Even though I enjoy watching reality shows like How Clean Is Your House? and Trading Spouses, I know that these reality shows are NOT reality. They are just shows for entertainment. ALL TV shows are meant for entertainment, and not to document actual reality. I am well aware that the people participating in these shows are coached by the producers to say things and act a certain way. (C'mon, people. Reality is not REALLY all that interesting enough for TV!) I still like to watch them, because, with shows like Nanny 911, there is still some takeaway value to be had. There is still some THING about these shows that make me think or get me motivated.
That said, I need to back up a little bit. Last night, while my hubby and I were chatting, he noted how I was not being very communicative and not responding to a text he sent and asked me what was wrong. If I was mad at him and if something was bothering me.
At first, I just shrugged it all off, like I normally do. I said I was just grouchy from the heat (which is true!!) and also busy with housework. But then, I just let it all out. I decided to just speak my mind and tell him what has been nagging at me lately: The fact that he spends all day watching TV or playing computer games while I'm doing the housework. How he promises to help out with the housework before he leaves for work or after he gets home, but he never does. How I felt unappreciated by him because he complains about the housework or how it was never "good enough." And how I felt like the MAID....and I didn't like that feeling.
I told him this is why I hardly do anything on the weekends when he's home all day. I pretty much relegate everything to HIM on weekends, but even then, he does nothing. No dishes, laundry, vacuuming, dusting. He will bathe the children and put them to bed (he doesn't get to do that M-F because he works at night), but not much else. Then on Monday, when it's my "shift" again, I have a whole crapload of mess to clean up from the weekend.
I also wanted to tell him that I don't even feel like his wife anymore, because of things going on between us, but decided to save THAT argument for another time.
He told me he refuses to do any work in this heat (yet I have to???) and that he is just tired.
Well, despite his excuses, I was glad to get that off my chest. I wanted to tell him that for some time but just never said anything. I AM sick and tired of being the maid in this family. And being taken for granted. That probably adds to my grouchiness these days.
Well, today, I was watching Wife Swap. Hubby decided he wanted to watch TV, too, then whined about why I was watching this show. I gave him "the look" and told him, "I want to watch this show." (I normally only get to watch ONE TV program a day!) Then he just sat there and watched it, too.
And something weird happened. On the show, one of the wives in the swap was named Dawn...and she is in the same boat I am in! (Or was, actually.) Doing all the housework while her husband didn't lift a finger. Granted, her husband worked a full-time job, but he could still at least clear the dinner table or do the dishes after dinner. The thing blocking him from helping?? The tired idea that the housework is "women's work." Even the wife was saying it's the woman's job to do the housework while the man works outside of the home.
My opinion? Bullcrap!
I am TIRED of these couples with these REALLY outdated ideas that a woman's place is in the home. Marriage is a PARTNERSHIP and it's not the man doing this or the woman doing that. EVERYONE in the family should help out. EVERYONE participates. It's not "you do this and I do that." EVERYBODY DOES EVERYTHING! If somebody sees trash on the floor, pick it up! If there's a dirty cup on the counter, put it in the sink! Don't wait around for a "woman" to do it.
That's just....my opinion, anyway.
And I was sitting there, stewing over that. I was also stewing over how this poor woman had to work TWO full-time jobs (one as a mom and one as a medical transcriptionist) and STILL be expected to do all of the housework AND survive on 4 hours of sleep each night???
That picture was ALL wrong and I thought the wife was nuts to put ALL of that weight on herself. I think that sometimes, women are just too hard on themselves.
First of all, if she's a full-time mom, she should NOT be expected to also work a full-time job. That is just craziness. Even though she works from home, it's chaotic trying to balance the two. You're either a stay-at-home mom with traditional ideas or a work-at-home mom with MODERN ideas that include a bit of help and childcare! (Oh, but it's a double-edged sword. If you are JUST a stay-at-home mom who does not work at all and relies on the husband to support the family, then society decides to call that wife "lazy" and a "moocher." Gotta love all of those negative stereotypes traditionalists like to pile onto women.)
Anyway, while I was sitting on the couch, stewing over ALL of that, I noticed that huibby was not so disinterested in the show anymore. In fact, he seemed to be paying a bit of attention to how that life mirrored our life (though I do not work a full-time job). It was strange how Dawn said she felt like a maid...and how I said those same words just last night. And how she said she didn't feel appreciated as a wife. And how I said that I didn't feel appreciated, either. (I kinda left out that whole "wife" part.)
Needless to say, during the show, he got up to help me get lunch on the table. I was surprised by this sudden interest in helping me in the kitchen, but glad for it. I can only hope that show left a lasting impression on him. That he will SEE just where I'm coming from, and how I really feel about the way that things are.
And wouldn't you know it, today even my daughter decided to help out around the house, too. She ACTUALLY vacuumed! Hey, maybe these reality shows aren't all that bad after all.