My response to being called the “butthole wife”

Fair warning, this post is a little bit of a rant. If that doesn’t bother you, please continue.

I recently came across a blog that was shared several times over the span of a few days on my Facebook news feed. I can’t remember the exact name of the blog or who wrote it, but I do remember what was said. Before I get started, I want to emphasize that I am in no way trying to belittle this woman’s opinions, feelings, or life tragedies, but I have to voice my intense disagreement.

This lady tells women to stop being  the “butthole wife” in the sense that women shouldn’t be complaining about having to clean up after their hard working husbands. That’s the basic gist you get from the story. Her husband passes away and she comes to realize that she would be happy to clean up his dirty clothes now that he’s passed on. She wishes she wouldn’t have complained so much and been more appreciative. It’s a very long blog post and there’s much more to it, but you get the idea. My sympathies go out to this poor woman, but I couldn’t disagree with her more.

Even after three and a half years of marriage, in my home we have trouble deciding who does what chores and how often. We have these issues mainly because of our hectic work schedules. My husband does work more hours than I do, he makes more money, he works a 3rd shift job, and he helps around the house in the ways he can. I work part time and spend  the most time taking care of our daughter.  Being a mom came very easily to me, but being a homemaker-not so much. If i want to cook or clean I have to really, really work at it and force myself. This “butthole wife” post focuses on laundry so that is what I will try to keep my focus on.

If I leave dirty laundry on the floor, that is totally my bad. I admit that. When my husband leaves his dirty laundry on the floor, I am typically the one picking it up. Most of the time, I don’t even complain about it. There are times when I do have something to say about it. I ask him to pick his dirty clothes up and put them in the washer or the hamper and if I’m annoyed by it, that is COMPLETELY justified. I’m the one washing them and putting them away. Both partners in any marriage need to work at it. If it is one sided, someone is going to end up doing all the work and that’s when things begin to crumble.

I actually spoke to my husband about this after reading her blog post. I asked him how he felt about me telling him to clean up after himself sometimes. He felt it was a perfectly reasonable request. I told him if I saw his dirty clothes on the floor after (God forbid) he passes away before we could grow old together, I would still disagree with this woman. I’d look at those dirty clothes and cry like her, however, unlike her, I wouldn’t have wished I’d have silently worshiped the ground he walked on and felt blessed to wash his dirty socks. I would laugh to myself about how the man I loved couldn’t just pick up his dirty clothes…

What really agitated me is the way I am reminded of my stance on feminism. These days, if you consider yourself a feminist you get lumped in with the extreme feminist women who hate men and are just so disgusting to me. That being said, I am something of a feminist. I see women get walked all over, treated like objects, brushed aside, etc. I don’t think women are superior to men. I believe each gender has their own strengths. Women are strong, beautiful creatures of God and deserve respect. This woman’s blog made me feel like I am being painted as a nagging bitch of a wife aka the “butthole wife” for wanting a clean home and in the process of a clean home, asking for a little bit of team effort along the way.

I will never try to say I’m better than any other mother or wife. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. She has hers, but this is my blog, and I disagree. I’m even proud to be the “butthole wife.” Although, I would not refer to myself that way. I’m proud to be a wife to a hard working man who respects my feelings and opinions and knows that I in return, respect his.

beachsmiling

Too much TV?

My daughter watches a fair amount of television, I won’t try to deny that. I had a friend once who put her daughter in front of the TV at all times unless she was sleeping or out of the house, and even when she was sleeping she would be in front of a screen. I would never judge someone over how much TV they let their child watch, but that was a little excessive for my taste.

My daughter is 19 months old now and we have a fairly regular routine in the morning. She wakes up and I change her diaper. We make our way to her high chair where I give her breakfast. While she eats breakfast she has her favorite shows that come one every day and I let her watch them through the morning and again later on in the day when they come on. She loves Team Umizoomi, Bubble Guppies, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and Wallykazam.

The reason I question if she watches too much is because I know all the words to the songs on these shows. I won’t say every song, but nearly every song, I know by heart. This morning she was watching TV and they asked her a question about manners. They asked what you say when you want something and she responded, “please”. I normally hear her respond when they ask questions anyway but it’s usually with some kind of baby gibberish. Lately she has been actually answering the questions with actual correct answers. I am blown away by this of course as her mother. Seeing her learning and growing to be so smart makes me feel such a joy.

Do I think she watches too much TV? Maybe from time to time, especially when I’m exhausted and too tired to entertain her. She loves her shows, but she also loves reading books, playing with toys, playing outside, swimming, and many other things. As moms I think we are too quick to judge other moms on their parenting styles. Let’s all just love our babies and raise them the best we can and be happy knowing that other women raise their children with the same mentality-That they are also doing what they think is best.

You’re a mom now, so you can’t do that…

Nurturing, loving, patient, these are all words that can be used to describe mothers. These words are all good descriptions. If you were to say unique, different, edgy, or descriptive words such as these, you would never automatically assume I was referring to a mother.

After having a disagreement with my husband the other night, I began to really think about the way society sees mothers. I have had my hair dyed pink for the past 6 months and as of a few days ago it is now purple. My husband thinks this is not “motherly” hair. At first I was angry with him for saying this, like it means I’m not a good mom for having something different.

The more I began to think about it, I couldn’t really blame him. Society has defined mothers as giving their entire lives to be a mom-nothing more. In a way, I have done that. I would die for my daughter. I make sure she is fed, bathed, clothed (even though she would rather run around nakey sometimes). I change diapers and get poop on my hands and clothes. I wake up in the middle of the night for my  screaming, teething baby and rock her until she is calm before going back to bed, just to turn around and wake up at 6am and get her breakfast. I buy her clothes when she needs them instead of buying clothes for myself. I often have to skip out on plans with friends because I don’t have anyone to watch her or simply because I’m just exhausted. Some moms are able to do all this with ease and still look amazing while doing it. I’m happy if I can get out of my sweat pants and put on make up.

When I dyed my hair pink I thought, “FINALLY, I am going to do something for myself that isn’t just a ‘mom’ thing.” People stared and asked me why I did it and I told them, I have no reason other than it’s what I wanted to do. I don’t get to just do what I want on a whim anymore because I’m a mom. Now it is bright purple and I still get the same response from people. “Why did you do that?” or a lot of times I get “I LOVE that, I wish I could do it but I’m not brave enough.” It’s not bravery that makes me do this, it’s just me wanting to have a glimmer of something different that makes me feel like myself in my mundane life. I used to always want my hair in crazy colors but most places won’t allow it in the work place. My current job does allow it, so I have taken the plunge into wild hair.

There are plenty of other women who have these same issues. Not necessarily with hair, but plenty of other things. Be it hair, piercings, tattoos, going out on the weekends, working a full time job, or not going to work, being in a rock band, dancing, being an athlete, being sexy, … The list goes on a and on and on and on… No mom is ever going to appease every single person’s ideals on how they should behave as a mother. To me, this is just a sad truth.

Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t trade a thing as far as motherhood goes. Being a mom is the greatest joy I’ve ever known. I even enjoy the plain, boring parts that come with it. It’s that family life that I always wanted. I am so blessed to have this in my life. I just want to be able to have something that isn’t all about being a mom. A mother is one word used to describe me, so is friend, wife, and rebel.