Over the years, especially since leaving the Amish, I have often heard people express their sympathy for Amish women. Those poor overworked, under appreciated, and "gasp" submissive creatures.
I'm not saying all Amish homes are blissfully happy places, but for the most part women are very happy to have their husband as the head of the home and treat him as such, with respect and honor. They don't feel that by doing so makes them of any less importance, in fact, wives and mother's are valued, cherished, and well cared for. The husband may be the head of the home, but the wife and mother is the heart of the home. Working together as such makes a beautiful team.
Two little sayings, "If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." and its close cousin, "Happy wife, happy life." meant something to us.
My mother, and later when I got married, viewed it as, since we are considered the heart of the home our moods will affect the entire family. If I stay happy, positive, and joyfully go about my life the family is a happy one. If I'm not happy it rubs off on everyone else and an entire day can be ruined with grouchiness.
It wasn't until after we had left the Amish that I realized not everyone views those two sayings the same. Someone mentioned that her husband had bought something for her that she wanted even though he didn't really think it was wise, and then quipped, "But you know, happy wife, happy life!"
It made me blink a little, up until then I hadn't thought of twisting that to make it sound as if my husband is responsible for keeping me happy in order to make his life happy.
I still choose to view those sayings as a motivation to stay cheerful even when not everything is looking like roses and sunshine, rather than using them as a threat to get what I want.