Would you want to be her?

March 31, 2011

in Her Needs, Seeing Clearly

I got an e-mail from a lady in response to my “Do you ever want to hurt her” post.

When your e-mail came in I misread the subject line, thinking it said: “Do you want to BE her?” And, I actually laughed out loud!
Only because I know the answer is NO WAY, my husband would never want to be me (or have my job/responsibilities) …

Too much housework © Wavebreakmedia Ltd | Dreamstime.com

So my question is this, would you want to be her? Would you want to have to do everything she has to do? Of course, you can’t answer that if you don’t know all she does, and very few of us know half of what our bride does. (Did you know the majority of women do more housework when they get married? A couple of years ago a University of Michigan study found that it was an average of an extra seven hours a week!) Got kids? Then there is very high likelihood that she is doing more of the day-in-day-out work of child raising – even if you both work the same number of hours outside the home. And please, don’t think keeping them for half a Saturday gives you a clear idea of what it takes, and what it costs.

So be honest, do you think you have the better “job” in your marriage? Would you really like to trade with her? Do you think you could do all she does as well as she does?

If you realise she has the short end of the stick, what can you do to even things out?

Image Credit: © Wavebreakmedia Ltd | Dreamstime.com

8 comments
John
John

@bill. I've been there. Jobs have a structure and rhythm designed to aid productivity, but that structure can be missing for SAHMs. Consequently, the work of SAHM can be harder than it looks to someone used to that structure. For us, I try to keep my expectations in check and she tries to work on her organization. For example, she's tried the fly lady (http://www.flylady.net/) And that Farmville thing? Been there too. You might like this: http://www.farmvillefreak.com/images/facebook_farmville_freak_demotivational_farmville.jpg :D

The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

@bill - You may be right - and you man not. If she is "on call" all day, every day, and if she gets up with the kids at night even occasionally, she has a very difficult situation. My suggestion is to try and access how much she does get done; and you may need to think a good deal on that as some of it may not be things you have ever thought of.

bill
bill

I really am trying not to keep this attitude of superiority about how much better I could do her "job" and I am having a very hard time shaking it. I don't have much objective feedback about it, only my own perceptions. However, I have a very hard time with coming home to dishes all over the table from the kids' lunches and breakfast and she's watching tv and on her facebook zoo. She's been working on writing a novel and I am trying to support her as best I can. It just seems like she is spending too much time escaping from her reality.

Jake
Jake

I work in public safety and I work 12 hour days. I still manage to do most of the cooking and cleaning, most of it on my days "off." I have our son all day on my days off too and feel guilty if I someone baby sits on my days off. My wife works M-F 8-5 and helps as much as she is able. Our friends and family have told us that they can see we don't "share" the load. I better stop here.

Take Two
Take Two

I don't think there is much merit to this question and in fact it is quite dangerous. Comparing our lives to one another is a great way to induce pride and discontentment (as we've seen). This becomes even worse when we try to compare between the sexes. Honestly it seems about as assinine as asking if men would ever go through childbirth. Each gender has unique characteristics and talents that allow them to fulfill their God given purposes. When we try to ignore this it is painful. This is the heart of virutally all discontent and ultimately divorce in marriage. I know I've wasted many hours trying to be motherly. The fact is being fatherly is a hard enough task. And this is much worse in women. They spend their lives being discontent because they can't be masculine, at least not as mascuiline as a real man. I choose to focus on "Godliness with contentment is great gain" (1 Tim 6:6). If we caught up in comparisons no one wins. And in the end, we just find some way to make ourselves feel superior and overused. Who cares what someone else is doing ( unless of course we are in charge of them). I have a hard enough time figuring out myself, I don't need worry about what God expects of other people.

Jeff
Jeff

Most days - YES! I would gladly trade places with her! Since I was laid off in 2008 from a company that has since closed, I have been trying to start a business from home and the financial burden has been difficult to bare. We also homeschool and I would love to be able to teach and interact with the kids the way she gets too (we both have teaching experience). I usually get the stories at the end of the day about what great things they did, but it isn't the same as getting to participate. Also, we have a young child with special needs that almost since birth has spent a lot of time in the hospital. My wife stays with him while he is admitted and these visits can last several weeks. It isn't easy for her to do this, but a result is that this child has bonded very closely to her, and not so much with me. No matter how hard I try to interact with him, she is still the preferred parent. And when they are gone to the hospital, I am responsible to take care of the rest of the kids, still keep our business running AND make sure that homeschooling isn't forgotten since these hospital stays have lasted for weeks in some cases. As for doing housework - no problem! I was the one who assigned and taught our children how to do certain household chores, and I also do most of the remaining housework. She cooks (and is an amazing wiz in the kitchen) but I can't remember the last time she had to clean up the kitchen afterward. Despite all the activities in our lives that add stress, we do have a great marriage and I love her a lot. We have managed to work together well and we make a great team. However, I don't think I would have any regrets at all if we traded places - unless I got pregnant - ROFL!!

steven p
steven p

john pretty much took my comment ;) i get up early and work late. my work day is over after 8 or 9 hours. laundry and kids never stop. god bless the woman! men are not built for such tasks.

John
John

I definitely have the better job. My dear wife gave up her career to put me through grad school. She became a SAHM, rearing the kids while I became a professional. I show my appreciation of that fact every way possible: buying her chocolates, taking her dancing, reading Jane Austen novels so she can share the 'exciting parts' with me, etc. My latest idea is to send her romantic text messages during the day. Not 'sexting', but actual messages of love and affection.

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