My wife Mia, like most wives, is a wonderwoman that entails more verbs than I ever give her credit for. In addition to holding down the house (cleaning, planning, cooking, shopping, organizing, managing), rearing the children (educating, nurturing, cleaning, clothing, primping, explaining, loving), she also works 3 jobs. All of these are for a non-profit which means she is vastly underpaid even if women got fair wages. She directs her own non-profit, coordinates the entire state’s network of these non-profits, and also sits on the National Board for the Non-Profit -meaning that quarterly she is out of town for strategic planning conferences, etc. Despite her vital importance to many, many lives, she makes less than half hourly of what I get to organize the shipment of brown boxes for a Fortune 500 as a mid level manager. She does the majority of this by telecommuting via wireless, but that awesome convenience really means that she never has a moment to herself. Any moment she isn’t being Super Mom she inevitably feels like she should be “working”.
Myself, and most men, have nicely structured lives -we put in our 11 hour day, come home and expect our “space” to “unwind” and then on our good days cook dinner and help out in other ways. But what I typically give no credit to Mia for is that critical psychological break from Work to Home. I have a commute to gather my thoughts ad bleed off tension, whereas she has a laptop perpetually calling her away from a moments respite and the kids don’t take breaks. I get these great things called “weekends”, where work cannot infringe, but more often than not she ends up clocking several hours as she feels behind because she was being a Mom/Wife/Human and it goes without saying (too often) that being a Mom is 24/7.
Of course I am writing this because she is currently on one of her quarterly conferences, and I was trusted to deal with her daily routine. Of course I failed in every way but the minimums of keeping the children fed and clothed and not letting the house catch on fire. I could take the high road and say that she couldn’t do my job without training/experience, but that is bullshit and she gets zero pay for hers, and got zero training to start with. More importantly, far too often she, and most women, get zero credit either. Seemingly every hour of my time being solo Mr. Mom I thought “How the hell does she, let alone a single Mom, do it?” Yet My Mia does it every day, and while we are a team, she gets very little bench time, and ends up on both offensive and defensive plays all too often while I only come in for the occasional place kick. Hopefully I can do a bit better than my current role as “provider” and start being more of a partner.
Thank the special women in your life today. They keep the world moving.