Thursday, March 25, 2021

Being the default parent


I don't even know how we came to divide our labor this way. I think because Ben was at DWD at the start of the pandemic, and his job was a freaking nightmare of business as millions of people lost their jobs, etc. His new job is less busy but still busy, and the kids just sort of gravitate to me for all of their needs while I also work full time.

It is... a lot?

And WE ARE THE LUCKY ONES with our jobs we can work from home.

I read this great Vox article about how the problem is work, not a broken childcare system, and it really resonated. The ideal worker is not a disconnected, disembodied dude, not any more. Jobs can't assume theres a lady at home to produce the family because Republican economic policies from Eisenhower forward have made certain that lady? IS ALSO AT WORK.

So during the pandemic, moms are sacrificing everything SO DADS CAN lock themselves in a room and be the ideal worker using the kind of economic justification that perpetuates the wage gap it's predicated on. And the thing is? This is how the world works for working women all the time. The pandemic has just exaggerated things.




  1. "Also: AVOCADO" is going to be my new "It's fine. I'm fine. Everything's fine." I have so many thoughts about this as a mom whose job never went remote during the pandemic, but I'm having a hard time making them into cohesive sentences. Basically, yes. And even when the mom isn't in the home there's a weird dynamic of expecting that she'll ultimately handle all the things. And since I'm not there I feel doubly ineffective since I have no idea why someone missed a zoom or where the last granola bar went. It's exhausting. Also: Avocado.

  2. Anonymous10:43 PM

    I feel so validated by this post - even though I'm mostly a SAHM working on other things on the side. The challenge is that even outside of "normal" working hours, I am the de-facto parent. Mornings. Nights. Weekends. Holidays. All of the time. And if I need to get other things done, well, then, the expectation is that I hire someone to help. I 100% recognize my privilege and know we are so very fortunate, but I am really missing my identity these days...