Last night I was thinking about my fall break and as usual began to mentally list all the things that I didn’t do, didn’t accomplish, didn’t complete. I used to spend hours feeling guilty about never doing enough, never having enough, never being good enough. A bad habit and one that I’ve essentially rid myself of, though bad habits are often difficult to completely eradicate. Last night as I began the familiar litany I just stopped and thought, “enough”. I’ve done enough this time. I’ve done enough for the week. I’ve done enough for today.
This sort of daily, weekly, lifetime score keeping is a woman’s angst. Men, or at least the men I’ve encountered, just don’t get it. The other day Gary asked, “What did you do today?” I was giving him the rundown of the ten or twelve things I'd done, when I mentioned that I’d done the laundry and he said, “Did you notice that I did a load of towels yesterday?” I gave him the most incredulous look I could muster. “Why is it that a woman can do twenty loads of towels and not be noticed, but a man does one load and needs a pat on the back?” He said it’s like the scene in Kate and Leopold where Leopold waits until Kate is looking directly at him and then pushes the button on the dishwasher- “if she doesn’t see it, did it really happen?” Whatever…
If a man gets through his work day he’s done all that is expected of him. Anything extra, like a load of laundry, deserves an “atta boy”. And I’m not giving my husband a bad time. He is no worse than any other husband according to my friends and family. NOT that we TALK about you guys…’course not. J However, the expectations for women are entirely different. I think when our mothers went to work in the outside world it was with the understanding that it was “okay” as long as they still did their household chores and the kids didn’t suffer. We’re still operating under those guidelines!
I watched one of those silly “stay-at-home moms” vs. “working moms” argument shows while I was home last week. When are we ever going to learn that we need to support each other in every phase of life? Do you honestly think that either group of women is going to do exactly what she is doing for the rest of her life? Do we still believe that either lifestyle is the absolute best for every family? How many shows have you watched where men lament the fact that they have to work and it interferes with their ability to be a dad??????????? Enough…
I could stay on this soapbox for a while.
I have learned to do the best I can,
Where I am,
With what I have.