In Discussions, Life, Parenting

Haters gonna hate: Why do women hate on other women?

So…. it turns out that women are also jealous that my partner does so much, not just men who like to mansplain that my relationship is all wrong.

He does the grocery shopping, errands, cooks, handles the car and apartment stuff, does his own laundry, and also watches Little Bun twice a week at home as well as on Saturdays when I eff off for my own Mommy Time.

Their response?

So what do YOU do?

I mean, he does it all, so WTF are you doing at home? Do you do anything!?

Umm….

This is not the response I expected.

I was expecting more of:

Wow. That’s great! How can I get MINE to do more?

(They all complain about how little their partners do.)

I know what I do.. a LOT, just off the top of my head…

  • All the cleaning – dishes, pots, pans, vacuuming, wiping down crap, bathrooms
  • Anything related to Little Bun – preschool everything, laundry, organizing, cleaning him, making sure he has WHATEVER ready
  • Educating Little Bun – I buy the apps, I worked with the alphabet and math with him, I found puzzles, etc
  • Pickup & drop-off at preschool every day when he geos
  • Anything to do with ordering anything online, then tracking the shipments, paying for it, organizing its return (if any)
  • Anything to do with sending things such as packing and mailing things to his family
  • Anything to do with family – like all the photos I take, print and organized in an album for his mother for instance
  • All the nighttime stuff – if Little Bun wakes up at night and wants to go pee, or needs to be patted to sleep, or taking care of him in general as my partner is out doing all that other stuff including while he is cooking so that he can concentrate and not worry about Little Bun
  • Buying or hunting down anything he needs or says he needs but can’t find
  • Booking and buying all the tickets for any of our trips — I handle ALL of that stuff and he helps with the stuff I cannot decipher in Europe, or gives me the general outline and I execute the plan

And it sort of hurt my feelings, truth be told.


It’s like they think I don’t do anything and my partner does it all, but do they ALSO pay 50% of the bills like I do?

Every single bill?

Do they handle their own retirement funds?

Then I realized, it was just pure jealousy.

THE GREEN-EYED MONSTER…

They think to keep their partners / husbands, they have to DO IT ALL, look great, keep slim, not complain, grin and bear it, handle all the responsibilities for a child, bla bla bla…. but in actuality, they are putting all that pressure on themselves.

Not their partners.

They are the ones thinking they have to do it all and be Superwoman, and know what? The guys are not going to step up and say:

Hey, it looks like it is tough handling groceries with a screaming child, why don’t I take him/her and you do the groceries or vice versa?

EFF NO.

They can just claim to be too dumb to handle any of that — “Oh she asked for ketchup and I came back with red tomato sauce, SILLY ME, I’m a MORON… Duh.. can’t do anything.“, or they just don’t say anything and let her keep digging her own grave trying to outdo herself and be this amazing wife, mother & woman.

I KNOW THIS because guys have heard what my partner does and say about 99% of the time:

Your partner is NEVER, EVER going to meet my wife.

If she finds out what he does … I’m in big #%*#&.

Why would anyone step up to do more work when someone else is already doing all of it? Seriously.

Of course, not all guys do this. Mine doesn’t.

I don’t plan on ever raising Little Bun like that so that he never learns how to cook or clean, but it is more common than we think that we STILL think women should bring home half the bacon, cook it, clean up afterwards AND watch the kids plus manage the household and family affairs.

WTF? Are we multi-limbed like Ganesh and able to do a billion things at once? DON’T THINK SO.

What makes me sad about the whole interaction today, was that instead of finding it inspirational that yes, men can certainly do some of the housework and not burn the house down, and be much better at cooking than women (hello professional chefs in the cooking world!!!), they found it disheartening and felt the need to attack me and ask what my contribution was to the household because in their words: “It doesn’t seem like you do anything“…

Obviously I couldn’t tell them I pay half of all the bills and save for my own retirement, including while I was pregnant and then on maternity leave of my own choosing (nope, my partner did NOT pay for me while I was with child and after having Little Bun).

I also couldn’t tell them that I make a ton of money (some might know, they’re also consultants), and pay half of everything.

My partner also does a lot of the physical stuff because he is better at it, and CAN, and I handle the emotional stuff with Little Bun at the moment. As he gets older, I will have to tackle more and more of that.

I already spend time just holding Little Bun, calming him down, reading to him, playing with him.. and that stuff, is WORK it just doesn’t sound like it, but it does impede getting other stuff done (like dishes).

Without me to buffer Little Bun and keep him occupied so that my partner can be a rockstar, it doesn’t work.

But why do women attack other women instead of seeing it as a positive thing?

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have paid my $600K home in cash (my half was $300K), my $180K casr in cash, worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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16 Comments

  1. Shawn

    The jealous people probably don’t understand a way outside of their predefined gender roles. As a childfree married female that works part-time from home, I run into problems with this too: “What does she do?” Like I don’t have things to do. Being a perfectionist sometimes (like me) is tough too. People don’t get what they can’t understand. I think it’s important to value everyone’s role & all of our different relationships. Just because I don’t have children of my own does not mean that I don’t think stay at home non-writing moms or dads aren’t super heroes. & hell, working moms, goddesses! 🙂

    Reply
  2. GYM

    I can’t believe they would say something like that to you. These women at the playground (I assume hehe) are just plain rude! I agree that some women often have the ‘martyr’ syndrome where they think they can handle it all- cook, clean, take care of children, work etc. and they feel they can do it ‘the best’. Sometimes I catch myself thinking that way too and then I snap out of it and let my husband take care of the baby, even if he does it a slightly different way from me.

    My husband makes more than me but he also does a lot around the house too. His standard of clean isn’t as high as mine (and mine isn’t that high) so I usually do the cleaning. I don’t like the dishes so he does the dishes a lot of the time (my way of dishes is putting them in the dishwasher). I do a lot of organizing for trips too which I wish he would do a bit more of, but he doesn’t value travel as much as I do.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      To each their own strengths!

      Reply
  3. Laura Dietrick

    My partner and I divide everything in half also. I do most of the cooking because Im just better at looking at what we have on hand and making a meal out of it. If we are having noodles with dinner he makes them. I just cant seem to get them right lol. He does all the laundry and I put it away. I do the dishes. I have lived in a relationship where the man “can’t” do anything. We do the gardening together. My son mows the lawn and trims weeds. I pay half the rent and half the utility bills. We both contribute to the food and grocery shopping. My boyfriend deals with the car. He is teaching my son to drive and deals with a lot of the school work questions. He takes my son to the doctor if he needs to be seen. We all have our tasks. No way I would go back to doing everything. Every relationship is different and you have to figure out what works for you and your partner.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      To each their own strengths!

      Reply
  4. Liz

    As I entered my last post, I realized this, they might feel jealous, but jealous that you don’t struggle with the guilt that would come with a lesser burden. (See how society judges childless women who don’t have to work or even housewives, “oh, they don’t really DO anything except stay with the kids and clean the house, big whoop.”). Maybe the right conclusion for a slightly different, albeit related, reason.

    Reply
  5. Liz

    I don’t necessarily think jealousy is the correct answer, although it may be in some cases. I think that women are programmed (whether by culture or religion or however else you wish to assign blame) to think that they need to be able to do it all, like you said. I think that saying that women think that it’s to “keep” their husbands is frankly a shallow conclusion, but honestly I think it’s a sense of guilt that exists even outside of that. my husband is better at many household chores and tasks than I am and yet I don’t want him to do any of them. AND I work more hours than he does, on top of that. He honestly wouldn’t care if he stayed home while I increased my hours further. He’d cook and clean and I’d work all day. He’d like the outcome better. So why do I insist on doing everything? doesn’t have much to do with him. I think that those women, incorrectly or not, are judging you thinking that you have leisure time or are selfishly pursuing something when you could be doing X or Y. They are judging you, but I don’t think jealousy is the right word. I wouldn’t let my husband do everything because I feel fulfilled if I work AND maintain the household myself. When he doesn’t listen to me and does laundry and cooks and cleans and tells me cheerfully to put my feet up, I have a sense of extreme guilt. I don’t think he’s going to leave me or find me useless. I* feel that way, that I need to be constantly working, managing, cleaning. There’s more to unpack there about why that may be but I think your conclusion is very much skimming the surface. They most likely think you’re selfish for letting your partner do as much as he does while you engage in “frivolous pursuits”. Now, as far as the men, I’d agree with your take on that, but I’d be surprised that if push came to shove, that some of these women would cede control of these tasks over to the husband. It sounds nice, but when someone does X and Y and it’s not up to your standards, or you feel that you should be doing it, you’ll pick it up and assume those tasks again. I’ve seen it in my own family and others as well. It’s the women’s burden.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I joke that my partner has to keep ME. That’s why he works 😛

      Reply
  6. Maggie

    ‘I think that we live in a very patriarchal system which we are constantly having to fight against. It’s not always there to help us or support us, so we have to try to help and support each other. Women need to celebrate each other’s lives and stories while not judging or comparing them. For me, personally, I think we need to apologise less, take up more space and then be sure to hire women when you get to a position of power.’
    Amy Pohler

    AMEN

    Reply
  7. Sense

    I don’t even know, but this societal attitude is partly why I will never have children. Not only are children exhausting and a ton of work just in themselves, but there is also this dealing with the demands and judg-y expectations of being a female parent. NOT FOR ME

    The root of all of this, I have realized: women are just plain not seen as equal as men. We get told from a very young age that we are only good for certain things, are not strong, are not __(take your pick)__, and then that gets reinforced in school and by society. As a consequence, many of us choose careers where we are not paid as much (and then we don’t demand as much because of the way we were raised/what is expected). Even when we choose a well-paid career, we (well, most of us! :)) get paid significantly less than men. We therefore are forced to make up for the lack of pay by taking care of the house, doing the necessary unpaid, unappreciated emotional and physical labour to keep it running smoothly. We also do this because society says we should, that is our role, etc., in some terrible, circuitous, reinforcing logic. This all creates a horrible situation where we are expected to not only kick butt at work for less money, fewer promotions, etc., but also have Pinterest-worthy, pristine homes and be its emotional heart. I don’t know why other women wouldn’t applaud you for changing the game in their favor, though. Maybe to compensate for our own failings to do all of these things to society’s perfect and rigid standards, we look for areas we can critique in other women, and resist ideas that challenge our perceived ideas about our roles as women?

    If we could shift the mindset in what we expect our children to be good at based on their gender, I think the expectations at home would also shift, and women would be much less likely to tear each other down.

    If I had a partner/house/(step?)kids, I would also opt to share the household expenses and housework 50-50 like you do. Any guy I date will be very aware of this expectation!

    Well done on showing LB what a fair and equitable household looks like! I think you’re rocking it.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      You are the envy of all mothers and fathers out there. Honestly, a child-free life sounds like a fantasy right now 😛

      But I also do love LB very very much and cannot imagine being without him.

      Reply
  8. Clara

    Seriously? Any response other than “Wow, that’s great!” sounds just plain rude! Gonna go discuss equitable divisions of labour with my gentleman after this 🙂

    My guess: a lot of the hater-ladies will have invested lots of effort persuading themselves that their marriages are happy/normal/equal/whatever. Then when another woman in a TRULY equal relationship basically invalidates all that effort just by existing…the (illogical, counterproductive) response is to shoot the messenger, because the alternative would be to admit that their divisions of labour are pretty darn unfair and all that effort was for naught. Also, maybe other women are seen as a more accessible, ‘safer’ target for this dissatisfaction because, well, the alternative would be to attack men and… patriarchal power dynamics something something??

    Ugh, just trying to think around the logic is weird. Sorry you have to deal with this nonsense!

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Well I just try not to say too much these days, but THEY ASK. THEY ASK ME so I have to answer 🙁

      Reply

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