By most standards, I have it all. I’m married to a supportive man, I have two kids (1 boy, 1 girl, how perfect!), I’m well-educated, leaning in at work, taking time to write in this blog, running a side business, and keeping up with the household chores (most of the time, anyway!). We live on a great property in a house that was built by my grandpa. This means lots of legacy and lots of DIY. I’ve been pretty blessed.
But do I have it all or do I just have pieces of it all?
In a prior post, I wrote that I feel as though I am perpetually and chronically running behind. I’m playing catch up, unable to keep up with my own scorecard and due dates because I am so busy try to have it all.
Marriage is a partnership, but is it an equal 50/50 partnership? I’m guessing that in most households, it’s not. I came across a video today–actually a commercial. You may have seen it as it’s actually going viral. You can check it out here on Sheryl Sandberg’s facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/sheryl/videos/10156510941810177/?pnref=story.
The video/commercial in question shows a grandfather sitting at the table with his grandson. He’s watching his daughter as she gets home from work, starts dinner, picks up the toys, and works on laundry, all while participating in a teleconference for her job. Her husband is sitting in the background watching TV. Then, there’s a voice over from the grandfather. He’s written a letter to his daughter, lamenting the bad example that he set in not doing things around the house, and he promises to go home and at least help with the laundry. It’ s a commercial for Ariel laundry from P&G, but it’s so much more than that! It’s really a statement on global inequality.
I can really identify with this commercial! Both Mr. Keller and I grew up in more traditional homes where the wife took care of the household chores and the children while the husband took care of the outside (but heaven forbid the flower beds be included in what is known as the outside!). When we entered into our marriage, I had high hopes of a marriage in which I cooked and he cleaned up after dinner, but I never made that reality happen. Instead, I accepted his expectations (again rationalizing it because we grew up that way and “he’d had a hard day at work”).
Why do I accept this? Why do I accept the fact that I maintain the house, the children, the finances, and our social calendar, all while bringing home more than half of our family’s financial income? Some days, I feel as though everyone and everything in the little Keller world is dependent upon me. Silly, right? I mean, they won’t starve without me cooking. Eventually, someone else would do laundry. The dusting probably won’t happen, but I’m sure that Mr. Keller would get the kids ready in the morning if I just refused. BUT, I don’t.
Mr. Keller is a wonderful man. I’m not trying to complain about him. I’m simply sharing my thoughts on how our household got to where we are today.
I’ve put myself in this position, but so has society. Stereotypes and gender expectations have had a huge influence in my life and, I’m sure others.
The feminist movement was great… until it wasn’t. You see, I don’t think feminists expected the world I live today. They fought so that I could vote, work a job, and be reliant upon myself. I don’t think they expected that women would do all of those things while still shouldering the bulk of the household chores. You see, I’m competitive and ambitious; I want to be the best. I want to win at being the best wife, mom, housewife, and employee. I want to have it all, but I’m realizing that something has to give.