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Astute reader Carls Jr. writes:
Date: Wed, Jun 18, 2008 at 12:25 AM
Subject: Stay at home bitching
wanted to get your take on this - I'm a restaurant manager who works nights and has to sleep during the day. For the most part my wife is really cool about it. She gets up with the baby and lets me sleep and so on. Our older kid is 6 and in school so he's not an issue during the day.
The main problem is though, she bitches non fuckin stop about how hard her life is, and that I don't understand how hard it is to be a stay at home mom. And the crazy thing is she starts the arguments!!! I work 65 hours a week and make 100% of our income and I never mention the fact that she's not making any money, instead I treat her like a queen, but instead, SHE bitches at ME. The woman can not shut up about how hard her life is.
The funny thing is, there are times during the day when she needs to go out and I watch our son for hours at a time. Every time I do it I think to myself.....It's just not that hard!! Sure there's the occasional diaper explosion or screaming tantrum, but I swear on my life I don't see what the big fucking deal is. When he sleeps I can fuckin SLEEP or scratch my nuts or watch the wire dvds --- try doing that at a real job!! I wish that she could try managing a staff of 15 mexicans and at the same time dealing with phone calls from the owner and 5 customers having a meltdown over there missing appetizers...... I think it would put into perspective exactly how tough her work situation is.
How do you deal with these issues from your woman - I know she's home with the kids too, right? Granted I know you've got two kids so it might be rougher on your bird, but what's your take- is it really that fucking hard to be a stay at home mom??
What up, Carls-
Fantastic question! Sorry I let it rot in my inbox for 5 months, but such is the prerogative of a mostly-black male living under the Obama Administration-Elect: I can do WHATEVER I WANT all the time with zero accountability. Hopefully you're not already divorced, and I've still got a shot at helping you out here.
The answer to your question is that it depends on a bunch of factors- For example, as far as net difficulty of daily tasks is concerned, there's a huge difference between:
- an upper-east-side mink jewess who stays at home with her full-time nanny and takes breaks from her craigslist casual-encounters surfing to teach her kid which president's face appear on which dollar bills.
- some poor jewish woman with 10 kids in crown heights who is gonna get face-slapped if Moishe gets home and one of the male children hasn't finished his chicken-liver or has accidentally touched a female human.
In your case specifically though, it's easier to assess because your wife is a lazy whore.
Totally kidding! I hardly know anything about you guys! Therefore, let's assume the "stay-at-home mom" in question is a married woman with two kids, no nanny, and a housekeeper that comes once every two weeks.
Now right off the bat: while I too get pissed off at my wife's insistence that she performs brain surgery while my office colleagues and I masturbate to internet porn, I've got to say that I've spotted a crucial flaw in your logic:
> The funny thing is, there are times during the day when she needs to go out and I watch our son for hours at a time.
Stop right there - that's unscientific. You can't just take what they do 24/7, do it for a few hours, and then be like "yo that shit's easy." That's like saying you could handle Ramadan just cause it's almost 3pm and you haven't eaten since breakfast.
So, there's a clue for us: In isolation, the following tasks are NOT as hard as the stressful restaurant-management activities you've described:
- feeding a kid breakfast
- changing a diaper
- cleaning a kid's hands and face with a washcloth
- dressing a kid (actually, bad example, that's fucking hard)
- getting a kid downstairs and into a stroller
- making a kid wear a hat in the snow so he doesn't freeze and die (another terrible example - also impossible)
However, in context, these tasks coagulate to form certain conditions that are far worse than the sum of the parts. These conditions ARE more difficult to bear than the tasks of most western, non-air-traffic-controlling professions, including your job of playing Hell's Kitchen with a bunch of mexicans:
- Serial deprivation of intellectual stimulus; prolonged exposure to extreme mental boredom.
- Deep isolation from adult contact and sanity-sustaining social interaction
- De-prioritization of personal hygiene and excretion processes
- Sleep deprivation
- Chinese-Water-Torture-esque exposure to punctuated nails-on-blackboard whining and demands every 3 minutes for (literally) years and years without significant respite.
I've seen the effects of these conditions on my wife, so it's obvious to me that being a stay-at-home mom is worse than my job as a highly-paid software engineer. I believe that also makes it harder, but you can see why the definition of hard itself is called somewhat into question- For example, What's a harder job:
- Being a slave girl in Pakistan and cleaning camel shit between beatings
- Being a Front-Office Wall Street Trader.
Tough call on semantics, right? But the Pakistani chick obviously has it worse.
It boggles my mind to think that anyone would willingly be a stay-at-home mother - the inherent deprivation of basic human rights is just too great. I could never do it in 10 billion years, even though I love my kids enough to throw myself in front of a train for them that's different though, because throwing yourself in front of a train is far less boring, is over quickly, and takes far less dedication to execute than committing yourself to the complete and total ego suicide that stay-at-home parenting entails.
However: because of her severe dedication to our kids and unwillingness to have them raised by Caribbeans, my wife has chosen to be a stay-at-home mom.
This brings us to the real issue in our household:
If my wife has Chosen this role for herself, and can reverse that decision at any time, is she really allowed to bitch about it nonstop and make everyone else's life hell with her nonstop martyring and complaining and whining?
Get the fuck outta here Carls, that's the stupidest question i've ever heard in my life. Who cares if they're allowed - they're going to bitch anyway so deal with it. Want a divorce? Go try telling them they're not allowed to complain.
Don't worry - your kids will be at a state university soon, and your wife will slowly assimilate back into society, though her skills at typewriting and woodworking and all these other twentieth century tasks will be meaningless and outdated, and she'll still be a drain on your income and society.
Even then however, as she'll have taken the ultimate bullet for the team - you'll still be the asshole, and in debt to her forever.
Btw, if your answer in the first paragraph was "too late, we're already divorced," then please ignore all of the above. In fact, if you would forward me your ex-wife's contact information, that would be optimal - totally saves me a sketchy-ass trip to craigslist casual encounters.
Thanks and be well - hope this helps.