The good wife

I’m a good wife. We have a modern relationship – you know, equal and all that. I help out around the house all the time. I don’t mind emptying the dishwasher when I get home from work, that’s my main job. I iron my own work clothes, too. I know my grandmother never did that in her life, but I don’t feel that it makes me any less womanly. I’m secure in my womanhood, I can do a bit of ironing!

My husband works really hard doing everything at home so I don’t mind giving him a break. He works outside of the home too, but not so many hours as me of course. But still. I know he’s tired after work too. So when he’s had a really big day I put dinner on so he can relax for a bit. On the weekends if we’re having people over he usually wants to do a really big clean-up, so I help out. I mean, I don’t really see the point sometimes! It’s not like anyone’s really looking at how clean the toilet is. But I do it to keep him happy. He says that I just don’t see the dirt but to be really honest I think sometimes his standards are just too high. Men are always expecting things to be perfect when really, it’s not necessary. I mean, I guess some wives are really critical when things aren’t all neat and tidy but that’s not my style.

I baby-sit too, so he can get out of the house and get his hair cut or see friends. I’m really supportive of his interests. He plays squash on Tuesday nights so I make sure I’m home from work on time so he doesn’t miss out. On the weekends I love playing with my little girl. I even take her to the supermarket. A lot of people comment on how nice it is to see a mother out with her child, and we do have a lot of fun. You can make anything into a game, you know? My husband says that when our daughter has a tantrum at the supermarket people are really critical of him. Maybe they are but I wonder how much of it he’s imagining. He always thinks people are judging him, like one time when we went out together and I forgot to change our daughter’s top after she got tomato sauce all over it. He couldn’t stop talking about how everyone would be thinking he was hopeless because he couldn’t even dress his own kid in clean clothes. I mean, really, it wasn’t a big deal, and I was the one who dressed her anyway. Why would they assume it was his fault? Well I guess most husbands do most of the laundry but, still, that’s changing.

I’m a really hands on mother. I think it’s only fair that I change my share of nappies when I’m at home! Just the other day I overheard a guy saying to my husband, ‘Gee, you’re so lucky. I wish my wife would do that.’ It’s not like I’m patting myself on the back or anything – I mean, in this day and age you can’t just sit back and let the husband do everything anymore. Just between you and me, I do get a bit annoyed with some of my friends who treat their husbands like doormats. But then again, men have to stick up for themselves too. I mean, if a wife is used to having everything done for her, dinner on the table by six, that type of thing, of course she’s going to expect it. Men really need to take some responsibility for asking for more equality in relationships. Problem is too many of them are real control freaks; if their wives don’t make the bed just so, they get all snarky about it and their wives never want to do it again. Same with bathing the kids and stuff. I know a guy who kept telling his wife she was putting too much shampoo in their boy’s hair and so of course she just gave up. A woman can’t win that battle, better not to even try.

Sometimes my dad says to me that I do too much, ‘your mother never had to lift a finger around the house’, he says. I tell him that times have changed now. Dad never had a job or anything, he just spent his whole time looking after us kids and mum so these days with lots of husbands working everything’s changing. I think it’s great; men need to have a life too, they can’t just be stuck at home all the time.

I think having equality in our relationship is really good for us. It’s a good example for our daughter too. My husband and I show her how to do things like unpack the shopping, fold her clothes that type of thing. It’s important that she doesn’t grow up just expecting men to do all of that for her. We even bought her a toy vacuum cleaner. My mother-in-law was a bit upset about that! But I mean, really, it’s 2010. It’s time for her to get over it. If I’m okay with my daughter playing with a toy vacuum then everyone else should be too. It’s not going to make her any less of a woman when she grows up. In fact she’ll have better luck finding a husband if she’s ‘house trained’!

Actually my mother-in-law can cause a few problems for us. My husband always gets really antsy around Christmas  when we have the whole family over. His mum likes it when he does the meal – gravy and everything – just like his dad used to before he passed away. I help out of course but I usually get kicked out of the kitchen pretty quickly after I burn the onions or something. It’s always such a big deal and usually someone’s in tears by the end of the day. Men are so emotional! They really do put too much pressure on themselves – it doesn’t have to be like in the Mens’ Weekly ‘Christmas special’ every time, you know what I mean?

But basically, we have a really good balance. I don’t look too closely at the credit card statement and he doesn’t nag me about the typical stuff like picking up wet towels – it’s all give and take and compromise, like all good partnerships should be. I’m really proud of my husband and how well he can balance everything going on. And he is such a devoted father, there’s  nothing like a father’s love. My daughter and I would really be lost without him.

***

Inspired by this little piece of ‘news’.

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22 Comments

Filed under Feminism, Motherhood and Parenting

22 responses to “The good wife

  1. AHHhhhhhHHH how perfect is this? Thank you. So much.

    I have two predictions. One, my husband will post this on FB. Two, it will piss off people. Men & women.

    Thanks.

  2. carmel_m

    Just when I thought you must have had a grandmother way ahead of her time, the penny dropped…

    Particularly interesting is the point that women supposedly make a rod for their own backs by being perfectionists. Just another way to blame women for the behaviour of men.

    Brilliant stuff.

  3. Amy

    Pure genius. Sharing this, absolutely.

  4. That’s brilliant. Thank you.

  5. T.A.

    Brilliant post. I thought you were serious for the first two paragraphs ;-)

  6. La

    You had me going for a minute. I started wondering what country you lived in and if I could get my family to move there!

    Awesome post – thanks!

  7. Sounded like many Swedish families until you mentioned the older generation. ;-)

  8. Pingback: “As for me, I have learnt to keep my mouth firmly shut”: Blaming women for the domestic load imbalance | Blogger on the Cast Iron Balcony

  9. Kate

    GOLD! Thank you for brightening my day.

  10. Lovely. And the bit of news you’re responding to? Infuriating. The argument seems to be: Women have only themselves to blame for being so imperfect as to think that they have to be perfect. Whereas men are perfectly justified to go on blindly being imperfect. Or something like that.

  11. *applause* It is posts like this that make me wish I had a talent for satire. Just perfect.

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  13. Stacey

    Brilliant. If my husband were to ever suggest that he might like to ‘babysit’ our child, I’ll naturally be forced to kill him with fire.

  14. Hi! I love your blog!
    Visiting from far far away.. Hope you stop by too.. ;)

  15. I think that my only response to this post is to applaud. Satire at its finest and it really made me think about language. Thanks!

  16. I love this! I’m sharing it right away! What a great way to look at things : )

  17. Pingback: Labels, words, language & gender « andmybaby

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