Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Why I hate the 'I'm Going to Bed' Meme

Lately, I’ve been seeing this bedtime meme on Facebook and I hate that it reinforces gender stereotypes; the husband simply goes to bed, while the wife cleans and tidies the house and prepares for the next morning before her head ever hits the pillow. Each and every time I look at the list, I have only one thought.

I am the husband.

I am exhausted at 9:30pm and sheepishly crawl off to the warm embrace of my bamboo sheets and cozy pillow most nights of the week.

Do I pick up all the toys first? Nope.
Do I clean and tidy my house first? Nope?
Do I fold a load of laundry first? Nope.
Do I do the dishes and load the dishwasher first? Nope.

I give my husband a kiss, trudge upstairs to wash my face, brush my teeth and put my pajama’s on before I collapse into the bed and fall fast asleep for another night.

Does my husband do ALL THE THINGS I don't before he goes to bed? Yep.

All that being said...

Do I get up with my almost 4 year old at 5am nearly every day? Yep.
Do I work 10 hours a day so that my husband can be home with my boys? Yep.
Do I need to go to bed early to maintain my lifestyle? Yep.

I recognize that in the ideal world this meme wouldn’t even exist, because everything would be perfectly balanced, all the time. And I also understand that this meme is simply a reflection of people’s experience that many people relate to it, but personally, it rubs me the wrong way. 

This meme reinforces my inability to fit into gender stereotypes and worse makes me care, just a little bit, that I don’t fit into traditional household roles.

And in the end, does any of it matter?
Which chores are yours and which chores are your partner's?
Which gender you do (or don’t) identify with in any and all respects?

No, it doesn’t.

What matters is that, however you do things, it works for you and your family.

I may not be a traditional mother in many senses of the word and yet in many others I am and quite frankly, my boys love me just the way I am.

So I am just going to go ahead and continue to hate this meme.