Dare Thirteen of The Respect Dare… and Exhausted Wives

I’m not a huge fan of Dare 13.

I understand the concept – and I frequently run across women who spend their time watching TV, reading magazines, talking on the phone, having coffee with girlfriends, shopping, etc., instead of interacting with their kids.

But just as often, I run across busy moms who are bogged down with too many responsibilities, and even had a gal in Daughters of Sarah who misinterpreted the class and the Word such that she blatantly decided to be the one who “did it all” at her house.

One night in class, she angrily, resentfully said, “And so I just keep doing everything, because he never lifts a finger, and so that makes me a good wife, waiting on my husband, serving, working, giving him everything he wants when he wants it, so I can ‘bring him good’ all the days of his life…”

And honestly, there was a brief “stage” I went through on my Biblical wife journey where I thought I was supposed to be the one who did “everything else,” and my husband’s only job was to go to work. I got this concept from another wife, actually, who said to me, “Some husbands help out with domestic chores, but it is really up to them whether or not they do so – because they are the ‘head’ – so if he decides you need to take care of everything and he needs to work outside the home, that’s how it should be.”

I quickly learned that there weren’t enough hours in the day to manage kids, home school, laundry, dinner, yard work, etc., plus car maintenance, and other things I was simply physically not strong enough to do. And I’m not sure when the “creep” occurred – when we got married, we both worked full time, and somehow, we managed to divide up domestic jobs and share others, too.

When the kids started coming, it made sense for me to take on more of an active role at home because I was there more than he was – but when I tried to “do it all” because some other wife told me that’s how it worked, I quickly became really busy, exhausted, irritable, resentful, and exhausted. Did I say I was exhausted?

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Research shows that on average, women need more sleep than men do.

Research also shows that on average, women’s senses are actually better than men’s.

And research shows that on average, women complete more of the domestic duties than men do.

They also care more (on average) about how the home looks and have different standards for cleanliness.

Given research shows that dirty kids are actually healthier kids, I guess I need to let go of my sinful notion of superiority.

So women are wired, in general, it seems, to do more. And we do – often to the point of exhaustion.

Tomorrow, I’m going to talk about this “do it all” woman – and provide some strategies for dealing with creating life balance for you and your family. Dad helping out around the house, regardless of how many hours he works away from the home actually helps him connect with his kids, fosters positive feelings from his wife, and, according to Dr. John Gottman, men who do housework have kids who do better socially and academically.

So know you don’t have to “do it all.”

And understand, the enemy will want you to focus on what’s wrong, instead of what’s right, good, and true.

So yes, we need to work hard and not be lazy – but we aren’t supposed to “do it all.”  And tomorrow, I’ll give you some ideas on how to both “bring him good,” and stop killing yourself at home.

If you are parenting small people, you should totally follow Leah and Debbie if you have tweens, teens, or twenty-somethings. Like us on Facebook so you can know when Daughters of Sarah becomes available in video format this year. I’m also active on Twitter as @NinaRoesner.  Come join the discussion!

And PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE keep us in our prayers as we walk through the next steps of finishing the work for the video version of Daughters of Sarah!!

Love to you,

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Comments

  1. Nicole says

    I needed this today! I cleaned the house last night after I got off work because we are having company tonight for supper. When I came down this morning at seven (two hours after my hubby left for work) my living room and kitchen looked like a bomb went off in them. I just wanted to cry. I have been learning slowly that I can’t do it all anymore. I do need help. The first ten years of our marriage I was a SAHM. Being completely responsible for housework didn’t bother me. I have been working full time now since August… I can’t work full time, homeschool (my kids go to work with me) and do all of the house hold chores alone. I admit to bawling like a baby this morning! I cleaned up the house again and have been really working on my attitude ALL day. Thank you for this post.

  2. tiff says

    Oh this is a hard one! Sometimes I really get pissed off! Pardon the language there! Myhusband does not work a typical job. He is a fisherman.. so when he does work, it is sometimes 18 hours for weeks straight with little rest. He has about enough time to eat and sleep. During these times, I am happy to run and do everything.. I work 36 hours a week.. 4 days per week. BUT on the times when he is off for several weeks, sometimes he doesn’t help as much as I think he should. I used to get mad and sulk or behave badly. Lately (since starting this and other journey’s in learning to be more respectful) I have learned to step back. He is not intentially slighting me! He forgets. He is human. If I asks sincerly for help, like (honey, I won’t be home until after 6 tonight, can you please make dinner?) He will unless there is a good reason why he cannot. It is the learning to be respectful FIRST. Then he is more willing to and more receptive to me all around!

    • Nina Roesner says

      I HEAR YA!!! :) LOL I tried that mad and sulk biz, didn’t work for me, either!! LOL :) Hang in there, gorgeous!

      Love to you,
      ~Nina

      • Zayle says

        A wife should not need to ask husband to do chores to keep the home going, when she has to work longer. It is his home too. Out of love and respect for his wife, he ought to make dinner, because the home belongs him too and he eats just like his wife and children do.. I think it is so unfair for anyone to suggest that a man is to sit back and wait for his wife to cook everyday, simply because he is the man and the head of the famiy.

        • Nina Roesner says

          I don’t disagree! :) I wish we all could give others what they need and receive what we need in return – without asking, without any difficulties. Maybe that’s an aspect of heaven? :) Not sure, just thinking. :) Glad you are here, Zayle. :)
          Love to you,
          ~Nina

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