One of the most common problems I hear with couples, especially the wife, is that the husband doesn’t help enough around the house and with the children. In these days where 90% of women work outside of the home, they still do most of the housework and the caring of the children.
A friend of mine, who is a hairdresser, once told me of an elderly woman who came into her shop one day. In a leisurely conversation, the woman told her that she thought women were stupid. They worked hard for “women’s liberation”, only to gain one more thing to do.
My friend took offense to this statement until she started thinking about what the elderly woman meant. What have we, as women, gained from being “liberated” besides a full-time job on top of taking care of children, a house and a husband? My friend began to realize the truth of the elderly woman’s statement.
Although the world may tell women they are liberated by working at a job outside of the house, it has only served to imprison them deeper into debt and into problems in their marriages and with their children. And how many affairs start at the office between people who are struggling at home? Besides, very few women have fulfilling jobs that give them a sense of purpose.
Because the wife also works, couples buy houses at the top of their budget, leaving no room for the loss of a job or the possibility of the mom staying at home with the children. They fill that house with furniture they can’t afford except by monthly payment on a maxed out credit card that they may never be able to pay off. One woman, who works as a church administrator, grimly confessed to me a sad fact when she looked at her family’s budget. She realized that if they had not bought “the bigger house”, she could have stayed home with their children. It was too late, though.
Because the wife also works, the children will have to be raised by a daycare system that pays minimum wages to its workers. Daycare workers don’t last very long because it’s a difficult job with low pay, and so the children will not find a lot of stability with those taking care of them. The wife will also need to pay for clothing for a job and gas to drive to and from work. Add that to the price of daycare and many mothers would be better off not working.
Because the wife also works, she comes home also exhausted, but carries on to make dinner, clean-up, bathe the children and get them to bed. There are some husbands who will help, but it doesn’t come naturally for most to offer to lend a hand. They have to be asked, and asked, and maybe asked again to help – something women have a hard time doing without appearing to nag. (Is it any wonder?)
Women get frustrated that they have to ask in the first place, and men get frustrated that their wives nag. When unresolved, these issues easily lead to divorce.
Women can become executives and pull a six figure income, but at what cost? The family sacrifices a dad who works crazy hours to support them, but what about a mom too? Most women I’ve talked to who work would prefer not to. They’d rather be home with their children, but once they get caught in the spending cycle that a working wife can offer a family, it’s too late. That cycle seems to grow larger as more income is added. Do we really need all that stuff?
Granted, there are situations where the wife has no choice – maybe the husband is out of work or has medical issues. I commend you women for your hard work, and I pray that your husband takes up the slack at home! Single mothers definitely need a supportive family to help them get by.
So what do women do? First of all, I think we need to realize that men aren’t the enemy. Women’s lib brainwashed us with the idea that we need to somehow be "equal", even excel beyond them; we want to be treated the same if not better. In God’s eyes we are equal - with different roles, but it’s the world that has created this unattainable dream of happiness and wealth, opposite of what the Bible tells us.
We must also understand that striving to obtain “equality” between men and women is like saying apples and oranges are equal, the same. Men are different beings than women and the sooner we acknowledge that, the easier life with them becomes. They just don’t get it (our craziness and our roles) and we have to acknowledge, to ourselves, that they don’t get it. We also have to accept their differences instead of trying to mold them into a clone of ourselves who’ll take care of the children and houses as well as we do.
Please join me next week as I discuss some ideas of how to get men to "get it". If you have succeeded in overcoming this large hurdle in your marriage, please leave a comment or email me to share your thoughts. I’d love to hear how other women have successfully dealt with this. firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
*As usual, there are exceptions to these generalizations.