Disclaimer: All persons in the stories below are portrayed by fictional characters. No Carols or Janets were harmed in the making of this post 😉
Since International Women’s Day just passed, I thought it would be fitting to write about nothing other than, women!
It seems like now-a-days, the judgement on women is discussed constantly. We’re judged on how we are as a mom, a wife, a co-worker, and pretty much everything else we do in life. I mean, it literally never ends.
Do you want kids? Why? Why Not?
Do you work or do you “just stay home?”
How many hours a week do you work?
Do you vaccinate your kids?
How much screen time do you allow your kids?
Breast or bottle?
Do you get enough ‘me’ time? Don’t you have mom guilt?
You don’t cook?
You pay how much for your kid’s activity?!
What kind of car seat do you use for your kids?
Does your kid know how to read? Write? Use the toilet? Speak a second language?
If I had a dollar for every time I felt ‘bad’ answering certain questions, I could probably pay for my kid’s college tuition!
Doesn’t it seem crazy that women are expected to do so much, yet we don’t get nearly enough credit. I’ll give it to my husband. He is truly amazing. Don’t get me wrong, the man has his flaws (we’ll save that for a later day) but he does things that most dad’s don’t do. Hell, he’s braver than me when it comes to taking our kids out in public! He cooks, he helps clean, he takes our kids to evening activities when I’m working (and sometimes when I’m not) he coaches our kids sports teams, he works on his side job, he helps bathe and put the kids to bed, he even takes our kids to the movies by himself! I’d say in the parenting aspect, we’re equal. But there’s something that just doesn’t seem quite right. He gets ALL the praise. While I make sure the kid’s have clean clothes, get them to and from appointments, make all lunches, make sure backpacks are cleaned out and all forms are signed, know where everything is at all times, get up with them in the middle of the night, clean up after everyone, do daily chores, switch out clothes at the change of seasons, and so many other behind the scenes duties. I’m looked down upon if I don’t have things together. We may both live in the same house and agree on how to raise our kids, but he being the dad, is never questioned or judged for his actions as a father or spouse. Now, with that being said, I would never want that for him. I know that it can be physically just as hard on both of us. But emotionally, most men don’t even come close to the daily struggles as women!
Example A: I’m at Hobby Lobby with my son while my daughters are in school.
**Side Note: My son is in his terrible 3’s, and the only way for everyone in the store to have a nice experience, is to let him play on my phone. I’ve tried other distractions such as snacks, other toys, coloring activities; he wants nothing to do with them. In fact, when I try to use those decoys, he will throw an even bigger fit than had I just said “no” to the phone. It’s crazy, I’m aware. But in order to run errands successfully, and since leaving an unruly child on the side of the road is frowned upon, I do what I need to do.**
As my son sits quietly in the cart, watching a video on my phone, a lady (presumably in her 60’s) passes us and glares. “Who are you calling, little boy?” I laugh, thinking she’s kidding, obviously. “Ugh! Parents these days.”
…………… I’m sorry- WHAT?! SAY IT TO MY FACE, JANET!
I was stunned! I did not say the above statement out loud, but you better believe I was thinking it! I know not everyone agrees with kids using phones, but I can guarantee that if my son would have been acting like a fool, she would have had something to say about me not being able to control him. There was nothing I could have done that would made that women think any better of me.
On the other hand-
My husband can take our kids (1 or 4) to a store and no matter if they are on their best behavior, or acting like absolute idiots, he is praised. “Wow! Look at that dad running errands with his kids!” Even my own family praises him for things I do every single day.
Like I said, I don’t want anyone judging my husband either. What I really want is for people to understand, kids are sometimes assholes- period. Kids are amazing, smart, beautiful assholes that are learning how to be decent humans. We may be the best or the worst parents, and our kids will still be terrible at times. It’s part of the circle of life! And because studies have shown that kids act much worse with their moms, it’s much more difficult for us! We are expected to talk kindly without losing our tempers, but “control our children.” Give me a break!
Example B: My husband and I are a family of 6- mom, dad and 4 kids. He shows a family photo: “Oh my, what a beautiful family you have!”
I show a family photo: “WOW! 4 kids?! They’re so cute, but I don’t know how you do it!”
I don’t know how I do it either, but coffee, medication and wine sure help!
And let’s not forget how much harder women have to work in general, in their place of employment, to be recognized. So you want us to work just as hard, be a great mom and still maintain our sanity, just to get as much praise (and sometimes money) as our male peers? Seems legit 🙄
Basically what our society is telling us is we have to sustain a decent family, have amazing work ethics inside and outside of the home, and make all the correct decisions for our family or we just aren’t doing well enough. I mean, I’d like someone to explain to me how I can make all the correct decisions. If I breastfeed my babies, I’m giving them the best nutrients, but I can’t keep my house clean because I’m constantly feeding a baby. If I bottle feed, I may get more help from my spouse allowing me to get other things accomplished, but I’m not doing what’s best for my baby. If I vaccinate, I’m poisoning my children. If I don’t I’m harming the rest of the world. If I work, outside of the home, I’m not able to spend special time with my kids while they’re small. If I stay at home, I’m not contributing enough to my family.
Please, tell me how to make the right decisions if I’ll be judged no matter what decisions I make? And even though these choices might be made by both the husband and the wife, all that blame normally falls on the moms; or at least we are the ones who have to defend it!
If Janet in Hobby Lobby would have never said a word, I would have thought we had a successful shopping trip! No outbursts, and I was able to get everything I needed! Instead, I felt inadequate and ashamed. If people would just tell me that I had a nice looking family, instead of questioning why I have so many children, I wouldn’t feel like such a weirdo for having “too many kids.”
The emotional well being of women in today’s society needs more attention. And don’t get me wrong, I know we are all humans, we judge each other without even realizing we’re doing it half the time. But when things are done or said out loud that can truly hurt someone, that’s when we’re crossing the line.
It is the year 2020.
There have been so many different types of people from all walks of life who have accomplished amazing things. It doesn’t matter if you are a male or female, black, white or Hispanic, gay or straight, raised by a stay-at-home mom, or a full-time working single dad, vaccinated or not vaccinated, breast or bottle fed, we all should have the same opportunities. We should treat each other as equals and stop judging the decisions someone makes for themselves or their family. Imagine- we were all just happy for our neighbors, how wonderful this world could be.
Let’s give women some respect. As moms, as wives as employees and as humans in general, let’s give women some praise for all they do every day to keep this world spinning!
And for the love of God, JUST KEEP YOUR OPINIONS TO YOURSELF, CAROL!