Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Friday Links

Here are a few things from around the web that may interest you:

10 Comics That Will Speak To You If You’re Totally Sick Of Dating

Since How to Keep Your Wife From Hating You After Kids Doesn’t Exist, Jancee Dunn’s New Book Will Do Fine

“Mothers and daughters on: the truth about relationships and marriage”

‘Trumpcare’ Isn’t Just a Political Disaster—It Makes ‘War on Women’ Real

What’s Missing From This Photo of Politicians Deciding the Future of Women’s Health?

The Women We Forget When We Talk About ‘Defunding’ Planned Parenthood

Awkward Dating Profiles Of The 1960s

Thank you to those who submitted links for me to include. If you see something around the web you think DW readers would appreciate, please send me a link to wendy@dearwendy.com and if it’s a fit, I’ll include it in Friday’s round-up. Thanks!

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15 comments… add one
  • avatar

    csp March 24, 2017, 10:08 am

    ok, So I am going to buy how not to hate your husband and this quote about the book is so poignant. This quote from the article articulates the problem so well:

    How Not to Hate Your Husband is a book for messy reality, but I can’t shake my frustration that its twin, written for men, isn’t out there somewhere: How to Keep Your Wife From Hating You After Kids. I’m disappointed that on top of doing far more housework and childcare than men, it also falls on women to patiently and strategically negotiate the terms of our liberation. I realize that this is how it has always worked; people work for change on their own behalf. Moreover, the huge and lucrative self-help publishing market has historically spoken to women more than men, and this is a book that comes from that tradition.

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    • avatar

      SpaceySteph March 24, 2017, 11:54 am

      Dude I have fallen into a rabbit hole reading the comments on that article.

      I don’t have it so bad. My husband does every household chore I ask of him, and he does them to an acceptable standard (dare I say, he’s better at loading the dishwasher than I am– for him its like a jigsaw puzzle of maximizing how much tupperware he can fit). But… I do have to *ask* for most things. He will never just clean the toilet because it seems like time to clean the toilet. And I do worry once I have the baby that the balance will tip.

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        csp March 24, 2017, 12:43 pm

        It is the asking that is the problem. If I take my son up to a bath and to bed and come downstairs 1.5 hours later to messy dishes from dinner and my husband says, “All you had to do is ask”. That is my problem. I do not feel like I need to make daily to do lists for the other adult in the house.

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        SpaceySteph March 24, 2017, 2:09 pm

        Yup, having to ask is a huge problem.

        One of my favorite movie scenes is from The Break Up (not overall a great movie or anything, but this particular scene, man) where she’s yelling at him about housework and he’s like “You want me to do the dishes, I’ll do the dishes.” She replies “I want you to *want* to do the dishes.”

        And as I’m writing this I’m thinking “at least I trained my husband to clean the kitchen as soon as dinner is done” but what kind of bullshit is it that I feel like I had to TRAIN him through repeated nagging and that’s the only reason he does it now without me asking every damn time?!

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      RedRoverRedRover March 24, 2017, 12:17 pm

      I’m lucky because I didn’t meet my husband till we were 30, and he was already a self-sufficient human being. His place was probably cleaner than mine. My main worry was when we had kids, and particularly because he was more on the fence than I was. I was concerned that since I was the one who “wanted” them more, that he’d be like, well they’re more her problem, she wanted them. You know? I mean, not to be malicious, but to sort of justify it to himself when i’m doing more of the work, which I knew I would. Especially with having a year of mat leave, which tends to set down some pretty solid patterns that the woman takes care of the kids. Anyway, when we were deciding to have kids, I said to him straight out “if we do this, you have to be all in. You have to be willing to take time off work if they’re sick. You have to take them to doc appts. You have to split the work, I’m not doing it all or even doing it most. And if you don’t want to, then we’re not having kids at all.” He agreed, and now when I need his help I feel comfortable asking for it. In fact I haven’t needed to ask for the last 3 years or so. He sees what needs to be done and does it. I still get stuck with most of the management and the “emotional work”, but he does more housework, so I think it evens out. I agree it sucks that women are the ones who have to negotiate this stuff, but we do need to step up and insist on getting help. Otherwise things won’t change.

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        csp March 24, 2017, 12:45 pm

        My husband definately does stuff. More than my father did. But most of the stuff I do is daily stuff, cooking, laundry, stuff like that. He will argue “But I mow the lawn” but he hasn’t mowed the lawn since November. Like he has projects and I have maintenance.

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        Anon from LA March 24, 2017, 1:07 pm

        Thanks for this: “if we do this, you have to be all in. You have to be willing to take time off work if they’re sick. You have to take them to doc appts. You have to split the work, I’m not doing it all or even doing it most. And if you don’t want to, then we’re not having kids at all.”

        My husband was self sufficient and even more responsible than I was when I met him. He does 50% of the housework, and I don’t even have to ask him to do it. But when I need to him to go above and beyond (when I’m sick or so busy I can’t do certain things), I have to ask him to so. (When he’s sick/busy, I’ll take on his chores and tasks without being asked.)

        I am sort of concerned that if we have a kid, he won’t do half of the work out of sheer ignorance or that he won’t step up when I need him to because it won’t occur to him that I need extra help.

        So if we start talking about having a kid in a couple of years, I’m going to have this conversation with him like you did with your husband.

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        RedRoverRedRover March 24, 2017, 2:51 pm

        @Anon, yeah, and I did have to have a talk with him when our first was 6 months old. I was still on leave, and I was taking care of our son every single day with minimal help. He would watch him for an hour or so in the evening so I could shower. But he never took him on the weekends. I was like, ok, he’ll realize that I “work” every weekend while he spends his weekends exactly like he used to, right? Nope, he never did. I couldn’t believe it. How do you not notice something like that? I hadn’t gotten a chance to sleep in or just have a few hours to myself for 6 months, and he literally never noticed. It’s crazy. Anyway, after I talked to him (broke down actually) he stepped right up and took responsibility for half the time every weekend. He wasn’t doing it on purpose, he just didn’t realize I needed help. I don’t know how it’s possible to not realize that, but I guess it is.

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        Anon from LA March 24, 2017, 3:47 pm

        @RedRover: the fact that he stepped up once you talked to him about is a good thing–that’s the sign of a good partner. But I wish to god that so many women didn’t have to shoulder the burden of having these kinds of talks. This is one of the reason I wish paternity leave was more commonly offered in the U.S. If men had the chance to be stay-at-home fathers for a few weeks/months while their children were infants, they might have better idea of how tough moms often have it.

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      • avatar

        RedRoverRedRover March 24, 2017, 4:40 pm

        In Canada the parental leave can be split however the parents want it – my husband both times has decided not to take any. A few weeks ago he said something to the effect of “you have an easier job right now”. I said “oh, do you want to take some leave then and I’ll go back to work?”. Lol, you should have seen his face. He knows it’s a drag. Some people love it but neither he or I are those people.

        I do wish Canada would change it so you can’t split it – that each parent gets their leave and if they don’t use it, they lose it. Because I know 3 or 4 dads that have spent a few months at home, but the vast majority do not.

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    • Portia

      Portia March 24, 2017, 12:22 pm

      Though I won’t be getting the book, I agree, especially with that paragraph in particular. I sometimes feel conflicted about my love of advice columns because so often it’s women writing about men and online the people that comment are mostly women, and then this cycle perpetuates as part of the tradition she mentions. And it’s part of why I think something like “Man who has it all” is such successful satire – it aims all the advice and pep-talks and whatnot that are generally for women and turns it to men, and we can recognize its ridiculousness once the tables are turned.

      While reading the article, I also wondered how the book would read if the genders within it were flipped (or were neutral) and if it would still work, or what would and wouldn’t work.

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      • avatar

        csp March 24, 2017, 12:47 pm

        This is so true. Like, why do I have to make it work? Why do I need to manager our home and life and schedule and everything. I am sure he is not googling how to make our life more cohesive.

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  • MaterialsGirl

    MaterialsGirl March 24, 2017, 3:02 pm

    So we’ve had this discussion several times since we’re going to try and go down that road this summer. We don’t live in a very big place, so cleaning will be like “oh god we need to clean” from either of us. However, when it comes to bathrooms, that is my territory. I know it’s gotten bad before and he doesn’t really do a lot about it now that we’re together (although, again, he was a completely self sufficient human being before I met him and kept his place quite clean). I feel like we will just have to have the conversation once: that with a new baby.. i can’t do all ‘my’ chores, and we need to either think about a) having him do more or b) hiring a cleaning lady.

    However, the doctors appointments, nightly wake ups, being late to a meeting or work.. that one we are at an impasse about. Because of the nature of his job, he works A LOT and most of it is at the plant. He gives his guys (union) little slack for things like family stuff (which i understand), but then holds himself to that standard or higher. I get it.. he wants to be a good manager and not a hypocrite, but part of me is like.. yah but YOU’RE the boss. You can say “okay one day i can come in at 8 instead of 6) to help with kids or something. I can’t always be expected to drop all my work and attend to the child just because. It’s not even that my stuff is necessarily that much more flexible. I have a lot of customer calls etc.

    Anyway, this book intrigues me because it’s so relevant to us right now

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    • avatar

      ktfran March 24, 2017, 3:13 pm

      1. You’re pregnant? Woohoo! Or trying? Good luck!

      2. We’re not having children and we’re going to hire a cleaning person to come at least once a month.

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      • MaterialsGirl

        MaterialsGirl March 24, 2017, 4:37 pm

        pulling the goalie this summer. drinking until then…

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