I admit, when I was younger I aspired to be like certain famous women. Brave like Amelia Earhart, intelligent like Marie Curie, possessing outright gumption like Queen Elizabeth. As I grew older, I tried not eating, exercising and eating less, makeup (oh lord the teenage makeup), drinking copious amounts of liquor…. to become someone loveable. The problem was, I was looking for love and acceptance in everyone else.
It took some work, but now I love me for me. Sure I get frustrated with my flaws sometimes but overall, I am good with myself.
I met a wonderful man. He was sweet and kind. He was way more fastidious than I, loving, stable, giving, a little oblivious to social niceties, stubborn, and just different. For 7 years I dated him. Two or three of those we lived with other people. When we moved in together, just us, I noticed he was sloppy and more careless than he had been previously. He tried however to keep up with things, share the burden.
Then we married and had a son.
It was like a switch flipped in his brain. Suddenly, housework became “What women do.”
Suddenly, a wedding band and growing offspring changed the dynamic. I was officially a woman, a mother.
Apparently his mother?
Except, his mother wasn’t this perfect 1950s housewife. She had a job, she assigned chores and from what I’ve physically seen, his dad helps around the house without being asked. So where is this mentality of, I get to sit on my arse while my wife has a full-time job, cleans the whole house, watches the baby, cooks and does laundry come from? Why did we suddenly lose our equality?
It wasn’t our vows. There was no “obey,” involved.
It wasn’t me telling him to chill out I’ve got this. I’ve got NOTHING.
So where did this come from?!
I asked around, wife to wife, buddy to buddy and it’s freaking everywhere.
Husbands are comparing their wives not to their mothers or even grandmothers but to these women that don’t exist.
He’s under the spell of the social media mom. He sees these women online everyday. Some of these women he grew up and went to school with. They have perfectly clean homes, enriching lessons after school for their kids, work 8AM to 5PM jobs, cook dinners that always taste fabulous in the crock pot, look like bombshells and still have time for their husbands who tinker in the shed and mow the lawn. I mean sounds amazing, I would love to live with her too.
EXCEPT SHE ISN’T REAL.
Okay, she’s real. However, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and so on, don’t show the whole story. They don’t. These platforms show what we want people to see.
I do it too. Trust me, I am also guilty as charged!! Look at CDubs painting, at the park, out to the museum! Look at my perfect tree and la de dah. Do you want to see my living room? Here!
Toys everywhere, cups of soda, opened mail, my coffee table is a place to store clothes, unopened bags of cheesy puffs, purses and bras! What am I doing? Playing the first video game I’ve played in a week! I should be enjoying it. But I can’t.
Being a social media mom surrounded by perfect photos of homes, has me feeling guilty. I should clean up. I would never Instagram that. Why can’t I be like them?
But maybe I should be like them.
Why do we have to be so perfect?
Everyone says, you can clean it later make memories instead.
BULLSHIT. I’m judging, you’re judging we’ve been taught to judge! Why do we do this?
Women are paid less, thought of as the weaker sex and yet, we are working full-time, keeping house, cooking, shopping, raising kids and are supposed to have actual goals outside of job, family, and friends.
It’s really rather overwhelming. My goal is to go to bed before midnight and wash clothes tomorrow. Book? What book? How do I have any energy left to write a book?
My husband helpfully points out I have time during the summer months. I guess around watching our son full-time and planning for school.
What Women do? Women are placed on this impossible pillar where they are expected to juggle everything and not fall. What Women do is somehow keep everything running when it’s supposed to be an equal partnership. What women do is superhuman and not appreciated enough. What women do is not support one another enough.
I still think you’re amazing no matter what your house looks like. If your makeup isn’t always on fleek, I’m still gonna follow you because girl, I’m there.
Continue to share your triumphs on social media, but don’t be afraid to share your failures. You are a real woman. I know that.
But they (men) don’t seem to. Let them in on the fact that we are women, and human. No we don’t enjoy housework more, no we aren’t wired to be kind, no we don’t become excited over working all day, doing all the chores so you can sit on the couch and watch sports or play video games!
We’ve come so far with equality, but there are these silly thing men still think. They still hold fast to those gender roles of the Brady era!
And while we’re changing men’s minds, let’s change other women’s. You don’t know the reason why my living room is a mess. It’s a mess because I’ve worked till 5 every day this week, come home and actually cleaned up some, made dinner, played, and fought with my toddler on bedtime, taking baths, etc. when he’s in bed, my husband is on the video games. I’m exhausted, he hasn’t cleared off the table, saved anything in the fridge, rinsed any dishes, loaded the dishwasher, or done laundry. I look at it all and try for 30 minutes and I’m falling asleep. I am overwhelmed!
But if I posted a pic of my kitchen, I bet I would receive comments on how I am nasty, bad wife or mother, and unfortunately, a lot of those comments would be from women.
You’re telling me no one in the world but me has these problems?
If you don’t, instead of tearing down and perpetuating the idea women must be x,y and z or they aren’t good enough, offer help. Suggest storage ideas, articles on time management, leave a comment like “kids are rough,” or that you “understand being busy.” But don’t tear someone down. That achieves nothing.
And my husband? He’ll still see perfect social media moms. But I’m going to try to clean this damn house. And support women, mothers, mavens of amazingness and be as positive and not judgmental as possible cause we all deserve better! And maybe someday I’ll be a perfect social media mom but hopefully I’ll remember this:
And remember it wasn’t always so grand at the G’s. Until then, let’s be kind. Let’s support, let’s be human and full of faults.
And I want your secrets, your house looks amazing.