Even though moms give and give, we can get selfish if we start to focus on everything we deserve and aren’t getting.
Remember back in the “olden days” when women were oppressed and didn’t have equal rights?
But I can remember a new phenomenon.
Remember now how there is a trend for stay-at-home-moms (and maybe working moms) to think that as soon as Dad gets home, she is off-duty? She gets to go on “girls-only” vacations and take off whenever she wants to? It isn’t her job to change diapers after 5 PM because Dad is home now?
Mom has rights! Mom has needs! Mom deserves respect! Mom should be getting the proper thank-yous for all she does!
Okay, do you remember any of that mindset?
I think that is pretty prevalent in our current day. I know it is not uncommon in my own area, which tends to be more conservative, so I have no doubt it is potent in other areas.
Major Pendulum Swing
It is like we went from the “Man of the house” coming home and demanding things to the “Woman of the house” taking that role.
Can I be bold?
If that wasn’t okay for the man to do, it isn’t okay for the woman to do, either.
Does mom have rights? Yes. Does she have needs? For sure. Does mom deserve respect? Of course. Would it be wonderful if mom got all the thank yous, time off, and hugs she fully deserved? That would be great!
Now, Mom also has responsibilities. Mom has duties she needs to fulfill, and she needs to do so whether she gets a proper thank you or not.
A couple of weeks ago, I talked about A Good Woman, based on thoughts from Julie B. Beck. In that same talk, Beck gave this quote that I fully love:
“Women should be women and not babies that need petting and correction all the time. I know we like to be appreciated but if we do not get all the appreciation which we think is our due, what matters?”
Be still my heart! I love Beck because she is blunt as can be.
Women should not be babies. We are adults, we can act like it. Would it be nice to get the thanks we deserve? Sure. But if (and when) we don’t, so what?
Do you know what else would be nice? If the iRobot company would make a small little robot to fold and put away my laundry for me. Until then, I guess it will have to be done by humans instead.
Splitting Up Responsibilities
I am not going to tell you exactly how to work the dynamic and split of chores in your family. Lots of different families do things in lots of different ways. Everyone has different circumstances and I don’t think there is a one-size-fits-all answer for that.
I will say I don’t think it is right for 100% to fall on one or the other. Figure out what works in your family, but be sure one is not taking advantage of the other.
My personal view in my life is that when my husband gets home, taking care of the children is both of our jobs.
I don’t get to run off and be care-free any more than he does.
Are there times I leave him alone with the kids? Yep. Are there times he leaves me alone (other than normal working hours)? Sure thing. Do we have girls nights and guys day out? Yes we do.
Does my husband change some diapers when he is home? Yes. Honestly, though, I can probably count on one hand the number of diapers he changes prior to 6 months old. Do I love changing diapers? Nope. I sure am good at it though :).
What I am driving at–the point I am hoping to reach–is to avoid becoming selfish. You are a mom (if you are a dad, insert “dad” here). Things just aren’t about you anymore.
You will put in far more effort than you are ever thanked for. You will not have the breaks you truly need. It might not be “fair,” but I think it refines us into better people.
Here is a great thought from Beck, “We know the Lord has laid high responsibility upon us, and there is not a wish or desire that the Lord has implanted in our hearts in righteousness but will be realized…”
Beck is saying here that the Lord has given us a difficult calling. Even though it is hard, we can accomplish it. You can achieve all that He has set forth for you.
So be careful. Do not let the unproductive feeling of selfishness creep into your family life (or any life for that matter).
And I must add that I think it is vitally important to follow this blog post up by reading Motherhood, Some Uplifting Words. While you won’t get all that you deserve from a justice point of view, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get anything.
Be sure read that blog post to help you balance and figure out what is right for you and your family.