The mom is overwhelmed by the chaos in her kitchen and the screaming between siblings upstairs. Her laptop sneers at her from the table, full of unanswered emails and overdue work. As a wave of panic tightens in her throat she grabs her phone and sends a quick text. Moments later a reply dings back. A grateful smile lights up her face as she reads it, and she laughs out loud.
You want the truth about your Sister Wives? I think you can handle it.
You may be thinking that this blog does not apply to you because you are not a polygamist, and therefore do not have Sister Wives. Trust me when I say that the polygamy thing is just a teeny-tiny detail that does not even matter all that much, and truly does not impact your Sister Wife status. In fact, among this type of Sister Wife all husbands are understood to be The Husband. He is appreciated for his many remarkable qualities, and simultaneously grudgingly tolerated for all of his exasperating qualities, both of which are assumed to be an unavoidable byproduct of marriage.
But Sister Wives are not all up in your marital situation. That is your own private deal; this is about a community of caring. Sister Wives are those women that share the journey of your life with you. They know all about you and they love you anyway. They love your kids. They love your husband (but not like that.) They love anything that makes you happy.
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No job is too big or too small for a Sister Wife. And as we all know, sometimes it is the little things that mean the most.
Perhaps I am reminded of my Sister Wives because my youngest is turning eleven today. And when we talk about his “birth story,” it always features a Sister Wife.
On that fateful Friday all those years ago, I see my OB for my weekly appointment. After checking me out she tells me she does not think I will make it to my due date the following Tuesday. I am overjoyed.
This is great news for a number of reasons. First, I am 9 months pregnant and huge and miserable. I have endured my last trimester during a Charlotte summer that has culminated with my toddler and me at the Greek Fest in 90-degree heat with 100% humidity. I. Am. Done.
Also, my firstborn was induced after I went well over my due date. This led to a long labor and two hours of pushing and a baby who still did not want to make an appearance. Moments away from a C-section, with the help of suction and forceps and a thunderstorm, he finally came into the world.
I was hoping for a little less drama this time around.
I share the update from my OB with my husband. He is excited – momentarily – but later tells me that after talking it over with some other MDs that he isn’t convinced that my physical changes really signal anything significant. I believe the quote was, “So-and-so says that your symptoms only mean that you will have the baby sometime in the next month.”
It all sounds perfectly reasonable. I am crushed.
I call a Sister Wife. I tell her about my appointment. She about busts through the phone with enthusiasm.
“Oh my gosh, that is AWESOME! Are you so excited? This is it! I just know it!”
“Well, maybe it doesn’t really mean anything,” I say miserably.
“Are you kidding me? Of course it does! Girl, get ready . . . you are having that baby . . . TONIGHT!”
Those words lifted my spirits. They fed my anticipation as I began to feel a little discomfort, a tightness across my belly. Later when we tucked my toddler son into bed, my husband began talking about all of the things we would do the next day, a Saturday, the weekend! He was not on the baby train yet. After each sentence, I would interject “unless the baby comes,” reminding my son that his grandmother would be here if that were to occur.
Before long it became very clear that this really was going to happen . . . TONIGHT . . . just as my Sister Wife declared.
When we were at the hospital a few hours later it was exhilarating and scary and a miracle, like it is every single time – and I only wanted My Husband there with me as we welcomed my son into the world. But those earlier hours of worry and stress and excitement were part of this birth experience, and I am thankful for the blessing of my Sister Wife who ensured that I was not alone for any part of my labor and delivery journey.
You may not be married to your closest female friends, but the truth is a relationship doesn’t have to be consummated by sex or affirmed by sacred vows to embody a lifelong story of love.
Want to get a better handle on being a Sister Wife? Read this affirming essay about best friends from The Huffington Post, discover Prevention’s evidence that friendships can make you healthier, and jam to this friendship anthem courtesy of The Beatles.