Wednesday, November 04, 2009

On my own, pretending he is beside me

A friend recently said something along the lines of, "I should be in single-mom mode all the time. It's the only way things get done. Leaving things for my husband to do hasn't worked at all, but if I do them, it's less stress because I know they'll get done."

My sister is headed out of town for a pretty stressful event. She has to leave early in the morning. She told me she had to make sure to make the kids' lunches before then. When I asked why her husband couldn't do it in the morning, she said he made lunch for the kids once and screwed it up. So now she has to do it all the time.

I find myself struggling with my husband more so recently in regards to housework. Still, he does a portion of the work around here. He did a larger portion in years past and I'd like to find a better balance, but he does some work regardless. This is his home too.

My husband's lower level of help falls at "mildly annoying," on the "Giant Scale of Suckage." Sometimes, the refusal to help is absolutely vicious. A hugely pregnant friend's husband refused to do the one thing she needed help with around the house (and anything else for that matter. She did absolutely everything else), so after asking and then making it impossible for him to ignore, she had to do it herself (this was a big task and involved heavy moving/lifting) and wound up spotting in late pregnancy. She was fine and brushed it off, but I was absolutely furious. This was years ago, but it still makes my blood boil even now.

I don't mean to sound anti-male. I absolutely detest male bashing. It's just that many of my friends' husbands leave me ranging from baffled to absolutely fuming with their behavior. These are exhausted women who are busting their butts at home, with their kids, with various projects, with work outside the home, etc. So why do their husbands expect them to do it all alone? Why is it acceptable for their husbands to do so?

What on earth is going on? How is this acceptable?


Renée aka Mekhismom said...

My girlfriend always gets on me about being the most "single" married person she knows. My husband has stepped up to do more with our son but the house chores are mine- or he just does his own laundry or dishes. As if we didn't make our son together and all the dishes need to be done. it irritates me to no end. Thanks for letting me get this off my chest.

Reiza said...

Rant away.
Once, before my husband deployed, I found yet another old glass of his on a counter and said, "Good. At least when you're gone, I won't have to deal with any of your dirty dishes left all over the place."

As much as I missed my husband, that was kind of nice. :-)

TheFeministBreeder said...

I absolutely DETEST the husband's thinking that their wives are supposed to take care of everything, plus raise the kids. Unfortunately, I'm starting to think men are just genetically programmed for it. My husband always knew he married somebody who wasn't going to put up with that shit, and he does more than any husband I know, but the fact is I DO have to TELL him much of the time. Or, I get pissed enough and complain about it on my blog, which gets him acting right realllllly fast. I suppose I shouldn't complain because he is the kind of guy who will do laundry and clean bathrooms and change diapers, but if something happened to me and he had to do this completely alone, you bet your ass there's no way a toilet would be cleaned or the diapers would get washed. Not in a timely fashion anyway. His mother would be over here cleaning the obvious stuff, and the rest of his life would fall to shit.

Or maybe I'm just a Type A personality and he's not. Maybe his penis has nothing to do with the fact that he doesn't sometimes start scrubbing dirt off walls at 11:30 at night the way I do.

Either way, the fact that I'm the only one who notices the crud and does something about it pisses me off completely.

Phyllis Sommer said...

funny - i am preparing to go away for TWO DAYS and had to leave lengthy explanations of how to make lunches for my 2nd grader.

and then i read your post.

this is why i love blogland - it's nice to know i'm not alone.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the bigger question that should be asked is "why do we think it is OK to be treated that way?"