Right now I am sitting at the hair dressers getting my hair tinted a fetching shade of unicorn poo. It is bliss. For the next hour so, I will not be climbed on, nagged at, or bitten by anyone. I will not have to break up any fights or prevent two little boys from finding creative ways to kill themselves.
Nope, for the next hour or so I will do nothing. Except write this. And read. Magazines. Bad ones. Trashy, nasty, stupid ones. And I will love it. I will drink too much coffee so that I will be cranky when I get home. I will close my eyes as the lovely hairdresser listens to me bitching about how hard my life is as she massages my scalp to a pulp with her strong and cautious fingers.
Right now, it’s all about me. And why shouldn’t it be?
These days women do it all – And most of it is for other people. We work; we care for our kids/pets; we clean; we exercise; we read books then we attend book club; we are on the kindy/school/dog club committee, we bake or cook; we take our pets to the vet; we take our pets to daycare; we get the car serviced; we get the tap in bathroom fixed; we wax our bits so that we may dare go swimming in public; we go to work meetings; we go to yoga so we will feel less stressed about all the stuff we have to do and we try in vain to do the thing we’d much rather do than our 9 – 5. But do we ever stop? God after all that, don’t we deserve to stop?
A lot of us women are suffering from Modern Martyr Syndrome. We are not happy about the fact that we do it all, but we still keep doing it all. It’s as if in some weird way we like going it hard. We like suffering, stressing, being in a state of physical and emotional exhaustive pain. Why? Is it better than having a ‘talk’ and potential argument with our husbands over the current duties roster? Are we afraid of confrontation? Afraid of what would happen if we dared slowed down. Afraid of the stress of an unwashed dish? If we don’t like doing it all, why don’t we delegate?
Instead a lot of us slave away silently without letting others know that we are miffed about it. Or we slave away not so silently. We make a big show of our suffering to get some attention. Thing is: nobody likes a martyr. People roll their eyes at a martyr but nobody offers to help a martyr. So if you want help you really just have to ask for it!
Personally I have it pretty good. My Lover-Man is very well behaved. He definitely does his share of the house jobs and all of his man jobs. But, as far as parenting goes I am the stay at home parent and that means that I do more of the parenting. Though I chose to stay home with the boys and we do have our fun, there are still times when I get resentful that the Lover-Man gets to have a career (I want one too!) It’s never easy to feel that you are missing out on something. But what is worse is when you don’t say how you feel and you just keep wallowing in your resentment. The Lover-Man and I definitely air our woes with each other. We regularly play a good game of ‘My Life is Harder than Your Life’: We state why our lives are much harder that the others, pitting against each other and slanting everything to sound way worse than it is. It's fun. By the end of it we are laughing and not mad or resentful anymore.
There have been times though, when I find myself doing a lot more for the boys than him (like organising their birthday parties all by myself). Times too where he complains if he is being "left" with them while I go out to run blog errands. It could go two ways at these times. I could say “Oh sorry dear, you’re right, my place is the kitchen” then bite down on my tongue while I mop the floor and wish for a more fulfilling life. Or I could say “Ah dude, they’re your kids too! I pushed ‘em both out without pain killers, the least you can do is some parenting!” I usually opt for something in the middle. That’s where I think things should be. In the middle. Fair's fair. Even Stevens. No martyr bullshit for me.
Speak your mind ladies, or you’ll never get what you want.