Are you an exhausted wife?
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.”
Doing it all?
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.
A Little Science
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.
What to do?
Later this week, 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 have tweens, teens, or twenty-somethings you should totally follow Debbie and if you would like to read a novel about 6 amazing women who tackled the Respect Dares, check out Tammy’s Dare to Respect . Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter as @NinaRoesner. Come join the discussion!
And PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE keep us in our prayers as we prepare for Boot Camp… better yet, join us!!
Love to you,
If you want to explore ways of getting your tweens, teens and twenty-somethings to share in the household responsibilities, read With All Due Respect
Women who’ve read Dare to Respect can’t stop reading until they reach the last page!
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