24/7 and the SAHM Gripe

Is there something to be said about traditional family roles? A woman posted a rant on Facebook about how traditional family roles should be:

rant

Igniting a firestorm. Women angry at the very thought. Some asking if this woman is living in the wrong time. But that’s not the real question is it. When did it become popular to be lazy? Women demanded equality, and now they have equality they want more. They want men who will wait on them hand and foot, provide a full income and then do all the housework. I remember being shocked by one of my brothers girlfriends. When she said that she didn’t know how to hang up clothing, had no idea how to operate a clothespin. She was the first person I met who had the world handed to her and couldn’t understand why she would suddenly have to start doing for herself as an adult.

When I met my husband, his father remarked how incredible it was that I not only thanked my future mother in law for making dinner but I cleared my plate away from the table. He hadn’t seen that before in the girls that his sons brought home.

Now the internet is inundated with women who complain nonstop that their husbands or boyfriends don’t do enough around the house.

Perhaps I am coming at it from a different place. I spent some time in my younger years as a single mom. So perhaps having spent the time alone I have a special appreciation for having a husband. So let me say this. I like having my husband working full time outside the home so that I can care for them inside the home.

However, it is not a 24/7 job as some moms like to think. I think about my children, and worry about my children whenever I am awake. I have dreams and sometimes even nightmares about my children throughout the night. But I don’t work 24/7.

I am homeschooling and raising four children. I do 99% of the cooking and house cleaning. But it doesn’t take 24/7.

We have traditional homeschool hours. We school Monday-Friday from 9-3 and some days when we don’t get everything done we have “homework” that we do in the evenings and on weekends. I prepare three meals a day for my family. We eat hot breakfast and lunch nearly every day, and hot dinner every single night. But from about 8pm until I go to bed I am on my own. Saturdays I go grocery shopping and while yes that is a chore done for the family I also think of it as a time to get out of the house, clear my head, and relax. Sundays are a family day, we go to church, we go to the library. Its not a chore to take my children to church, I genuinely enjoy our family time.

Two to three hours a night I am not working. I am not grading school work. I am not cooking meals. I am not cleaning house. I watch television. Read books, play on Facebook. Sometimes I cuddle my youngest, she’s only six months old, but most of the time is my own. This is why I don’t buy into the argument that SAHM’s work 24/7 because I know with my own proper time management I have at least two hours before bed every night that I relax. What I find mildly amusing is a lot of women who complain that being a SAHM is a 24/7 nightmare where their husbands or boyfriends do not do enough to help out also send their children to public school. In fact I have yet to hear from a homeschool mom who complains about her husband helping out or complains that her job is 24/7.

What makes me different though, aside from homeschooling? It starts out by having set bedtimes for my children. By giving my children a bedtime of 7:30, I am able to have the evening free to relax. I also make my kids do chores. They have to pick up their own toys, put their dirty clothing in the hamper and their clean clothes in the closet. My oldest has to help make dinner at least once a week and they all help clean up after dinner. It’s nice. It gives them a boost of confidence knowing that they are capable of helping out.

What I don’t do is get mad at my husband for not cleaning the house. I don’t demand that he do the dishes, laundry, or any of the household chores. I don’t get upset with him if when he comes home from work he wants to veg out in front of the computer or television. I figure that he works hard all day, five days a week, he worries about his job when he is not there.

Since I don’t get angry at him for not doing the housework I have noticed all the things he does do. He works fifty hours a week. He also does the yard work, and household maintenance. He loves giving the kids baths. Reading to them. He loves putting them to bed. He doesn’t have to draw them a bath. He doesn’t have to read them a story after being at work all day. He certainly doesn’t have to be the one to put them to bed. But it makes him happy, there is a bigger point. The point is I recognize that he participates. All to often women are quick to complain, they don’t see the value in what their husbands or boyfriends do. It’s never enough. Its not enough for them if all he does is provide enough income to pay the bills they want more. They fall into this trap that society tells them their husbands or boyfriends don’t do enough, the trap that it’s not okay to be a homemaker and care for their families. One lady ranted that anyone who thinks their husband shouldn’t do housework was born in the wrong time. Why is that? I am perfectly happy with the arrangement my husband and I have. In fact I would rather clean, cook and care for my children than do anything else. I feel incredibly blessed to have a husband who is willing to work outside the home and allow me to stay home with my children, I am truly blessed. I don’t think that I was born in the wrong time. I do hope that my daughters are lucky enough to marry someone who works hard and provides a good home for them, and that they treat their husbands with respect by not demanding he do household chores.

I cannot imagine my Mom complaining about my father not doing enough around the house. Her generation was different though. I don’t know when things changed. I don’t know if it was the feminist movement that taught us to criticize our husbands and demand that he do more and more of the household chores while we glorify ourselves, saying that being a SAHM is a 24/7 job, ignoring any and all down time, and pretending that suddenly motherhood is more difficult than any other job out there. Maybe it’s more simple though. Years ago I was told that if you truly love your job then the time flies by and it doesn’t seem like you are working as much as you really are. Perhaps, I simply love being a SAHM so much that I don’t view it as a 24/7 job like the women who take to Facebook in droves and complain that their husbands simply don’t appreciate them.  enough, or do enough.

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