I Work: Am I a Failure as a Wife and Mother?

It’s very frustrating to be a working wife and mother.

Society still demands you to fulfill your duties as a doting yaya to your child, a neat maid to your household (which includes laba, plantsa and taga-linis ng bahay) and an eager sex partner and a sweet companion to your husband, DESPITE also working at least 8 hours in the daytime to bring home the bacon since husband’s income is not enough to smoothly sustain the family.

After working the entire day, one would wish to have some time to kick back, relax, and do nothing but zone out.

But no. At the end of the day, the husband still wants food on the table (instead of you ordering out), the baby still requires attention, the laundry still needs washing, and the house still needs cleaning.

Such is a woman’s lot,” my more traditional mom would say. “How can you expect your husband to do woman’s work?”

I saw this meme today which perfectly explains a modern woman’s problem:

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This meme perfectly describes me: My husband has changed our baby’s diaper a few thousand times since she was born. He does our family’s laundry since we were married. So apparently, based on this meme, I am a complete and utter failure as his wife and partner. 🙁

Great…. just great.

Nobody notices that I have worked all day to ensure the money still comes flowing in. Nobody notices how good I am at work. Nobody notices that the baby is still alive, and my husband has received more comforts in life married to me than not.

Nooooo… the only thing society sees? 

My husband bathing our baby and changing her diaper. My husband doing the laundry, while his wife plops in bed and relaxes. Basically, all society sees is a man, doing woman’s work.

What a tragedy, the worst fate a man should have.

It is a tragedy to be a woman nowadays. A Christian blog writer created a viral post after making a chart on whether women should maintain careers or not. In her chart, “Should Mothers Have Careers,” she makes a strong play that it’s better for women to give up their careers and become full-time home makers for the following reasons:

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I am the woman described on the left side of the chart. The Career Woman:

  • Who is always away from home the entire day
  • Whose childcare is outsourced to others, namely the Lola or the yaya
  • Who comes home exhausted, plops in bed and watches Netflix while the home stays in disarray
  • Whose dinner is usually microwaved or take out
  • Who reads a book before putting a child to bed
  • Whose weekends is simply buying basic goods for the week ahead
  • Whose intimacy is limited to once a week if any given both she and her husband is tired (hence, the only child problem)

The only thing I did not agree with is the last part — I do NOT believe that my life is falling apart, and I do NOT believe I am a failure as a wife and mother.

It is because of such pessimistic messages that discourages women to be the best people we hope to be. What is the point of studying so hard, striving to get the best jobs, only to give them up once you have a baby or two?

Yes, I am a proud housewife,” one would say. “Family first. I know my priorities. What is money if I can’t do my best for my kids?”

That’s the problem — We assume that we have to be there for our husband and kids 24/7 in order for us to be happy. As if servicing them is our lifelong noble goal, and we do not deserve to find happiness in our own terms. 

I can’t see that for myself. Not yet, and maybe not ever. Who says that one’s life path should be a full time homemaker and mother in order to be happy?

Why should this be the only path?

Men work all the time, and they’re NOT ostracized for putting their career first.

So why are women judged on a different standards and are seen as failure for not putting their kids and husbands first?

Here’s the clincher, especially in today’s society, what if the woman has better earning power than the men? Does this mean that the man still needs to take the responsibility of being the family’s breadwinners just because society says so? Or, should women take up the mantle and the men stay home with the kids?

I strongly disagree that women should only stay at home. I was not trained that way by my family — My dad has trained me to study hard and earn money — and I do not think I am a failure for never really knowing how to clean the bathroom, do the laundry or iron the clothes.

Why should I do it especially since I can always outsource it to someone else who can do it better than I am?

It’s hard to be a woman. Society deems you a failure if you do not take on the household works. Society thinks you’re a bad wife if your husband takes on what should be your job. But I don’t think that should be the case.

The Bible tells us of The Wife of Noble Character in Proverbs 31:10-31.

Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character

10 [a]A wife of noble character who can find?
    She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
    and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
    all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
    and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
    bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
    she provides food for her family
    and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
    out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
    her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
    and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
    and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
    and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
    for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
    she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
    where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
    and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
    she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
    and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
    but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
    and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

I do not read that a good and noble woman should cook, do the laundry and clean the house. Instead, the actual words is that she “provides” food for her family and give portions to the servants. 

As a working woman, I have provided food for my household. I have paid for our unit’s association dues, our family’s electricity bill and most expenses in our household. Like my husband, I provide for us and make life easier for him and our daughter

The Proverbs 31 woman is a good businessman. She buys a field and plants a vineyard. She EARNS for the family. Her trading is profitable and she works day and night. Even during times of cold, she provides wool for her family. Wool is expensive and requires money. The Bible didn’t say she asked money from her husband. Instead, the Bible said that the woman provided.

Because of who she is, how she acts, and what she does, her husband holds his head up eye and is respected in society.  “Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.” Do you think a man will be respected if his wife was a harlot and an embarrassment?

Actually, reading Proverbs 31, I am encouraged and renewed. The Bible does not look down on busy working women. In fact, it is full of praise, which is appreciated.

I pray that I do not lose too much hope and give up my ministry.

My work provides jobs to at least 40 staff members, mostly women, and I feel that this is how I give back to the Lord. I have seen so many women uplift their lives after being provided a stable job that gives them good income. Many of my employees came from broken families. They were beaten and cheated on by their good for nothing husbands, their children left in the care of their elderly parents. My role here is to keep them employed in the hopes of empowering them to make better decisions for themselves and their families.

I believe that my daughter will benefit in seeing that Mommy is working.

I think being a home maker is equally wonderful and noble, but I do wish my daughter to find her fulfillment in pursuing her passions (which is hopefully income generating), than merely being a cost center to her husband when she grows up.

I wish that Society will be more forgiving to women.

Men have started to lose their manliness and have relegated to the sidelines. More and more men stay on the sidelines of unemployment and depend on their families and their working wives to make money for the family. It is my hope that society can be but fair to women and let them also relax after a hard day’s work especially if they now are bringing home the bacon.

I hope that women would be more supportive of each other.

Everybody’s life and desires are different, so it’s best to respect each other’s life decisions. Kudos to you in wanting to be a stay at home mother, but can you please also be supportive to me as I choose a different path from you?

Lastly, I know I am making the right decision for me.

My father has trained me to make money. I am equally contributing to our household. My daughter is still alive and is doing well in school. My husband grumbles I have less time for him, and wants me to be more service-oriented, but finds a way to show appreciation after seeing the alternative.

I am a working wife and mother. And I am good at it. I hope others would find encouragement to know that it’s okay to work and still be a good mother and partner to your kids. 

Happy weekend!

 

 

 

 

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About Tina

I'm a forgetful person. But I think a lot. Every day, a lot of thoughts enter my head. That's why this blog came to be: first, to keep my memories alive through the years, and two, to actually see how I and my thoughts have changed. Please note that I seldom draft or edit my posts. Sometimes, if I'm not careful, I offend some of you, my readers. And while I apologize for making you feel uncomfortable, I am not sorry for being honest or for making well-intentioned mistakes. I will however be the first to admit if I change my mind. Hence, do read and proceed with caution. My life is as colorful and as boring as you make it. I complain many days, but offer some encouragement in others. Life is fluid, it changes. So keep the positives and throw away the negatives, and I do hope that at the end of the day, you will enjoy reading the blog and leaving comments here and there if my posts touches you. Happy reading!
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