Jackie Schuld Art Therapy Blog

I’d Have a Baby - If Someone Else Birthed It and Took Care of It

In our gendered culture, women have traditionally been relegated to the role of bearing children, raising them, and taking care of them - everything from cleaning to organizing schedules to making sure dinner is ready.


Although the gendered delegation of parenting roles was far more delineated in the past, it still continues today. Many women pick up a “second shift” when they come home from their jobs to make sure everything and everyone in the household runs smoothly.


I’m sure some men are already rushing to the comments section to tell me all of the exceptions. You don’t have to tell me. I know they exist.


I’m not here to bash men. I’m here to admit that I’m envious of the delineated roles of the past.


I would love to be the man. To be the man who was solely expected to go to work and financially provide for the family. That’s it? I could do that now. Sign me up.


I get to come home to a clean house and cooked meal? Someone else bears the children, takes care of them, and I get to spend a couple of hours enjoying their company? None of the hard stuff? I can just focus on a few good hours and take them on weekend adventures?


Sign me up.


I know this is all a little tongue and cheek - for I understand the value of mutuality and a more meaningful, devoted, and equal relationship with one’s partner and kids.


"Too Much" Illustration by Jackie Schuld

And yet, my fictional mocked reality is the reality for some people.


I have some women clients who take on the majority of child rearing and household responsibilities - and they’re exhausted.


One client came to me upset that her husband wanted another child. She couldn’t imagine the additional stress, workload, and toll on her body. She explained that he didn’t understand that. That he just left early for work and comes home late to a family life that is fully orchestrated by her. The only impact an additional child would have on him would be a positive one (unless he counts having a significantly less happy wife).


I understand him though. If it were really that simple and that was all I saw, I’d want another kid too.

 

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