Over the past few years I’ve had a lot of friends who chose to stay at home to take care of their families. Many of them will quickly correct you with a snarl saying “work-at-home.” This is oh so true. After spending several years at home myself as the chief kid raiser, house cleaner, laundress and chef, I can promise that I never once lay on the couch eating Bon Bons and watching the soaps. Heck I don’t even know where they sell Bon Bons.
One thing, however, that really irks me is the stereotypical mom who shoves her kids at her husband and mentally clocks out, claiming to be just spent the moment he walks in from work. She reasons that her husband got to be out “play working” all day without once changing a diaper. Therefore he should handle all chores past 6 p.m. This bugs me. Husbands need downtime just like we do. My husband is constantly juggling phone calls, emails, meetings, evaluations, whiny clients and a demanding boss. He eats lunch at his desk and then sits in traffic for an hour. I think this entitles him to golf on Saturday or a Niners game on Sunday without me constantly dangling a Honey-do list in his face.
I’m not saying that men shouldn’t be expected to do anything around the house. Sure they should. Just don’t throw everything on them as soon as they pull into the driveway.
What a lot of women don’t understand is that our husbands work that much harder to earn more money so that we can have the choice to work at home. In order for me not to have any financial responsibilities, my husband works about 60 hours a week, spending much of his time in airports and hotel rooms, away from us. In today’s job market, he’s happy to have the work. But he’d definitely be able to take less of a work load if we were a two-income household.
I get tired of my friends Susan and April whining about keeping up with the Joneses, wanting new clothes, toys and vacations. If you’re going to choose not to work outside the home, then there are certain things you have to accept. You’re not going to get all the consumer goods you want. Quit bitching to your hard-working hubby about it and be grateful that you have a choice about contributing financially. Your husband is paying every bill that comes in. Not being able to afford a pedicure doesn’t make you impoverished.
And finally, before I step down from the soap box, this is one of those topics that is vitally important to discuss if you’re engaged or newly married and planning a family. Don’t just assume that your husband will be happy and willing to handle all your family financial burdens. Talk about your expectations. Come to an agreement. Then hold up your end of the bargain…whatever that may be.
About the Author: Angela is an award winning humor columnist, freelance writer and public speaker living in Middle Georgia, and the San Francisco Bay Area. She uses her keen insight and clever wit to help husbands understand the complex mechanisms that are their wives. “I like to think of goodhusbanding.com as an owner’s manual for the average wife. Of course results may vary, but we’re all fairly similar whether we admit it or not.” Angela uses her background in psychology, the myriad of learning experiences offered through her ten year marriage, and input from her “in the trenches” audience members across the country as input for her articles.