A couple of weeks ago it was reported in the Telegraph that modern mums feel rather more like they are doing it all than having it all.
The telegraph reported:
Modern women do not feel like they have it all – they feel they are doing it all, a survey has found.
Mothers said they struggled to juggle their careers with their family life and felt stressed out at work and at home as a result.
They also said they felt under pressure to maintain their appearances and keep in shape, on top of all their other responsibilities.
In a poll of more than 5,000 mothers aged 20 to 70 years old, 70% said they did all the cooking and cleaning in their household, while 80% did the washing and ironing as well.
Nearly 75% said they felt it was down to them to ensure the household ran smoothly while the vast majority (83%) said having more help from their husband or partner would ease the burden on them.
Some 22% admitted they harboured resentment about their partner’s lack of support.
This is certainly how I feel most of the time. I’ve said before that the problem with me is that I grew up thinking that I was going to have a glittering career. I did not imagine that I would be s housewife or even a mum. When I became pregnant (accidentally) I knew I wanted to keep the baby but I always imagined I would go back to work. I never for a moment expected the level of love I would feel for this baby and how sick to my stomach it would make me feel when I had to consider returning to work.
Well that is history, and we know that I gave up my career to stay at home with Bean and I don’t regret it for a second. BUT it is difficult. I had never prepared myself for the drudgery and monotonousness that is housework. I never imagined the frustration of having a baby stuck to you all day (Jelly even sits on my lap when I’m on the toilet). Never imagined how much hard work it would be to “have it all”. As a full time mum and part time writer and home business owners I have no childcare. Bean is at school but it is I who does the school runs, me who looks after the baby. I work in the early mornings, evenings and weekends and it is exhausting. There is very little time for me.
I could quit working, tighten our belts, survive on less money. But then I would miss the satisfaction of having something that is mine. Some money that I earned myself. I wouldn’t be able to tell people what I do and have them take me seriously.
What frustrates me the most is the lack of help from my husband. Today for example he came home from work and sat and played the XBox. He didn’t bring in the washing, put some clothes away, dust something or even start dinner. Mad isn’t the word to describe now annoyed I was. When I expressed my displeasure he was his usual charming self – “I’m sorry, you sit down I’ll do bath time”. Great I think but who exactly is the magic fairy who is going to bring in the washing. The point is none of us has the time to sit down like that. We aren’t students anymore, we are parents and we need to get the chores done first. I work too so it is only fair the burden of household chores is shared.
I often think, if i had been brought up differently I wouldn’t think that I could have it all and I wouldn’t be so bitter about ironing while my husband watches the football.
We might be able to have it all, but it does indeed mean doing it all. We either come to terms with that or fight for change. I am undecided which way to go just yet.