Monday, March 24, 2014

I Don't Know If I'm Lucky Or Just Stubborn

My husband and I have an equal partnership.  We both cook, we both clean, and we both share the responsibilities of raising our child(ren).  This was a deal we made when things got serious between us; and reinforced when we talked about having kids.  And again when I got pregnant.  I came from a household where the man ruled his castle with an iron fist and the women had to do all of the work around the house.  It's unfair.  Especially since my step mom also worked at a steady job where she made more money than my dad.  She still had to come home and play housewife, even though she wasn't one.  No doubt, if they had children, she would be the sole care giver for them, too, in addition to her job and her household chores.  (Not too mention, she also has carpal tunnel in both hands and arthritis.)

"That's God's word," according to my dad.  "Women are servants to their husbands."  In his eyes, he's allowed to treat her like a common slave because his personal God says so.  And he got her when she was young; he brainwashed her into thinking that's the way it is for every woman.  Until my adult ass came back into the picture.  She tries to stand up to my dad, only to be belittled and mentally abused.  Nowadays, her attitude has changed.  She's starting to not give a shit about him.  He's fragile in his aged state, he's losing control over her, and knows it.

Excuse me?  Even today, my dad will scold me for not being my husband's obedient slave.  And I'll remind him, "We're not your kind of Christian.  This is an equal household.  Back off.  You don't like it, look away."

In my mom's case, she's a working woman and took care of the house, too.  But not because my step dad was a tyrant, or that she was raised to believe that way; but because my mom hates clutter.  She used to be a clean freak.  However, my step dad wasn't much help anyway, due to being a slob.  He doesn't pick up after himself.  My mom does it all.

There are times when I still have to pick up after my husband, which is obnoxious, and he gets an earful, because I'm not his fucking mom; BUT he does help me when I ask.  Plus, he has assigned chores, like the trash and the laundry.  For the most part, he's good at doing what I ask him.  It's just he has the mentality of, "I'll get to it" whereas I'm my mother's daughter, I ask you, you do it when I ask, not when you feel like it.

I know that not all households are equal, especially in the child rearing field, and I just don't get that.  Especially when the woman (or man in some cases) isn't happy with the assumed arrangement.  If you're not happy, communicate.  Change things. Wouldn't yall have talked about that BEFORE you spread your legs?  Or have a sit down with them later and actually communicate the issues, instead of just huffing and doing it?  One of my co-workers was like that.  She didn't stand up to her husband, and she had to work AND do everything for the kids.  To her, that's just how it was.  It's women's work.

I'm just like, honey this is a new age.  This ain't the 1950's.  Parenting is a two person deal (especially when both parents are around).  I just say, "Well, guess I'm lucky to have the man I do."

"You sure are.  Where was he when I was looking?!"

"You're so lucky to have a man like Dave!"

Am I?

My cousin is near 40 and she just had a baby a month ago.  She's dealing with pretty much the same thing.  She gets zero sleep and lets her boyfriend sleep.  She makes excuses for him, like, "Well, he works nights.  He needs his sleep."  Honey, what about you?  You need to sleep, too.  You can't be expected to raise this child into a healthy and happy person, if you're not a healthy and happy person.  No, you're not bringing in income, but damn it, you're still working the same, if not harder.  I'd say harder, since he's sleeping and you're not; and she's keeping a human being alive  He needs to be sacrificing his time, too, not just you.  Other dad's do it, so can he.  Simple as that.  When a child comes into your life, everything changes.  For both parents.

::reads her response::

She doesn't sound very sincere.  Just sounds like more excuses to me.  "I don't mind."  Yes, you do, otherwise you wouldn't be coming onto Facebook and bitching about not getting sleep every post.  Instead of telling us, tell him.

Tough love, right?  But I gotta remember, she's still hormonal.  But still man.  I hate it when men give those excuses as to why they can't or shouldn't sacrifice this time to help raise a child, and I hate it even more when women do it for them.  It's one thing to be sleepy and grumpy and complain about it once in a while; it's another to do it every fucking day, several times a day.  It's more than a sign of not getting enough sleep, it's a sign that you're not happy in your relationship.  You're not happy with how things are right now.

Can't change everyone though.  I don't get it, but it's not my job to change the world, only to learn what I can: acceptance, tolerance, avoidance, right?  However, I can at least let her know that she's allowed to take care of herself, too.

I have a reply loaded, but I don't know if I should pull the trigger, so to speak.  She is hormonal and she is exhausted.  Perhaps I should save my opinion later?  I'll do that.  Unless she keeps on bitching about it.  That irks me.  If you're not going to change your situation, stop bitching about it.  You can vent about your problems privately.  Which I've actually talked to her about, years ago, and she did calm it down, but now's not the time or place for it.  I gotta remember how I was at that state...and how I'm going to be again.  It sucks.  Simple as that.  Going back to zombie mode....how can I with a toddler?  I'll figure it out.  Other people do it, so can I, right?

It gets me thinking...am I lucky to have found a man who wants an equal household?  Or do I just have a stronger backbone than some women when it comes to this sort of thing? I refuse to be in a relationship like my parents.  Yes, I grew up in that environment, but I wasn't raised that way.  And even if I was, life changes you.  I was raised Christian, too; but I never identified as such.  I'm a Pagan.  Been one since I was very young.  (Even then, Pagan doesn't mean equal household either; just like Christian doesn't mean unequal.)

I'm reminded that even though we communicate our issues to each other, not everyone does.  Not even in this day and age.  Some people, women and men, just deal with it.  I'm not one to deal.  I am my mother's daughter.  We're both vocal about what pisses us off.  Except she sweeps things under the rug to avoid drama and I'm stubborn as hell.  I'll butt your ass off the fucking mountain if you ignore me.

Yes, I'm a SAHM right now.  But I know that I work just as hard as my husband does.  No, I don't bring in income, but I'm keeping our son(s) alive and teaching him. I take care of him, the house, and myself.  I cook.  I clean.  Nowadays, I get very little sleep (damn, when I did work, I only got 3-4 hours of sleep a day...but working third shift royally messed me up; sometimes I would go 2-3 days without sleeping and not realize it).

Hubby works 40 hours a week.  He comes home and does chores, too.  He comes home and helps me out with Lycan.  He comes home and doesn't always get to relax.  When Bigfoot is born, he's going to be getting up every couple of hours and doing his part, too; as well as driving to work and working and coming home and helping out and allowing me to sleep.  We're both going to be sleep deprived and exhausted.  While he's at work, I'm going to be at home, juggling a newborn and a toddler.

He is just a rare occurrence in the male gene pool?  Some elusive magikal creature?  Do I have my own Unicorn?  Was it due to being raised by a single working mother of four?  Was it due to us being open with each other?  I don't know.  But I know he's not the only one out there.  Many of my friends have equal households.  It's not just a generation thing, many of their parents have one, too.

I don't see how other women can juggle working, household chores, and raising children (especially young children) when their husband comes home and watches TV, plays PS3, reads the paper, or sleeps.  An unequal household is not for me.  I would literally lose my mind.  I couldn't just sit back and take it.  The only time I'm submissive is in the bedroom, other than that, you better be helping me otherwise you're getting the horns.

Some women are fine with living in a traditional household; hey, do your thing.  But even then, you know it wears on them.  They're not robots.  This isn't Stepford Wives.  Even then they need to have a voice and let their husband's know that they need a helping hand or a break once in a while.  They need to be selfish once in a while.  And it's not even selfishness, it's about caring for yourself.  (And not all men in traditional families are total dicks and tyrants, I understand that, too; but it you don't communicate, some men aren't going to see it.  Don't be afraid to have a voice.)

Am I lucky or am I strong?  Or perhaps I'm just stubborn?  I know what I want in my relationship and I'm going to have it.  I am not doing all of this shit myself, while my husband gets to relax.  Nah.  This is a marriage, it's an equal partnership.  I am not his bitch; I'm not his slave.  We agreed on it when things got serious.  We agreed on it when we were engaged.  We reinforced those beliefs when we talked about having kids.  If he gets time to unwind, so I do.  We both need our space (as well as time together) in order to have a healthy and happy relationship.  How can we raised our children to be happy if we're not?

* I know it's not always women; some men find themselves in these unequal partnerships, too.

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