On Wednesday, the New York Times published an article Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family which sought to give insight into the complicated world of the working parent. The article attempted to prove that parents with jobs, children and lives are struggling and more stressed than ever.
Now, I, along with my mother, and my mother’s mother, could have told you this without the need of the statistics from a recent survey. You and I both know that raising children is tiring. It’s stressful as hell. Then you add in raising children as a stay at home mom and you get to an “I’m questioning life” level. And raising children, while working full time AND having a husband? That can drive you to drink.
But I digress.
Let’s break down some of the most Captain Obvious statements the NYT broke down:
Captain Obvious Point #1:
[Sociologist Mary Blair – Loy] said policies like paid family leave and after-school child care would significantly ease parents’ stress. Yet today, families mostly figure out the juggle on their own.
In most cases, women still do the majority of the childcare and housework — particularly managing the mental checklists of children’s schedules and needs — even when both parents work full time. Just don’t tell fathers that. They are much more likely than mothers to say they share responsibilities equally.
I, myself, have a child and a husband. Many of my friends are in the same boat. I also have friends who are raising children on their own. But one common thing we all share is that we [women] take the brunt of the work with the kids. You want to know why? Most children favor their mothers over their fathers. Maybe it’s the boobs. Maybe it’s because husbands aren’t as tolerant for babies screaming for their moms. All I know is that I live it and I’ve seen it with my friends’ families as well. It’s standard. Yes, this phase ends at some point, but in the beginning Muvah does everything.
The fact is that, even with fathers present in the picture, women do it all. Sure, many wonderful men go to work. They throw in a diaper change here and there. Or maybe they throw the baby in the air for a few laughs, upload a couple of daddy-baby pics to the ‘Gram, or sit with the baby while the game is on. And then they feel they have contributed equally. But that ain’t always the case chico. Doctors appointments have to be made. Diapers have to be ordered. Meals have to be planned and prepared. Stuff has to be found, even if it is hidden in plain view. Children need nurturing and hugs, and at some point they need baths as well. Who does all of this? Typically, the mother.
Captain Obvious Point #2:
The survey also found that white parents were more than 10 percentage points more likely to express stress than nonwhite parents. Historically, white and black mothers have been more likely to work outside the home than Asian and Latina mothers, and foreign-born mothers have been particularly likely to stay home, Pew has found.
With most Black women being raised to “suck it up”, when it comes to completing tasks and responsibilities, this is hardly shocking. Express stress? Where they do that at? Though it is healthy to recognize stress triggers, and work through stressful situations in a healthy way, and ask for help when needed, most of us just were not raised like that, right or wrong.
Captain Obvious Point #3
Forty-one percent of working mothers said being a parent made it harder to advance in their careers, compared with 20 percent of fathers. Men’s careers took priority more often than women’s did, though the majority said they were equal. Fathers earned more than mothers in half of full-time working families, the same as mothers in about a quarter and less than mothers in a quarter.
I touched on this in COP#1, but the truth is, those children are OURS (women). Men take pride in being able to provide for their family, so being gainfully employed is, most times, all they feel they have to do. Back in the day the man worked, provided for his family, came home to a clean house and a home cooked meal, as Leave It To Beaver will tell you.
And you know ladies, it’s partially our fault as well. When we were dating our husbands, we were doing all this wifely stuff like cooking, cleaning, and being domestic goddesses for our boyfriends, so why would all that good stuff change now that you are married? Why does he have to help now?
Well, I’ll tell you why … because now there are little people who demand your attention, along with that job, that husband, and your other family and friends. Worse, our jobs simply do not care about our personal lives. And, for this reason, most careers suffer because we choose our families first.
So, here is the point the article really should have made more clearly. Women, on top of working full time and contributing to the bills equally in a two-parent household, are still taking up most of the responsibilities of raising the children. They feel as if their careers have taken a hit because of this, and the stress of juggling career and family is only increasing. Men, who also feel stress from taking on more household responsibilities, no matter how big or how small, believe they are contributing equally in terms of chores and children. But sorry, it’s not the case.
With the “normal” family structure constantly changing, women spending more time away from the home, men being asked to contribute more to household responsibilities, and children just running amuck, everything is a clusterf&^% of parents STILL just trying to figure this sh&^ out.