Thursday, December 13, 2007

Get er done

I consider my self to be a feminist-to some degree. I am grateful for the freedoms that the feminist movement has given me. I love that I can vote, equal pay, I don't have to wear a bra (well I do personally..because..yikes) and I can work. But wait maybe I don't want to work. Maybe I want to be a SAHM. However the feminist movement pushed women into the workplace. Then it lied to us all. Men and women alike. "You can have it all!" No you can't. Nobody can truly have it all.

Family's where the mom stays home (or maybe even the dad) usually have to make great sacrifices to make that happen. Women who work outside of the home can not truly give 100% to both family and career. For example in the case of a sick child-some one loses.

I have to work. Quiet frankly there are times when I greatly resent that. As the women's job role in the work force and at home has continued to evolve the mans role really hasn't changed that much. Yes I know some of you are truly blessed with men who are equal partners and whose knuckles don't drag on the ground. But I think for a large majority of women we are still expected to do it all: kids, housework, cooking, finances, health and illness ect. ect. I work all day and when I come home I still have a house to run. I have to admit it is not running very smoothly. I'm failing miserably at all things domestic. I am too freaking tired and so overwhelmed I don't even know where to start.

Of course I also have a bad habit of comparing myself to other people. I wonder "how does she do it all?" Well of course, she doesn't. She has help from outside, maybe from her hubby, her family...a support system. I'm seriously lacking most all of those. So basically the feminist movement gave me some great things. But it also gave me two full time jobs. It fed me the lie that I could do it all. That I could have it all. I bought it. I took on the student loans to build that career. Now I'm trapped. Drowning in work and laundry. Never fully able to give all of myself to anything. Damn Gloria Steinem.

23 comments:

  1. I'm fortunate that I do have a hubby who helps a great deal. The mental toll is still just as great though. Because THEN we (I) feel guilty because I needed the help in the first place. It's hard no matter how you slice it.

    I think what's worse is that each of us feels like we're in it alone instead of feeling like there's a sisterhood to support out there. We've become competitors instead of mutual support.

    Hang in there. You're not alone.

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  2. You expressed this sentiment very well. It really is a double-edged sword, and I don't think it is possible to win either way. In my head I am jealous of the working mother, because I think she probably does a better job of balancing everything, but I look at how chaotic my day-to-day (just staying home with the kids) is, and I know it can't be true. Damn feminism.

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  3. Zoe, I love you and you amaze me. All jokes aside you truely do and I look up to you for many things. You manage 4 shall we say hyper children, and a job that deals with a lot of boobs literaly and figuratively. Yet through it all you keep a sense of humor and manage to up lift others. You are a awesome person and God made you as such please don't ever think you have failed.

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  4. Oooh this was a good post!
    It's hard. No matter which way you slice it, it's hard. It is such a double edged sword as driving with the brakes on said.

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  5. I'm with you. My husband helps out, but I still do the majority. After he comes home from work and I come home from my job as a sahm, I'm still the one in charge for the rest of the night. Luckily he listens to me!
    I also am constantly comparing myself to other people. How does so-and-so work and do everything when I stay at home and struggle?

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  6. Yeah, the whole feminist movement was a big fat lie. The women who get their educations and work outside the home don't get paid on the same level as the men. Then they have to come home to a full time unpaid job. What really chaps my chops is when the so-called partner is causing a lot of the workload. And if you kill them, they always blame the wife first, because they know how tempting it has to be sometimes.

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  7. Pee Ess: One of my favourite evil tricks was to cook up a mess of bacon to feed him.
    Eat your bacon dear. It's tastier than the mushrooms I had planned for you.

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  8. Amen sister. It does make a difference to have a support system. The only thing I have is friends that share our pain and sometimes letting the frustration out is a big help. I often feel like "you wanted to have a kid, make it work." I'd love to have another, but I don't think I could do it. I'm going on the fact that my daughter will give me a kiss for no reason as testimony that I'm doing something right.

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  9. I want to post a good comment but I'm running late for WORK. HAHA! I'll post this afternoon once I'm home and the little dude is in bed.

    I also have a fun idea that you can help me with!!! (to add more work for you Pffft! No, really, it'll be fun. It includes blogging)

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  10. Well, when I worked, the house was definitely cleaner. But, no one was ever home! Now, my floors aren't clean, I don't do laundry and sometimes my kids get a snack for lunch. But what really matters at the end of the day is that they are happy and healthy, and I think you are doing a great job with that. Maybe they give you a hard time, but what kid doesn't? I only have 2 and I'm frazzled half the time. What the hell would I do with 4? Man, I'm scared to death of 3! But, you do what you have to do to get the job done and in the end Zoe, you are doing great!

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  11. great post zoe. i think any way you cut it, it's hard. i work, but would love to be at home and if i was there we would have to make major sacrifices and i just don't want to so, i am where i am. i know that the sahm has got just as much stuff going on as i do, but the job is just one more thing on the plate. it does help when you have family/friends/anyone with a pulse (hahaha) helping you out and i do have that. my husband is a help as well, but i often feel like he is low priority because of everything else i feel i have to get done. geesh, maybe i should post about this.

    anyways, great post, you're not alone and you're doing a super job while still putting a smile on all of your reader's faces. :)

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  12. So well said. I know this is such a hot topic and as a SAHM I can relate to those comparing themselves to working mothers. I personally won't work because I don't want to send my little guy to day care and we don't have family or friends who could watch him...not to mention any pay I take home would mostly go to day care costs. We definitely have a rough go of things financially but we made the choice for me to stay home. So much more to say but just thought I'd let you know I'm glad you posted on this.

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  13. I agree with Marisa. The reason I wouldn't work is because TJ would have to be in daycare and I would be paying them about as much or more to take care of him than I would be making. So to me it was pointless to do that.
    But since starting with TPC I can work when Titus will be home to watch TJ( like weekends, evening, etc) so he always has a parent
    with him.
    Now, when I say Titus watches him, that is about all he does. No help with the house work at all! This is an ongoing battle in our household. I am "supposed to" do everything...cooking, cleaning, laundry, errands, taking care of TJ, and now run my Pampered Chef business while Titus thinks he can just go to work and come home and do whatever it is he wants. I understand the man works from 7-6pm most nights, but I work 24/7 365 days with no break at all! At least he gets weekends off! LOL

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  14. So totally double edged. I went to school, worked for the man, started my own business, and then had to quit after the second child was born to stay home with them. I know I am lucky to be a SAHM but there is such a crappy stigma attached to it. either you are a heartless go-getter who ignores the family to better your own poistion or else you are a lazy good for nothing with little to contribute to society so you stay at home with the kids, watching soaps, no doubt. These two extremes do not accurately describe any women I know, the fill time workers, the part-timers, and the SAHMs. Such BS.

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  15. Come over to my house, I have a little something something for you.

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  16. it's a bitch isn't it? i can relate.

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  17. Oi...do I ever know how you feel?!? All that time when I was a working mom, I was secretly jealous of the SAHM's out there. But, now that I am one, there are days that I would give ANYTHING to go to a job, have an adult conversation, and just go for 3 hours without listening to one whining and/or screaming child. Alas, we can't have it both ways. And either way you slice it, it sucks. Wish I was there to lend you a helping hand, as I can also empathize with the lack of help...from anyone. My best friend gave me an early birthday present today...a gift certificate for a massage. And, you wouldn't believe the look on my mother's face when it registered that it meant that she would have to watch my kiddos for a couple of hours. I think I'll just give the gift certificate back. It isn't worth the guilt trip.

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  18. I'm very grateful to not have children yet..only a boyfriend and a cat...i do still have alot of responsibility but it is manageable..i wish i could be there-b/c i WOULD totally come find you. and lend a hand...seriously...i can only imagine how much it sucks to feel that way...my mom struggled when we were growing up-and once we moved out, even though she struggled she still tries talking us into coming home...yeah right...but nothing like feeling like you're failing..i feel it from time to time..but mine sorts to i feel like im not going anywhere..keep your chin up...you really are a great inspiration...SERIOUSLY..im sure you're doing JUST FINE.

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  19. hope you aren't still drowning in your laundry. just checking on you. hope you're well. =)

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  20. Zoe, Great Post. Jessica is right!!!

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  21. Anne http://www.smellshorsey.com/December 18, 2007 at 1:10 PM

    It takes courage to say what you said, and you said it well.

    I think we benefited from the feminist movement in so many ways (if something happened to my husband I'm better equipped to take care of my family) but there are two ways that it made things worse: having two jobs and not getting credit for one, as you describe, and also the "sexual revolution" was a lose-lose for women.

    As for having too many jobs, I sometimes am in such despair I'm not sure I can keep going. Nothing gets finished and I'm always behind. I do compare myself to others because I think other people are better organized and seem to be able to manage. Then the comparison gets really unhealthy and just makes everything worse.

    Guess I'd better go do laundry, too. Wouldn't want you to have clean clothes while we all smelled bad! anne at http://lifepundit.typepad.com/my_weblog/

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  22. You really have encapsulated this fact well. I agree with all of it except that I do think men's roles have evolved a bit. I mean, back in the day, they wouldn't ever be expected to change a doody diaper but now I think men (at least some) realize their roles now are to help out with the kids and housework.

    I have in all situations: full time work with 2 kids, part time with 2 kids and now SAHM with 2 kids and I can tell you there is no easy way. I mean everything has a drawback. I guess we just have to keep forging ahead knowing that soon things will get easier : )

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