I got all fired up after reading this post at anns' blog. There was a time in my life, not too long ago, that was relatively stress free. I went to work and then came home and relaxed with a glass of wine. I had roommates for years. Truly, it was the best living arrangement. I got to live with my best friends, only had to worry about feeding myself, cleaning up after myself, when I was ready to go to bed, turning off the lights and never having to put the proverbial toilet seat down. No one ever asked What are we doing for dinner, Is my so-and-so clean, have you seen ___________, etc.
And then I fell in love with the most wonderful (and I am just going to say, hottest man) and got married.
And so here we are. I get up every morning at 5 or 5:30. First thing I do is make coffee, which I've recently started drinking again. I know, I know, caffeine = bad. But I love it. Sometimes I do the dishes or some laundry. D sleeps a little later and gets in the shower, gets ready and leaves for work. We both have the same job, and the same responsibilities, and make the same salary. We both leave work at about the same time, 5 or so. So, our work days are about 9 or 10 hours. That's not counting what we do at home almost every night - email, grading, etc.
After work, he runs. I try and decide what we're eating for dinner. Usually, that means going to the store because we're trying to eat out less. Then I come home and cook. He comes home and sits down and talks to me while I'm cooking or watches TV or takes a shower. We eat. He does some work. I clean the kitchen. Then I do some work. We go to bed. I try and go to sleep with the light on because he likes to read.
Sounds like fun, no?
We don't have a housecleaner, because we don't want to spend the money, so the only time to really clean is the weekend. So I will do that but not as often as it needs. We have a fairly large house, which we bought because we were going to have kids soon. Ha. So it takes almost the whole day. Sometimes, he will help me clean, but honestly, he doesn't really clean. So that means at some point I have to go behind him. Which I hate to do. It makes me feel like my mother. But I can't stand the bathroom all gross if I've actually found the motivation to clean. And if you don't clean it for several months and then just sort of clean it, yeah. You get the picture.
He does all the major yardwork which is a huge job, but honestly, it's only 7 months out of the year. He helps out with the laundry too. It's not like he is some caveman or something, but it still doesn't feel like we have "equal responsibilities".
Before I continue, let me just say I absolutely adore my husband and love him so very much. I wouldn't change anything about getting married.
Its all me for the daily stuff. And I hate it. I really do. I resent this whole arrangement to no end. It's just not fair. We work the same hours. I want to come home and relax. I want to run after work with friends (if I had any that ran, which I do not. They are either pregnant or have little babies.) I want to not worry about whether the bathrooms are clean, if we have clean dishes, do we have milk, bread, and on and on.
I know many of you are thinking "Can't you both switch off day to day things?" Well, we've done it for awhile, and then it always ends up falling apart. He's just not going to remember. And it's not going to change.
What the hell am I going to do if we actually have children?? I can't even wrap my brain around that one.
So this brings me to my biggest complaint. Feminism.
But first here is my disclaimer:
I think the feminist movement was wholly necessary and needed, please understand that. But women's roles have morphed into the everythingcaretaker-corportateladderclimber-roommother-breastfeeder-teardabber-cooker-lovemaker-and on and on.
Sure, the workplace is substantially more equal than 30 years ago, but guess what?? That's where it ends. We still have the children, nurse the babies, and, lets face it, take care of our husbands to varying degrees. We still end up falling into the roles of our grandmothers ON TOP OF taking on more and more at work, because we were all told we could do it all.
I suppose the argument here is we have the option to do it all, and our grandmothers didn't.
But I don't so much think it's optional anymore. I certainly don't feel as though it is.
Just about every woman I work with is either on antidepressants or antianxiety medication. They are constantly stressed, and will freely admit they have not one ounce of time for themselves. One is going through a divorce, and told me the other day how nice it was to go home and just take care of her two kids and herself on her own schedule. Once she puts them to bed, she has the evening to herself. She's reveling in all this free time.
I am I the only one that finds that sad and depressing?
So here we are, 30 years later, and I just don't think anyone is necessarily happier for it. Women tear each other apart on childraising strategies, breastfeeding, cesareans vs. vaginal births, natural vs. medicated, and on and on and on. There is no feeling of common sisterhood among the general female population. We are so busy competing at the workplace and trying to do it all in general, it's spilled over into our collective female conscience.
While I don't want to quit my job and stay at home, even if we have children, I just want things to be less . . . .contentious and competitive among women.
I am tired of trying to do it all, and I've still got quite a ways to go.
Screw complete independence.
Sometimes, I just want someone to take care of me.