Friday, July 02, 2010

Mother vs. Wife

I recently read an article online written by one John Rosemond. It was a response to a husband who was unhappy with how much mothering and how little "wife-ing" his wife was doing.

It brought out a seriously strong reaction in me. It made me mad. Go read it. It might make you mad too. In it, Rosemond says no one ever questioned him when he was speaking to a large group, so therefor everyone agrees with him. Most likely, they were being polite and didn't think shouting disagreement in a large crowd was the right place to do it.

So, I'll address him here.  He says,"So, at speaking engagements, I say to my audiences, who average 60/40 female, "Raising children is the most stressful thing a woman will do in her adult life, more stressful than running a major corporation." And then I ask, "Anyone disagree?" When no one disagrees, and no one ever
has, I up the ante: "Raising children has become bad for the mental health of women. Anyone disagree?" No one has ever disagreed. I go on to ask, "Why are women submitting to this? Certainly this is more oppressive than a glass ceiling or having other professional doors irrevocably shut. No?" No one disagrees."

First - I agree that raising children is more stressful than running a major corp, though I've never done the later. It just seems that way. If a corporation fails, people lose money. But if a mother fails, a life could be ruined.

Second - I vehemently disagree that raising children is bad for the mental health of women. Some women are not as well prepared for it, but the fault for that lies with the surrounding culture. Women are increasingly told they can "have it all" and then, when it doesn't work out all that well, they feel bad about themselves. They aren't able to live up to the standard the world has set for them.

Third - children are NOT the new glass ceiling. They are human beings that we (for the most part) willingly bring into the world. It is not fair to blame them for the mental health status of women. Even in cases of PPD, we do not blame the children.

I've ranted a lot already... anyone else have any thoughts about what Rosemond said???

3 comments:

  1. I completely agree with your opinion. As a professional (well former one now, ha ha!) in the mental health industry, I am disgusted that children would be considered a glass ceiling. This doesn't even make sense. However, I will say that I think being a wife is as important as being a mother. After all, who is my daughter going to use as a role model when she finds her soulmate? Following you!

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  2. OMG, those comments got my back up!!! I wish I had been there, I so would have opened my mouth.

    I'm your newest follower and hope you'll have a chance to check out my blog and follow me back.

    http://mformommy.blogspot.com

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  3. I can't believe that was published in The Ledger. A man's point of view that I hope doesn't reflect all spouse's points of view. I know I am consumed by my children but that is my choice. It is my job to nuture and support but also to let them see strengths and weaknesses as well. Do marriages suffer - yup. Do they have to? Nope. Yes, my husband slipped on the totem pole, I have to admit. Who said raising kids was going to have no negative impact on a marriage? But if he were to set this article on my counter with a bouquet of roses I would be furious. Instead, he would better our relationship by pitching in, helping make arrangements for date nights, and still showing me he valued me as a woman and not "just" a mother and wife. Not by trying to tell me that my kids are making me crazy and destroying our marriage. Who is this guy??? Perhaps he should tell the inquiring husband to stop whining, appreciate his wife AND their children, make a contribution to his relationships, and think about the short years those kids are going to be bringing laughter to his home before they are out on their own. No one diagreed???? Probably because they were speechless with incredulousness.

    Dawn

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