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I Don’t Know How She Does It —really??

September 7, 2011

 Ugg…not another movie (I Don’t Know How She Does It) about a high-ranking business woman in the workplace and her torn psyche. Did I mention the movie stars Sarah Jessica Parker (aka troll woman according to my husband) who appears perfectly primped, toned, and accessorized?

I get it, I am a working-outside-the-home-mother (at least part-time). To the movie’s credit (from the little I gleaned from the preview) the “List” is SO SO true. The dressing up in lingerie and falling asleep. HAHA, not so much.  The effort and time  it would take to put on any lingerie, I would rather be using to actually having sex… because who knows how long the window of opportunity will be open.

 A more realistic scenario  – are the kids asleep, are you awake, would you rather sleep or make love? Come on let’s be honest sleep usually wins, right?)  One accuracy I did find it doesn’t matter if your profession is female centered (Registered Nursing) or climbing up the male business ladder, the workplace is not friendly to women with a family. If you want to be present with your family and you are a “working” mom, you are a “struggling to balance work and family” (I kid you not, this was recently said  to one of my nurse friends by her manager).

On the flip side, if you are a man who wants to take a half-day to make it to their kids baseball game, you are a “good father”. This double standard is messed up. Granted to deny the emotional difference between (most) women and men  regarding their family is grossly naïve.  I guess this is the caveat, my friends.

I guess my point here is they don’t make movies about how men “do it all”. You know why, because they aren’t expected to do it all! They may help around the house, but society doesn’t “expect” them to. If a person enters another person’s home and it is messy they don’t automatically think, wow he must be a horrible house keeper, it’s SHE must be a horrible house keeper. Trust me, this is true.

This was actually confirmed this for me this Spring,  “So and so works full-time, has three kids, and seems to be able to get it together Kristina, I don’t see why you can’t. Your place even was messy before you had kids, remember when …” (YES you are reading this correctly.) I mentioned I am not the only person who is able to clean our house. To this I got, “but he works full-time”. So all the time I spend with the kids obviously doesn’t count as working. Good to know!

Why does this comment keep replaying in my head over and over. Maybe I should have it together? All I know is I am not one of those women other women wonder, “I don’t know how she does it.” I am the woman who other women think, “Why doesn’t she have her shit together?”

This less than mentality has plagued me. I usually have a, “I don’t give a crap what you think of me” attitude, but this hit me in a particular tender place for some reason. I guess I am not too weird about feeling this way, I mean they made a whole movie about a woman trying to keep her shit together, or at least the façade.

This has lead to me being choosy about who I allow into our “home”. Criticizers and judgemental individuals not allowed in our home unless I am home and it is pre-planned (aka I have time to clean). Perhaps I have boundary issues, perhaps I am rigid, but this is about my comfort level in our home.

 For example, Karen my friend from Mamalooma  (whose blog is totally kick ass) is welcome anytime because she gets it.She gets that my home is just one snap shot of my life at that particular given time. Not a static reflection of my “housekeeping skills”. Though honestly, with the exception of the kitchen, my tolerance for messes are higher than most. Is this a defect in my character? Does this make me a horrible wife and mother? Nope! It just means my home isn’t “Better-Homes-and-Gardens-ready” 24/7. Does this mean there is something wrong with a person whose house is? Nope not at all. BUT I am done done done feeling deficient. Feeling less than. Feeling like the person, “who can’t get her shit together.” I am only one person. I can’t do it all!

 Thoughts? What do you think of this movie and how it reinforces societies pressures on women and perhaps an innate feeling most mothers have to “do it all”.

Reality is this “I don’t know she does it” = Something always has to give, no one can or does do it all. Let’s stop the façade and invite our friends into our messy homes. Rock paper scissors – you first.

Sometimes, just sometimes I wish I were a man. But then I think…nah.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Karen Pruneau permalink
    September 11, 2011 9:41 am

    I so like this post. I feel so much better. I work full time and have three children plus husband who might as well be a fourth. Yet I am supposed to keep the house clean, why? who said so? I guess just because living in a dump gets to me eventually.

    • September 11, 2011 5:02 pm

      I feel for you. Hang in there! I decided not to do hubby’s laundry for a week and see what happens…

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