Sunday, February 10, 2008

Women's Work and Respect...

Note: This was my response to someone who talked about their frustration with their 'lazy' dh, even though he works 70 hours/week. This was written some time ago, I don't have three children any more [smile]!


Subject:Lazy Husbands...(long)

Hi all!

I've been listening to this discussion, and I felt compelled to add my
02...(trying to keep it on topic, of course!)

First, I think that *everyone* who spoke on this issue made a valid
point...nagging won't help, it will only make the home atmosphere worse
(learned this one the hard way when my eldest lamb told her father after he
said that he'd get her breakfast, "no you won't, you're just going to go
back to sleep and forget about it!" Talk about being convicted about your
bad attitude!!!), and drive him further away...the man *does* have to work
to support the family, and if he is worried about $$$, I've noticed that
men tend to just work more and more to compensate for the perceived lack of
$$$.

My personal opinion is that most of us women with large families (although
mine is not that large, we're only expecting our fourth) do not expect our
dh to walk in the door and begin cooking, cleaning and changing diapers,
that would be ridiculous!!! However, what I know that I want is ***respect
for the work that I do to take care of the house***...with so many
children, you have to be a general when dh is not home, training the
children, teaching them (whether you homeschool or not), and simply
spending the time in raising them...not to mention the actual physical work
of picking up after, changing dirty diapers, cleaning up messes, etc.

My point?

Guys, there is nothing more aggravating than to spend time cleaning and
caring for the house and those children that outnumber you...the place is
cozy and inviting (finally!) and dh comes home, decides that he wants a
sandwich, and leaves bread, mayo, coldcuts, and knife on counter, crumbs on
(freshly washed) floor, and the plate that he ate off of somewhere in the
living room...does that say that you respect the effort that went into
making your home a good place to come home to? Would you go to someone
else's home and do that (if they allowed you to make a sandwich in their
kitchen)? No, of course not...so why do it to dw?

And to add insult to injury, the kids begin to pick up on this, and imitate
you...if *you* don't respect mom's work, why should they? And your dw
cannot very well say to the children (although she may want to [grin])"Do
what your Dad says, not what he does", because that weakens your authority,
Dad...and with 3, 4, 5 or more children in the house Mom needs Dad to have
all the authority that he is due.

A lot of times, women get upset about "lazy" husbands, when the real issue
is RESPECT...her work is not as "important" as his, because his brings in a
paycheck...but remember, it takes 2 to have and raise children...and if
something happened to dw, it would cost a fortune to have someone replace
her in the physical sense (cooking, cleaning, taking care of children,
making appointments, and all of those other thousand and one things that
are necessary to the smooth running of a household that one takes for
granted)...and of course, the love and affection is priceless and
irreplaceable (sp?).

In addition, another thing is that when you say that you will do something,
and then never get to it, it reduces your wife's trust in you. "Is this the
time he will really fix that thingamawhatsis, or is he just blowing smoke
again? Do I go ahead and just call the fixit guy?"...Do you do that at
work? To your friends? Even to strangers? Probably not...the people who
know you probably know you as a man of your word...someone to be counted
on...but does your wife, the person who you are supposed to cleave to and
forsake all others to be with? Do your children know you as a man of your
word, or are you just a guy wearing all the hair off the back of his head
watching TV/playing video games/using the computer when he is home?

I realize that when you work 70+ hours/week, it is hard to make time to do
things...but you did contribute to the children's [ahem] conception, did
you not? Not too busy to do *that*, are you? Then, just as a woman must
make the time to make herself appealing and her home inviting to her
husband, even if the baby did throw up on her five times today, and the
washing machine broke down, and she's suffering from
morning/afternoon/evening sickness, a man must make the time to be a
husband and father...no excuses...

Simply my .02...it can be hard some days all around...

LaVeda Mason

"When we accept tough jobs as a challenge to our ability and wade into them
with joy and enthusiasm, miracles can happen." -- Arland Gilbert


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