Getting Real with Kira Hazledine
I still float around my birth board when I’m feeding my infant in the middle of the night and there’s nothing better to do, and I can’t help but peruse the posts where women are asking if men are all the same.
“My husband works long hours, goes out drinking with his buddies, and then comes home to sleep.”
“My significant other is fantastic with the kids, but he doesn’t do much around the house.”
All men are not the same. Sure, everyone needs a small kick in the ass sometimes to maintain a healthy relationship (which is why it’s so important to communicate your needs and continue to evolve as a couple). However, for whatever reason, there is some ingrained cultural expectation that the women at home should just handle it all. Men go to work.
If all your significant other does is go to work, they aren’t carrying their weight.
Going to work is not enough. Here’s a short list of all the things I’m taking care of while supposedly sitting on my ass having tea and biscuits as a stay-at-home-mom:
- Keeping the children alive.
- Bathing said children.
- Preparing meals.
- Daily chores and general upkeep so this place doesn’t look like a dumpster fire.
- Car maintenance.
- Grocery shopping.
- Bills and other financial to-dos.
- Anything to do with immigration and lawyers for my dual citizen children.
- Fostering long-distance relationships with HIS family.
- Providing a nurturing environment for our children by offering opportunities to socialize and develop.
- Try not to lose my damn mind at the 100th tantrum of the day.
- Pumping and storing breastmilk so I might be able to leave the house for more than an hour at a time.
And I’m absolutely certain this list is not exhaustive.
But yes, please tell me more about how tough your day at work was. Want to know the biggest difference between the two jobs?
One person gets to clock out.
The stay-at-home-mom role is 24/7. There are no breaks or paid lunches here. There are precious moments when both children are napping at the same time. There are hurried showers because the baby is crying and your toddler is demanding to have their butt wiped.
The sheer emotional and mental stress of what happens at home while someone is at work is profound.
So, no. Going to work is not enough.
And I do understand, my husband does a job that I could never do. Me and nights don’t get along, and long hours would break my mama heart. I would miss my babies, and I know my husband misses his family. But if for one second anyone thinks I’m Suzie Homemaker, welcoming him home with a drink in hand, you are sorely mistaken.
These children are both our responsibility. We both have long days, with different but equally exhausting challenges. We need to support each other, which means my husband may have to come off nights and watch the kids so I can snag some groceries. He will have to play kitchen while I cook dinner in the real one.
And I support my husband. We are a team. I make sure he’s got clean clothes to jump into once he gets home from work so he can get some rest. I like to pack his lunch while he steals moments with his kids. We are in this together. If you’re significant other tries to tell you that they do enough already, ask them what they do besides going to work. Ask them how they ate today, where those clean clothes came from, and how they can find the time to go out with their buddies. Going to work simply isn’t enough.