppers girl is. I thought I could maybe help the transition by calling myself Mekayla Diehl-Eppers even though it wasn’t legally filed that way. It crushed my husband’s heart when he called my voicemail and heard, “You’ve reached “Mekayla Diehl uhhh Eppers…” I quickly changed it.
Okay, so I’m not a terrible wife but some days it certainly feels that way. Especially to the traditional standard of being a housewife. I have decided that I am a modern-day wife. I have some amazing dreams and goals that I am not ready to give up on so that means I work late hours and I occasionally leave my creative messes behind. My house is not perfect and my kitchen isn’t always used. I have a never-ending pile of dirty laundry and another that needs pressed. I am sure I have some of you frustrated because the feminist in you is screaming, “who says you have to be the one to do all of that stuff?” Believe me, I felt that way at first, but I am okay with it now because I know that I am not a terrible wife…
I have an amazing husband.
I made it clear to my husband before we walked down the aisle that I wasn’t going to give up my dreams. We agreed that his opinion wasn’t better than mine and mine wasn’t better than his. We wanted to be a great team and each other’s best cheerleaders when being part of the team wasn’t an option. My husband goes to work every day at 6:30 am and gets home 12 hours later. He drives an hour and a half to and from work every day to provide the life we have. He rarely let’s the day’s drama effect our little life and he is always eager to hear how mine went.
My husband works hard so I have a shot at my dreams and that does not make me a bad wife. So I don’t mind doing the laundry in between conference calls. I don’t mind cleaning up our messes before I head to the office. I am okay with making home meals or having him pick up something on the away home. It’s the small price I pay to have a shot at my dreams. It’s my role in our teamwork and he completes me.
Just because I am a dream-chaser does not make me a bad wife. Chris and I make a great team and we know that being a good teammate is better than being the team captain.
You can follow Miss Indiana USA 2014, Mekayla Eppers, on Instagram at MissMekaylaFitness and SpilledMilkClub.