Monday, March 12, 2018

Not All SAHMs Are Made Equal

I do generally believe that marriage should involve a division of labor in the sense that someone should raising the kids and someone should be considered the breadwinner.

When Dr. Laura paints a portrait of a "stay-at-home" mother, she actually doesn't want them to stay home. It's more like they are "stay-with-kids" mothers. She describes them taking their kids to parks, taking the kids along as they walk, run, or bike, and constantly playing with the kids.

And she tells women who have husbands who aren't convinced those women should quit their jobs to stay with the kids to tell the husbands that they'll be able to prepare more homecooked meals and there will be a lot more sex.

But how many of these women really live up to these things? I applaud those who do, but what about the rest?

[This entry was bumped up from late 2015. We no longer have the other two adults living with us. Most of what they did has reverted to me.]

My wife has been a SAHM since before our first child, who was planned, was conceived.

Today, the kids are in school. My wife is still a SAHM.

On the typical workday, she does NOT get up in the morning and make me breakfast. She does NOT pack me lunch nor bring me lunch. She does NOT make dinner. She used to make dinner maybe once a week or every other week, but now she does it even less since her sibling the the sibling's spouse moved in, who make dinner for the family maybe once per week.

Often, after I get home from working, even though the kids have been home for hours, I need to get on them to do their homework.

I usually do get a kiss goodbye when I leave, but that is because she had me get in the habit of coming to tell her when I was leaving and giving her a kiss. Sometimes she's too deep asleep to notice. [Oh no! I didn't affirmative consent before those kisses!!!] Other times, she might be awake enough to give me some task to do before I leave.

There's no greeting me at the door when I come home - at least not by her. The kids might.

I think there has been exactly one time in the entire marriage that she made arrangements to be alone when I came home with the purpose of surprising me so that we could make love.

And speaking of sex, we're down to about once every week or two. [Once every three weeks or less now.] Yup. I'm the worker. She can generate some minimal income (spending money, really) with her hobby, but it isn't like she has a required, fixed schedule. The kids are in school, and her sibling and in-law are around to help with the kids and the house as neither of them work and I'm heavily subsidizing their lives. And yet, at this rate, we're having sex maybe 30 times per year, and it is in the dark, when I should be sleeping, often with her doing very little other than being there.

She does do some of the shopping. Cleaning? Ha! The thing she does most consistently is the laundry, although she often lets that go way too long on both ends, meaning she lets it go too long before washing and then, once washed, lets it go too long before being distributed. She also gets the kids to and from school four days per week. I do it the fifth.

Is this worth half of my salary? My vow of fidelity? Paying her considerable medical expenses? Higher auto insurance rates? Being her butler?

"Oh, but you  have someone to grow old with!" Will I? With her medical conditions (which now includes the addition of a heart that has been acting up and for which she has thus far avoided getting lab tests), how realistic is it that she'll live to a ripe old age? Assuming shes live and I live, which I also have doubts about, I will be extremely surprised if she is able to do anything, let alone look after me. So I get to watch someone I love grow wrinkly and even more saggy. Yipee! Well that's worth the struggle, for sure.

At least she's not openly hostile to me right now, or as far as I can tell, not actively hurting the children or trying to kill herself. These actually feel like good times, like things are going well. Because compared to other times in this marriage, they are. But I can't say they are going well compared to what things would be life if I had never married.

Don't worry, you unmarried fellas. This is just my life. It could never happen to you (oh, and very much like the life being lived by a married friend who calls to confide in me every once in a while... and... and probably not all that different from most of my married friends who don't confide in me about such matters). Go ahead and bet your income on it by marrying. Go on! YOU can beat the odds.

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