In Career, Life

The constant fight between work and family that women have to face

After talking to a bunch of friends about Sheryl Sandberg and Marissa Mayer, and their choices to be top-flight executive women who also have a family to take care of, it made me rather disgusted with the whole situation.

Update: To clarify, I am not saying Sanberg is saying any or all of the above.

I am just pointing out the 2 big names that came up in the conversation as opposite role models, in regards to why women are expected to be Superwomen but men are not.

For the record, Mayer was the one who was agreed among the group to be setting unrealistic expectations for women and being an awful role model in that regard.

WHY IS THIS EVEN AN ISSUE?

Why do women have to be the ones saddled with choosing between work or family, or balancing both?

How come no one ever asks or scrutinizes the fact that Warren Buffett, brilliant billionaire-many-times-over, has had a lousy family life and is pretty much not a father or a father figure to his kids?

Why don’t we ever say: Gee how will Mark Zuckerberg deal with having kids, and running Facebook?

Why is it always women who are put in the spotlight?

I’ll tell you why.

THERE’S THIS STUPID IDEA FLOATING AROUND OF A WOMAN BEING ABLE TO DO IT ALL

A lie.


A woman is still a person and a person still only has 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and needs to eat, sleep and breathe on top of all that.

A man, has the same time and the same tasks to do, to continue surviving.

Marissa Mayer can “do it all” because she has lots of money.

She can pay for nannies, assistants, secretaries, chefs, and not worry a damn bit about how her kid is going to make it to school or get picked up afterwards.

Normal women, myself included, don’t have an army that we can pay to do all of the above.

How is it that it’s even the woman’s job to worry about taking care of the kids and all that? Isn’t the man also 50% responsible for this child, and ALSO has to pick them up after school or if they’re sick?

WE ARE STILL STUCK IN THE MIDDLE AGES OF THINKING THAT WOMEN RUN THE HOUSEHOLD

Women are still being forced into their set of roles of: Cook. Clean. Wash. Mother the Family.

Everyone expresses surprise when I say I don’t cook as much as BF does at home. Why should I? He’s better at it than I am, and enjoys it.

Photograph-Meal-Eat-Food-Beef-Stew-Carrots-Vegetables-Couscous

I can cook, don’t get me wrong.. but I don’t spend hours thinking about meals and ingredients. I just stick to basic recipes and am happy with eating the same flavours for weeks on end.

MEN DON’T GET ANY KIND OF RESPECT FOR BEING STAY-AT-HOME PARENTS

Admit it, you did it once. You’ve rolled your eyes when you hear about men being stay-at-home dads.

I did it. Once.

Until I thought: Why is it so weird that a man would stay at home and a woman would work?

Ideally that would never happen in my household because we’d BOTH be working (equality), and sharing the household tasks (equality X 2), but why is it that we feel uncomfortable if the woman is the breadwinner?

TV SHOWS PERPETUATE THESE STEREOTYPES OF “WIFE” AND “HUSBAND”

This doesn’t just extend to straight couples.

On plenty of TV shows such as Scandal, or Modern Family with gay and lesbian couples, you hear others snidely calling their significant others: Wife or Husband, even if their  gender doesn’t fit the role.

Being the “Wife” is still a bad thing because you’re doing all the thankless chores at home.

Being the “Husband” means you’re the breadwinner and you’re out there providing.

What a load of crock.

WE’RE THE ONES ACCEPTING THIS, YOU KNOW

I don’t want to be the breadwinner or the sugar momma, but I also don’t want to be the one who gets shoved into a role that I don’t fit into.

Why can’t I just be an equal partner, and be under the same spotlight of bringing home the bacon AND taking care of my family as a man?

Perhaps as women, we even perpetuate this a bit, with a lot of women thinking: I need to marry rich.

No joke, this is something I heard a lot of in school, even half-jokingly.

Every joke has a grain of truth, and that stereotype of women marrying rich to avoid a life of work it bothered me then as much as it bothers me now.

I don’t even understand why it has to be a fight, because it shouldn’t even exist as an issue any more.

That is.. if we really are as advanced in our thinking as we say we are.

WHY ARE WOMEN THE ONLY ONES BEING FORCED TO CHOOSE AND DO IT ALL?

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Am my own Sugar Daddy. Am a millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. I have 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 have 11 side incomes that are on track in 2020 to make me $50K - $75K. 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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15 Comments

  1. Anne @ Unique Gifter

    This is a topic that gets my blood boiling. I HATE the “women can’t have it all” …said in isolation. That’s absolute bullshit. Men can’t have it all either. The problem is, most never try. They’re happy to mock stay at home fathers and perpetuate ridiculous gender stereotypes, while not caring about the many things that allow them to continue with their lives.
    Heard a great speech on this topic recently, too. How many traveling women have their suitcases packed by their spouses, versus men? Close to zero? Thought so.
    …I could go on for days.

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      Ooo that suitcase thing is true, although I’d never let BF pack my suitcase. He’d put nothing in there and mismatch my clothes. 😛 That’s how HE travels.

      Reply
  2. Allison @InsomniacLabRat

    I agree that this is really irritating- the responsibilities of family life should be shared by both men and women. And I do think that if you marry/live with someone who is willing to share things equally, that can be the case, but society definitely seems to push the family stuff on to women (this is coming from other women, too).

    I think a great example of how ingrained this is in our society is something my boss always talks about when her kids move up to new schools – the schools will ALWAYS call her if the kid is sick/forgot lunch/whatever. She and her husband both work, but the nature of their jobs makes it easier for him to leave at any given time, so they list him first on contact information to the school. They’ll even include a note saying “call [husband] first”…and at every new school, they call the mom first. It is apparently inconceivable to these school administrators that they shouldn’t call the mother when something is wrong, that it might be the father that takes on that particular responsibility.

    Reply
  3. AdinaJ

    I don’t know about being forced as much as being willing to accept (or self-impose) a higher standard on ourselves. I am not saying that men don’t contribute to it, but a lot of the debate in the so-called “mommy wars” is driven by women these days. As a (fairly new) working mother, I’m still trying to grapple with separating what’s genuinely important to me, versus what I’ve been told (and internalized) SHOULD be important to me.

    Reply
  4. Tim

    I think my wife would beat me with a stick if I even tried that shit with her. We accepted a long time ago we have certain skills and thus it makes sense for us to do certain things. Yes I earn most of the money and she runs a daycare. Is that wrong? No, the problem is even if you rant about this stuff doesn’t take away the point that some people (moms or dads) are just better with the kids and it makes sense they be the primary caregiver. In our case, my wife is utter great with kids so that is her career. I’m good at running a meeting and organizing data, so I go out and get paid for it. Yet I’m the better cook. Do what works for you and forget about ‘should’.

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      True, but I know plenty of guys who are just better with kids than I could ever be. Do they want to work with kids and stay at home as a dad? Heck no. They know they’re going to be judged.

      If the skills were reversed, would you take your wife’s position at home and deal with your colleagues basically calling you rather rude names, insinuating you’re a kept man who has a wife who browbeats you?

      Some industries are very macho, particularly consulting and finance ones. No one expects those guys to stay at home with kids for more than even a day, two weeks MAX, it would be career suicide.

      Reply
      1. Tim

        Would I stay home and let my work bring in the money…if I had her skills sets with kids…hell yes, I might even consider quiting my job and working in her daycare if I had the right skills.
        I’ve never had much of an ego with what other people think. I’m different and don’t worry about it. I know is isn’t normal, but I’m ok at laughing at alpha males.
        I know what you mean about consulting, I took a seven week parental leave when my second was born and my boss kept saying “I don’t understand this, but business is slow so ok.” I still loved that time off and it was totally worth it. Besides, I left consulting after that job…I went to work for the client. *grin*

        Reply
  5. grumpyrumblings

    Some good advice: Don’t marry a douche. My husband takes on equal mental load for everything children-related. If we forget something, we’ve both forgotten it.

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      I’m with a bit of a know-it-all (we are very much alike), so this is a work in progress for me.

      Reply
  6. Do or Debt

    I think gender roles are shifting, but I agree, we are still stuck in some ways. My bf also cooks more than I do, and I in general make more money than he does. Women can’t have everything, there will always be something that is not given 100% and I think that is sad. I feel like there is a lot of pressure for women to be beautiful, successful, great mothers and great wives ALL AT THE SAME TIME. However, I feel like if you find the right person, none of that really matters and you find out how you relate to each other.

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      That’s the pressure I’m annoyed at — women having to do it all and still be judged.

      Reply
  7. Pauline

    It is regrettable that the mother has to consider what she will do once children come, it should be a couple’s decision. Decide to go back to work because you love it, not because you make more than your spouse. I wrote a post recently about how much you really bring home if you have to pay for daycare, a second car, etc. and for most average earners it isn’t worth it, but both parents should have the choice to say home or go back to work.
    PS it’s Marissa 🙂

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      What I’d rather have is the choice and the lack of stigma for men to stay at home if they choose to. Or women to stop being under such scrutiny to be perfect all the time.

      (Merci! I knew it was Marissa but my fingers late at night, typed Melissa..)

      Reply
  8. Cait Flanders

    Have you read the book Lean In? Sandberg doesn’t write about anything that you’re saying here.

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      I said Sanberg but I meant to just highlight the two women on opposite sides of the battle. Mayer as the do-it-all, Sanberg as the opposite.

      Reply

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