Trash Is Overflowing: Is She Wrong To Be Mad?
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There is a part of me that sees things from this woman’s point of view, but then there is a part of me that wants to speak up in defense of the man. Do I have to pick a side? Or can I just take a step back and analyze this situation from neutral ground? I’ll do my best to empathize with both characters in this vignette, but something tells me I’m still going to ruffle some people’s feathers and here’s why:
1. WORKING MEN THINK HOUSEWIVES SHOULD BE GRATEFUL
Did I just upset anyone by saying this? Well, it’s true. When a man makes all or most of the money in a relationship, it’s almost like we see this as our Golden Ticket to the chocolate factory. When we get home from making all that money, we feel entitled to be entertained however we see fit (often demanding the tv remote asap), or we are hungry for dinner, or we don’t want to be bothered with household chores, or we plop down on the couch and are instantly lazy. My wife can tell you that when I get home from work, I am changed into shorts and a tank top in less than 5 minutes. Home is where we are truly free; home is where we are king of the jungle.
But back to how men think… most men think being a “housewife” is a luxury. Just like not all people get to go on a Royal Caribbean cruise every summer, not every woman is able to be a housewife. There are many mothers who wish they could stay home with their children but cannot due to financial constraints and are forced to work. Because in the year 2017, men and women are more equal than they’ve even been, men could easily say, “You get a job too and let’s send the kids to daycare.” This mentality makes men feel entitled and hence, women should be grateful to their men for allowing them to stay home with the kids. Some men take this entitlement too far though, and this is where troubles arise when a husband begins to expect perfection- the house should be totally clean, food should be ready by 6 o’clock, and we should have our sexual needs satisfied every day. I do think the entitled man is not understanding one key issue here though:
2. STAYING AT HOME WITH CHILDREN IS HARD WORK
I only have one child and my wife only works part time and I stay busy when I’m the one watching our toddler. Sometimes my daughter wants my attention, sometimes she’s off doing her own thing, which still requires my attention because she likes to find ways to hurt herself. Her sippy cup must be cleaned and refilled. She eats like a beast and sometimes takes up to an hour to eat her breakfast. We don’t want her to watch too much tv, so I make a point to play with her in her toy room or take her to the nearby park to play. When she does finally take her afternoon nap, I use that nap time to cook dinner because guess what- she’s going to be hungry when she wakes up. Not to mention, if we do decide to go the park or anywhere else for that matter, getting the diaper bag ready and my daughter fully dressed also takes up a big chunk of time. Let’s not forget changing all those dirty diapers, too, which also is work. If the dirty diaper is particularly gross or if she got dirty somehow out at the park, then the baby may need a bath afterwards- and babies don’t clean themselves. Not to mention, her dentist says we now need to start brushing her teeth everyday… work, work, work!
3. WHO RESTS FIRST?
So both of you have worked all day- one of you went out to a place of employment and made some cash to pay for stuff, the other one stayed home and saved you money by bypassing daycare expenses. Does the man get to rest the moment he walks in the door, or does the woman get a break from the children when dad is home? Who rests first? Well, first of all, if the garbage is smelling, address this men. You do not want a mother/son relationship with your wife. If she has to tell you to do your chores, you are not being mature. Cleaning dishes is something the children should help out with if they are old enough, but if they are still too young- do what me and my wife do- on my days off, I clean the dishes. On her days off, she cleans the dishes. If that’s too difficult, start eating off of paper plates (but remember to empty the trash…).
Instead of playing games on a tablet, play with your kids. If you have enough energy for Candy Crush, you have enough energy to read a book to a kid. I personally love spending time with my daughter and when I get home, I give her my full attention. So I say to men, let your wife take a break from the kids when you get home. Then switch after dinner. Or do what my wife and I occasionally do- let the baby watch a video on the tablet while the adults watch a show on the big screen.
Compromise is key, but sometimes we just need to show each other that we love each other by willing to work overtime.
Why is it that there are still men that have to be told to do things by their wives? I think Brent has answered this question in Are Arguments A Sign Of Love?. They are oblivious… most of the time. I, however, don’t think that it’s total obvious nature at play here. Nope. I think that there are two other factors as to why this husband needs to be told to help his wife.
1. He’s not acting like a man.
He’s acting like a child. Children have to be told to do something because they either don’t understand the concept yet, or they just don’t want to do it.
2. He thinks that what he’s doing is enough.
He thinks that because he works outside of the home that that makes it ok for him not to have to do anything helpful once he gets home. He doesn’t want to, because he thinks that he’s justified in not helping.
Now, I can understand being oblivious. I can. But, that’s if you really are oblivious.
Some people will play dumb just to get out of doing something. They either pretend like they don’t know how to do something or do something wrong (in your eyes) just to get out of doing it. You can spot these guys when you hear the response, “Well, I guess I can’t do it right. I’m not doing it again.” instead of the real trying to help response of, “Oh, that’s how you do it. Now I know.” Count yourself lucky if you have the latter.
This guy though, knows how to take out the trash and do the dishes. How do I know this? Because she says that she has to yell at him to do it. So he’s doing it. He is physically capable of doing it. He just doesn’t want to.
That leads back to my two points. He doesn’t want to, because either 1) he is acting like a child or 2) he thinks that what he’s doing outside of the home is enough.
Where do these mindsets come from?
Both of these factors come from the way he was raised. To act like a child means that he got used to his mom doing things for him and telling him what to do. If you are this kind of person and you have a family to take care of, guess what? Grow up! You’re not a child anymore. Your wife is NOT your mom. She’s the mother of your children. She doesn’t need you to sit around on a tablet when you get home from work so she can continue to keep doing all of the work at home. Get off your BUTT and help!
The attitude of “I’m getting paid to work so I shouldn’t have to do anything when I get home.” also comes from his parent’s showing him that that’s what it should be. News Flash! It’s not the 1900s anymore! Your parents grew up in different times. Your wife is not going to quietly do everything for you so you can sit on your butt and do nothing when you get home. Maybe your mom did for your dad, but you aren’t married to your mom. You’re married to your wife.
“Am I Wrong To Be Mad?” she asks.
Hell, yes! He needs to step up and act like a man, like an adult, and get out of his head that because he’s being paid to work that he doesn’t need to do anything when he gets home.
What this guy really needs, is to see all of the work that his wife does. And not only that but experience it.
Brent works as a teacher. Kind of ironic, right? He takes care of 20+ children each class period when he goes to work. So you would think that it would be the same or harder than taking care of a child at home, right? Nope. I’ve substituted from 3rd grade to High School students and guess what? I got to leave the children behind to go home at the end of the day. I even had breaks to pee! And, when the children were bad I just sent them to the principal.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s still stressful. I know. But, working outside of the home is completely different than being a stay-at-home parent. Working outside of the home you get scheduled breaks, you get to go home and rest when you are done, AND you get paid! Stay-at-home parents work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week non-stop, for FREE! And, on top of that, they are expected to maintain the house.
Over the summer while Brent was off of work I started working. So a little over two months he was taking care of our daughter while I was at work. It was the first time that he got to really experience taking care of our child alone. Before, he would watch her for a few hours here and there but not all day for multiple days straight like this. I could have stayed home instead of finding a job, but I wanted them to have the bonding time AND I wanted him to experience being a stay-at-home parent.
Being a stay-at-home parent there were days when I was so exhausted. I really needed Brent. He would come home from work, take a shower, and I would yell at him saying, “I need a shower. You just went, took a shower and didn’t even ask me if I needed one.” I was so upset with him for not thinking of me and how my day went. I even yelled at him for not asking how our daughter was doing with eating, pooping, sleeping, and development. For 24 hours out of the day I was taking care of her. I couldn’t believe that he didn’t even ask how it was going. He even expected dinner to be ready when he got home. What a nightmare.
It has now been well over a summer’s time that he has spent taking care of her alone, and guess what? He’s changed. He no longer thinks and acts the same as he used to.
The first week or so was hard on him. I could tell. My daughter wasn’t used to it so she would cry when I left. She was also used to me nursing her to fall asleep. So there was a day when he messaged me saying that she wouldn’t take a nap. My response, “Put her in the stroller, and take her for a walk.”
Now when he gets home from work he asks about her. He’ll even ask more about her when he gets home then I do when I get home. He does the dishes AND he has a meal ready when I get home. He takes her to the park every weekend when I’m at work, and he’s taught her so much. She even waves and says “bye-bye” to me when I go to work. They really enjoy their time together. I love it!
This guy here just needs a wake up call. I’d say to his wife- find a job outside of the home for the 3 days that he has off and say “Bye-bye. I’ll see you when I get home.” He’ll be begging her for help in the first 10 minutes, guaranteed.
Trash overflowing? Not anymore.