It’s a Man’s World
It’s a man’s world. There’s even a song written with those exact lyrics. What our society often chooses not to recognize is that women do far more than 50% of the work in the world. This is not just because there is more of us. We actually do far more than men, while they sit back and take the credit for things running so smoothly.
Okay, this is very much a generalization. But generally speaking, the above statement has very real implications in our society. My parents were part of the sixties’ generation, which was a great time for social change. At that time “career” oriented women often chose to become a secretary, a nurse, or a school teacher, with dreams of eventually quitting to be a full time “mommy”. My mother was one of these. She was elated to quit her teaching job and be a stay-at-home mom. By the way, I’m not judging, just telling the story the way it happened.
Tales From Yesteryear (aka 1980s-90s)
Ten years and three kids later, my mother had to go back to work in order to keep the family finances in good shape. Nobody realizes just how hard teachers work for pay that is not anywhere near comparable to other career fields. (Note: This is a female dominated field, hence the low pay and long hours- most men wouldn’t put up with that bull-sh*t).
My dad also worked long hours but he got paid overtime for his work, whereas my mother did not. Dad did come home early some nights to help taxi the kids around. But mom did all the cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, and scheduling. There are probably other things I’m leaving out. Luckily for her, as the eldest daughter I often stepped in and helped with some of those things.
Women Get to Do It All!
My mother blamed her lot in life on the women’s libbers of the sixties and seventies. I know other women of her generation that feel the same way. One of my friends’ mothers actually said, “Those women had crappy marriages and lonely. They wanted to get out of the house so they got jobs. Now, we all have to work and be full time moms- and guess what? Our marriages are still crappy, probably worse now because we’re so stressed out.”
I am in no way saying that women should not work. It’s true that many moms have no choice due to the financial needs of the family. I regret that I never got to stay home past maternity leave with my own children and I truly cherished those three months when I could just care for my kids and run the house and not have to worry about work issues. However, I also wrote half a novel during that time- something I don’t have time to do during the school year while I’m teaching.
My non-teacher friends are always saying, “but you have summers off!”
Wrong! I am furloughed over the summer and have to work a part-time job in order to make sure my kids are fed and then bills are paid. Maybe I work 20 hours a week versus 60 during the school year, but I’m still working my butt off.
Men: Give your Women Some Credit
I am not advocating that all women should quit work- on the contrary, many women love their work and some even see it as an escape from home life. What I am advocating is that our men step it up and take on more of an active role at home. Yes, I know that today’s men probably do more house work and child-rearing than our fathers and grandfathers did. However, things are still far from equal even in the healthiest of relationships. Guys, we need you to step it up. You’re going to have to anyway when we have a nervous breakdown from the pressure, so why don’t we just side-step that and create a distribution of burden.
Lastly, while we’re at it guys, it never hurts to boost your lady up and recognize her for all that she does. Whenever a man does the dishes, laundry, or changes a diaper, we shower him with praise and gratitude. Women do these things all of the time and rarely take credit, let alone expect gratitude. So in addition, to sharing the work load, maybe we can even out the praise, gratitude, and recognition. We really do need it guys! You’ll probably be thanked for it later (wink, wink).
That’s just my rant for the night and for Women’s History Month. Thanks for tuning in.
- Single Mom Unfiltered