Bored Panda works better on our iPhone app
Continue in app Continue in browser
BoredPanda Add Post

The Bored Panda iOS app is live! Fight boredom with iPhones and iPads here.

Family Blames Pregnant Mom With A 12-Hour Job For Not Doing Her ‘Wife Duties,’ Drama Ensues
125points
2K
Social Issues11 months ago

Family Blames Pregnant Mom With A 12-Hour Job For Not Doing Her ‘Wife Duties,’ Drama Ensues

Do you ever feel like the entire weight of the world is on your shoulders and that everyone expects you to carry it? That’s exactly what one redditor, a pregnant mom from Illinois, has been having to deal with. Not only is she pregnant and works a 12-hour job, she’s also expected to take care of her lazybones husband who is working from home all the time.

The family drama came to a head when the woman’s husband complained about her not doing enough around the house to both of their moms. That’s when they started shaming the woman for not taking proper care of her husband, including making lavish homecooked meals every single day.

Not only that, but one of the woman’s friend’s also thought that she was in the wrong. Have a read through the story below and let us know what you think, dear Pandas. Personally, I can’t imagine anyone guilting someone for not doing enough when they’re pregnant, working a full-time job, and their partner is a grown adult who can perfectly take care of himself.

I wanted to go in-depth about sexism and the expectations that some people still hold that women should be doing all the chores at home, so I reached out to award-winning activist and writer Elizabeth Arif-Fear, the founder and director of ‘Voice of Salam.’ She was kind enough to answer my questions about the need for equality at home when it comes to sharing housework and why some pregnant women are looked down on at work.

“A woman should not be expected to be responsible for the home just because she is a woman. A couple needs to discuss chores based on working hours outside of the home and any other caring responsibilities that affect schedules and workloads,” she told Bored Panda. You’ll find her other insights below, dear Readers.

A pregnant mom explained how her family accused her of being lazy even though she works 12 hours each day

Image credits: Ridofranz (not the actual photo)

Both her mother and mother in law expect her to take better care of her husband, a grown man who works from home

The woman had a couple of small updates to the story

In a couple of updates, the pregnant mom explained that the only person who seems to support her is her twin sister who lives in a different continent entirely.

Meanwhile, the woman pointed out that her husband had been moving towards a more modern view of relationships when they started dating. However, he started reverting back to his “misogynistic mindset” after they got married and she fell pregnant with his baby.

Previously, I’d spoken about how pregnancy affects how your employers and coworkers perceive you and your abilities with researcher Eddy Ng. He explained that prejudice in the workplace has existed for a long time.

“Managers and colleagues do develop prejudice of pregnant employees and view them as less competent or productive during this period. As a result, many employees hide their pregnancy from their managers,” he told Bored Panda earlier.

“Employees need to know they are valued before and during pregnancy while employers should provide the necessary accommodations, including making adjustments to workload, to retain them following pregnancy. There is also a need to create awareness and train managers on providing proper support to pregnant employees.”

Overwhelmingly, the AITA community over on Reddit said that the woman, who later deleted her throwaway account, was in the right in this situation. The kind of pressure everyone was putting on her was inhumane. Not to mention unrealistic.

It sounds absolutely ludicrous in the 21st century. And, to be honest, it would probably raise quite a few eyebrows if we traveled back in time when gender roles were more traditional, too.

Sharing the workload at home equally is vital

However much we’d love to see equality when it comes to chores at home, the reality is nowhere near what it ought to be. “If both partners are working full-time then they should be sharing the housework equally. Sadly, research shows that women still do more housework than men even when working. On a practical level, if a couple is committed to an equal level of partnership, drawing up a chore timetable can be useful, as can designating roles by working out who does what based on their likes and strengths,” Elizabeth explained to Bored Panda.

At the core of the issue lies the unfair expectation that someone ought to be doing more or less housework because of their gender. These gender-based stereotypes and sexist expectations, when they come from one’s partner, can put a lot of stress on the relationship. Honest communication and empathy can be tools that help the partner change for the better.

It all comes down to your partner’s attitude and willingness to change

“The woman deserves better and in this case, real communication, counseling, and reflection for deep change are needed around her role in the relationship. Change is possible—with communication and a division of chores if her partner is ready to change (and actively believes in this), but I would urge her to reflect on her role in and the value of the relationship,” she said. Things become very problematic, however, if the partner is unwilling to change their ways and attitudes.

“Then she may want to consider a separation,” Elizabeth suggested. “These attitudes go beyond chores. They are a symptom of sexism. In such a relationship, both partners are not equal. No woman should be expected to work two full-time jobs—one paid and one at home—while her able-bodied husband sits back and does nothing at home. In today’s world, looking after the home and/or children is a full-time job in itself and such work needs to be shared. Families often have to rely on two incomes and women have the right to pursue professional goals—something which their spouse should encourage as part of an equal partnership,” Elizabeth went into detail.

“Being financially dependent on a man is not a healthy or safe option. Spouses must be equal in opportunities and shared duties. As working patterns have shifted with the economy in the past decades, outdated sexist attitudes also need to shift. A women’s role is where she wants to be—just like a man’s. It’s not her job to pick up or look after male relatives/spouses. If she chooses to stay at home as the family is financially able to manage on one wage, that must be the couple’s joint decision. Even then, there must be mutual respect, sharing of responsibility, and a fair equitable division of chores.”

Getting help from a cleaner might be the answer in some cases

There are specific circumstances where one partner has to take the lion’s share of the work, for example, if their loved one is ill or otherwise incapable of helping out around the house.

“Unless her partner is ill or there are other specific circumstances, change is needed. In such cases of illness or other circumstances (finances permitting), I would suggest bringing in home help such as a cleaner,” Elizabeth suggested. “A couple may decide to pay a cleaner, but this cannot make up for sexist expectations brought upon the woman. In a partnership, a couple should be equal.”

Negative outlooks toward women extend beyond the home, unfortunately. At work, pregnant women are sometimes looked down on and their ability to perform their jobs is questioned by their colleagues. “Prejudice lives off fear, ignorance, and privilege. Changing beliefs takes time but is possible. We need to challenge gender-based stereotypes, unequal distributions of power and ensure that legal mechanisms are in place to protect everyone in society,” she told Bored Panda how we as a society can change for the better and that this change will take patience, as well as sustained actions.

Here’s how some internet users reacted to the tale. As expected, most were horrified that she was being treated like a servant

Share on Facebook
You May Like
Popular on Bored Panda
Leave a comment
fu yu
Community Member
11 months ago

divorce. Plain and simple

qwerty
Community Member
11 months ago

At this point it definitely seems like the best option.

Load More Replies...
Michelle M
Community Member
11 months ago

She is surrounded by assholes. Pregnancy + 14 hours of work?! Some women can't even work while pregnant. The asshole of a husband works from home and can't even pick up a duster or make his own meals and they're blaming it on online feminism. Ladies (and guys too), this is why the courtship process is very important. You can't change someone by marrying them. This story is just incredulous!

Viviane
Community Member
11 months ago

The kicker: "I'm a white American from Illinois. My MIL is a lawyer and my mom is a school teacher." WTF??

Load More Replies...
Dark Pearl
Community Member
11 months ago

WHAT. IN. THE. HELL. This poor lady works 12 hours a day, she's pregnant, and her family, friends and husband expect her to do everything? I dislike this. NTA. Poor lady!

Load More Comments
fu yu
Community Member
11 months ago

divorce. Plain and simple

qwerty
Community Member
11 months ago

At this point it definitely seems like the best option.

Load More Replies...
Michelle M
Community Member
11 months ago

She is surrounded by assholes. Pregnancy + 14 hours of work?! Some women can't even work while pregnant. The asshole of a husband works from home and can't even pick up a duster or make his own meals and they're blaming it on online feminism. Ladies (and guys too), this is why the courtship process is very important. You can't change someone by marrying them. This story is just incredulous!

Viviane
Community Member
11 months ago

The kicker: "I'm a white American from Illinois. My MIL is a lawyer and my mom is a school teacher." WTF??

Load More Replies...
Dark Pearl
Community Member
11 months ago

WHAT. IN. THE. HELL. This poor lady works 12 hours a day, she's pregnant, and her family, friends and husband expect her to do everything? I dislike this. NTA. Poor lady!

Load More Comments
Popular on Bored Panda
Popular on Bored Panda
User Submissions
Also on Bored Panda
Also on Bored Panda