Monday, April 23, 2012

Monday Marriage Matters: We need a wife.

Last week as I was struggling to get dinner in the crockpot before work and not be late to court, I found myself muttering, "I want a wife."

This is of course a reference to the classic feminist essay Why I Want a Wife, which is a good read.  Ultimately,  I think the reason this article resonates with so many working women is that somehow, we end up doing two people's jobs.  We end up doing our own jobs, and the job of being a Wife.  Which while maybe not a full time job all the time, is definitely a part-time job.  Which I know, because I used to be a full-time Wife.

For example, I need to go to the optometrist.  And the dentist.  If I had a wife, she would have scheduled these things for me.  How do I know this? Because when I was a full time wife, I did these things.  Now that I'm a full time lawyer, nobody does these things.  I should point out that my husband is currently doing three people's jobs at work, so I really don't expect him to be at home being a good wife.

We also have suffered muchly in the category of healthy eating.  I used to meal plan and then shop and then prep food and then we would eat well during the week.  We don't do that any more.  We go out a lot more, partly because we can and partly because we couldn't get our act together to menu plan.  I have been trying to use the Meals for a Year menu planning site that Sara set up, but April's recipes really didn't appeal to us at all, and the last thing I want to do when I get home from a long day is make a new recipe, let alone doing that every day.  If we had a wife, she could sort through the menu plans, take out all the recipes with brocolli, and figure out what we're eating.  Then she could cook, or I could, because I believe in equality, after all, and then maybe she could do the dishes so that my poor husband doesn't have to when he gets home from work at 9pm.

If we had a wife, she would do the laundry for us.  Lately it has been overflowing.  To the point where I have actually had to help out with the laundry.  And we have had to do laundry during the week.  And somehow I still don't have anything to wear for court.

All of this whining is of course, natural when two people have both been working harder than they ever have before in their lives for a long period of time.  I started this job two months ago, and we've been simply putting off the stuff that hasn't been getting done, and enjoying life.  It's time, of course, to reassess our lives and figure out how we make things easier for both of us.  I have suggested, amongst other things, a chest freezer, so we can make frozen meals in advance and also stock up on healthy frozen dinners to turn to instead of going out.  I have struggled to not make bigger messes in common areas, because this way at least the place has been staying sort-of clean.   We will stock up on pantry items so that we always have ingredients on hand for quick, healthy meals like taco casseroles and chickpea curry.   And I don't really have a solution to the whole doctor's appointment thing, except to try to remember to call during lunch.

Anyone else there want a wife?  Or just somebody to pick up the slack a little bit?


  1. I'd love a wife. Just someone to do the cleaning, cooking (I'll bake), and the laundry so I can just get back to living. I'll even work (occasionally).

  2. Oh man. I ALWAYS want someone to come help pick up the slack. Having a wife at home would be wonderful.

    I actually just started a diet, not because I want to lose weight (although I do), but because it came with a shopping list, and it seemed so much easier to have a meal plan set out for me, rather than keep deciding what to eat every night. Also, because we were going broke on all the take-out. Sigh.

  3. The problem seems to be that we get so used to having two full incomes. I always thought that if we were both working, we'd be able to afford that extra help - a home-help or someone to take care of the laundry and cleaning and menu planning, or a virtual assistant to manage the diary, but it's just not so! It sounds icky to say, because it's such a white girl problem, but you really do get used to what you're used to, and if you had to choose between handing over a significant part of your income for someone else to do the job, or working less so that we have more time to do those jobs, neither is the ideal! So, we just try to fit it in.

  4. When I was unemployed, it really hit me how many odds and ends pile up throughout the week: laundry, dishes, meal planning, grocery shopping, car repairs, scheduling appointments, etc. And when neither of us has the time or energy to deal with this stuff, it really tends to affect our (mine and B's, that is- can't speak for anyone else) quality of life. Part-time work isn't what I set out looking for, but right now, this is why I'm still cool with it (also, since I'm still taking care of these to-dos on my days off, we have more free time in the evenings/weekends to relax and enjoy each other's company). Though it does mean a tight budget... always a trade-off.

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  6. Steve just hired his brother to be our wife for the summer....

  7. Ps when you started your blog, how did you find all the other cool bloggers who were planning at the same time as you? Now that we're actually starting wedding planning I can't find any!