I will start off by saying that I am writing this wife appreciation blog post from an interesting position. I both am and have a wife! And she is one incredible wife — the true definition of a partner. Being one half of a relationship where gender norms don’t hold any weight is kind of fabulous. We are inherently equal, with no unconscious expectation of either of us doing “more” simply because we are “the wife” or “the mother.” Because we both are.
I wish that every wife could feel that way, but I know that is not the case.
I’m not going to generalize and say all men think their wives should play the role of the perfect housewife: A wife who picks up after them, does all the cleaning and cooking, and acts like more of a mother to them than an equal partner. That certainly is not every man’s viewpoint (although, there are definitely women who buy into that mentality, as well). However, society as a whole does, unfortunately, perpetuate this narrative.
We, as wives and mothers, are labeled by society as “superheroes” because of our ability to multitask and basically just handle all the things. In reality, we do it because we have no other option. Telling women they are superheroes for taking care of everything and everyone, while within an inch of our own sanity, just conditions us to believe that it IS all on us because we are the only ones capable.
Why do we, as a society, not put this burden on men? We (even as women) see a dad pushing his kid on a swing at the park and practically hand him a Father of the Year trophy, gushing over how amazing he is. But we could see a mom struggling to fit her double stroller through a doorway not blink an eye. We just expect that women can handle it.
All this to say that, while you very well may be the absolute rockstar and “superhero” society tells you you are, it’s also okay to not have it all together. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to prioritize your mental health. It’s okay to say that you need a break. It’s ok to acknowledge that you are just a person who needs taking care of yourself.
So, here’s to all the fabulous wives out there! You are appreciated and valued. And I hope, in your house, that every day is Wife Appreciation Day. If not, maybe you need to go out and get yourself a wife (kidding… kind of).