if you could take a gander into the recesses of my brain these days, you would see something like this:
the disarray that once marked only my physical world has elbowed its way into my head. i find myself in awe of mothers who are still able to form and share coherent, insightful ideas. when i rummage around underneath the bibs and soccer trophies from two years ago, all i can come up with is a long-winded, ever-growing, increasingly hostile, feminist rant.
i see friends in restaurants and get random emails from folks who are wondering what happened to my regular posts. i tell them about the not-so-nice rant that i am not-so-eager to share. they all tell me to share it. “your blog is all about honesty, they say.” “aren’t you the one who preaches that it’s our generation’s job to tell the truth?”
it’s just that i fear that my writing skills aren’t sophisticated enough to temper and organize the fire that could be unleashed on the internet of all places. for example, this is just a small portion of the mess that has exploded into my thoughts.
observation: a husband arriving home from work with eleven grocery items in tow should not be mistaken for jesus christ.
if you are at my house when this happens, there is no need to make a fuss about this display of ordinary responsibility. it is true that grocery shopping has traditionally been “woman’s work,” and i am thrilled to have a progressive husband. but nobody falls all over themselves when i go to my part time job outside of the home, which greatly resembles what has traditionally been called “man’s work.”
furthermore, when i carry on with all of my work, both inside the home and outside the home, i do so with the constant feeling that i am falling short. there are always mountains of laundry on the couch in my bedroom. there are always dirty dishes in the sink. there are always deeper relationships to forge with the college students i encounter at work. my part-time ministry, though it is gaining momentum, looks meager next to the full-time ministries happening all around me.
my progressive husband (who really is a good one!) experiences the opposite phenomenon. he’s good at his job, and he is able to dedicate the proper time and energy to it. he’s involved in the kids’ lives, and he even folds laundry. in all of his work, inside and outside the home, he blows the expectations out of the water. in fact, he walks on water, some would say.
the problem is not that other wives elevate my spouse to divine status. rather, the issue is that in the south, where i live, the sight of a dad pushing a grocery cart is (apparently) still a shocking display. women working outside of the home? that’s ordinary. but men folding laundry? what a miracle!
and here is my profound conclusion, folks. are you ready for it? okay. here it comes: THIS IS NOT FAIR.
end of rant #1. more to come. consider yourself warned.
p.s. you’re welcome, anna.