I was walking to my car the other day when I heard three men talking rather loudly and jesting with one who was recently married. They laughingly said, “Happy wife…Happy life! Those of you who know me know that is a trigger statement for me. I know it is a joke…but isn’t there a kernel of truth in every joke? As is usual “Cathi protocol’, I had to search my heart to seek why it is such a trigger for me. A lot of my friends laugh it off when they hear it, so why don’t I? Here is my attempt to articulate why it bothers me.
The first thing is, it seems sexist to me. It puts the ownership on the woman to make the house happy. If the wife isn’t happy, the whole house/family suffers. I found growing up, that the house was just as uncomfortable whenmy dad was unhappy (and sometimes more uncomfortable). Actually, when anyone is unhappy in the household, it can make it uncomfortable; therefore, making life less than “happy”. My guess is that you may have had similar experiences.
Secondly, perhaps the wife is unhappy because she is tired. The “having it all” is a truly a myth, and hard to bring to fruition unless you both share in responsibilities around the house. It is really hard to be in a good mood if you have to work, cook, clean, do laundry, and help with homework. I can honestly say that we do not have defined male and female jobs in our house. We both work on cleaning, garbage detail, yard, laundry, etc. We are partners and both seek to help each other out. According to Pew Research in 2016 they surveyed households and discovered these statistics:
Helping with Children 1965 vs Helping with Children 2016
1965 Moms -10% of her day. 2016 Moms -14% of her day (children’s schedules are busier)
1965 Dads 2.5% of his day. 2016 Dads 8% of his day
Housework 1965 vs Housework 2016
1965 Moms 32% of the responsibility. 2016 Moms 10% of the responsibility.
1965 Dads 4% of the responsibility. 2016 Dads 3% of the responsibiity.
Just based on these numbers you can see that women have the lions-share of the household upkeep along with taking care of the children. Women also make up 54.6% of the workforce in 2016 as opposed to 36% in 1965. So, make your partner a true partner and let’s change the saying to “Happy Spouse Happy House”!!!
Until next time,