Being married is amazing. Really. But some of the additional “jobs” we never expected to have to take on for two people make us yearn for the single life.
The 1950s were a long time ago, but if you speak to some married women, and especially married moms, you might find yourself wondering why so many people are stuck in a time warp. While marriage seems to do wonders for many men — we’ve all heard that husbands in happy unions have healthier lives and tend to live longer, right? — a lot of wives seem to be running themselves ragged trying to be perfect wives, moms, doctors, home decorators, chefs, etc.
Being a married woman and/or a married mom is great. A solid relationship with your best friend and lover can provide you with inspiration and strength to achieve many of your goals. At the same time, we can’t deny it: Being married can be work and the fact that many of these duties can easily be shared by our husbands, but aren’t — I mean, we’re not talking about giving birth here — leaves us baffled.
I’m not saying we mind these jobs, I’m just saying it doesn’t hurt to reciprocate or pitch in.
1. Financial planner
Maybe you got lucky and married a man who is a whiz at saving money and budgeting. Or perhaps you’re cursing the women who married those kinds of men as you sit every night with your eyes glued to an Excel spreadsheet trying to make heads or tails over why your partner spends $60 a week on beer and Popsicles. Unless you’re both blessed with the ability to practice self-restraint when it comes to your finances, one of you is going to have to take control over your money situation. Since so many women are still doing the bulk of the grocery shopping (one of our largest expenses), we often get stuck being the ones who have to nag about dollars and cents.
2. Personal assistant
My husband is the best. But, no joke, the man cannot remember a birthday or event to save his life — even when the person throwing the party is a member of his family. Many times, wives wind up purchasing all of the birthday cards, picking up gifts, RSVPing to every invitation and then reminding our husbands that they need to get their butts to a store and buy a decent shirt to wear to the event.
For some reason, possibly because a lot of women know a thing or two about women’s fashion, many husbands automatically assume we have instinctive knowledge about men’s shirts, ties and suits. Those of us who wouldn’t dream of taking our husbands along with us while we shop for shoes and try to ignore their tortured faces, get asked to sit outside of many dressing rooms and voice our opinions about the same five pairs of boring gray slacks.
4. Hairstylist extraordinaire
If you have a little girl who has long hair, prepare yourself to learn how to braid it, secure it in a ballerina bun for her dance recital, magically keep it up in a ponytail despite little hairs that stick up everywhere on her head, and keep it from becoming a tangled bird’s nest. Your husband will act as if he has never used a brush before if you ask him to go anywhere near your daughter with one. And then there are those times when your husband can’t get to a barber and asks you to just give him a little trim in the back. Unless you are a trained professional or really like to fight with your husband, just say no.
Don’t want to eat canned soup, nacho chips or pizza every night? You may just find yourself turning to Pinterest every day to steal new ways you can sneak kale and eggplant into the lasagna and bacon burger dinners he agrees to eat.
6. Director of household public relations
There is no such thing as an introverted mom. Guess which one of you is expected to go when little Johnny is invited to a children’s birthday party? I’m not suggesting that dads are never involved in their kids’ lives, but when it comes to kid’s parties, wives are often entrusted with that job because it is assumed we are more chatty and social.
From the time we are young, women are used to pouring out their hearts and souls to other female friends. But men can build life-long friendships with other men and never talk about a single feeling. And that’s where wives come in. We want our husbands to open up to us, but it sometimes feels like, when we ask for the same therapy session in return, we’re told we’re being overly emotional. Not cool.
When women get sick, we may complain, but we also often have no choice but to get up, shower, throw down two Tylenol, and start making the children breakfast before heading off to the office. When many men get sick, they want us to play nurse, and not in the good way. After fighting with them for three days to make an appointment with a doctor, we wind up making it for them. In the meantime, we prescribe them pills, take their temperatures and try our best to convince them they aren’t on death’s door.
Why do men suffer from so many aches and pains? Is it because they refuse to stretch, try yoga or not carry 100 pounds worth of groceries at once? This remains one of life’s greatest mysteries. Another mystery? You will be asked to massage his back, shoulders and calves and it probably won’t be good enough — because you’re not a freaking skilled massage therapist.