Monday, May 19, 2008

Living Single and Double Income Households

I have to start with this - I'm so stressed out right now, that I'm not certain how coherent this post will be, but I've been thinking about it for the last 2 weeks and today, I had to ask myself WHY is marriage happening so much later and WHY do couples insist on both working?

When I was in college, every vacation I would work 45-50 hours at a movie theatre. I worked there for 3 years, and my boss used to call me a workaholic. If you asked my boss now, he'd say I'm lazy and have a lot of potential that I don't use - simply because I refuse to work more than 40 hours a week.

This phenomenon in differences between my work ethic has recently begun to get to me...what has changed that I am no longer willing to work that many hours? My boss even yells at my young team (all of us under 30), claiming we should all be able to work more hours because we're so young. And then it dawned on me. In college, I had a mother who went shopping, cooked me dinner, cleaned the bathroom, did the dishes, vaccuumed the house...I had little brothers that helped take out the garbage, feed the dogs and cats, and help with other chores. Of course I had time to work 50 hours at work.

Now, I'm responsible for the shopping, the cooking, the cleaning, the garbage removal, paying the bills, and balancing the check book. PLUS working 40+ hours a week. But not only that, when you are trying to live a healthy life style, you have an additional hour a day to devote to that. Its like...where does the time go? I'm so stressed out that I'm ready to ram my head through a wall.

So...what could make this life a bit less stressful? I could definitly handle having my mom move in...but I think my dad would miss her only a little bit. It makes sense that having someone in my home devoted to managing the household while there's someone there taking care of providing the money to manage the household would actually work. And yet my generation is getting married later and later... Aren't they as stressed out as me? Or is it just me?

And then...double income homes...there has to be even more stress there...I mean, 2 people's messes and 2 people to do them...still the same amount of time taking care of bills, chores, and other responsibilites. PLUS working their own hours AND trying to make time to build a healthy relationship.

It just naturally makes sense that one of those 2 would make it their full time responsibility to care for the household and provide a relaxing and stress free environment for the both of them to spend time bonding and relaxing at the end of the day.

And I have a much better understanding of the following verse because of all of this:
"Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land."
~Proverbs 31:23

When her husband is able to take the time that would've been spent doing his doing his laundry, cleaning his home, feeding himself, he can now spend that time gaining respect and being more lucrative at work without sacrificing the time spent with his own family.

I know it sounds so sexist, but the tradtional roles make so much sense =p


Carrie C. said...

I started a really long comment last night, but got sidetracked.
I'll sum up by saying: I completely, 100% agree with you! :)

Ame said...

not sexist

very real

and it's actually more stressful to have a double income home than you described.

Blue Sky, Autumn Leaves said...


Yeah, I realize that, but I can only write thus far on what I know. =)

I wonder if young people realize what the benefits are of marriage... there are things that a solid committed relationship like that can bring to life that you simply don't get simply from living with someone.

My boss claims its a stupid institution...I keep getting onto him about that. Its not stupid. Its been proven to be more healthy for society, and I think I can understand why.

mindlab prime said...

I've noticed the same phenomena (through slightly different symptoms) in my life, and I think there’s another big contributing factor besides the additional responsibilities you mentioned. While in school, I didn't expect to have free time, so working 70 hours didn't feel outrageous. Now that I'm done with school I'm trying to set up a life (and work life) that has time for a future family; I'm finding that even 45 hours a week feels oppressive, especially by Friday afternoon.

MarkyMark said...

You gals wanted to have fun, frolic, and fulfillment in the workplace? Looks to me like you got what you wanted...

Oh, and isn't it funny (in the ironic sense) how, when a woman lives as a single, she's LAUDED as a strong, independent, empowered woman who does what she wants, and lives life on HER terms! Ah, but when a single guy does likewise, why he's a childish, immature, commitmentphobe who can't handle a strong woman-tsk, tsk, tsk...


Anonymous said...

it goes to show how a good thread for discussion can be ruined by an arse like markymark...

i agree with the writer coz i've got 2 kids & being a double income household, there's hardly time for anything other than waged work during the day & housework & attending to the kids during the evenings. so there's hardly enough sleep & what more about time for relationship.

we are considering changing to a simpler life (single income) with perhaps less material well being but hopefully with better quality.

Christina said...

With the constant move towards marriage that's going on right now (3 weeks), I'm finding this post to be more and more true.

I completely agree, Anonymous, and I'm ready for a baby to arrive so I can quit this farce called work and focus on my household.

Baskets of laundry, full washer/dryer/dishwasher and a fiance that wants to have fun and enjoy my company after a long day of work (and I ain't puttin up a fight) just isn't balancing itself well.

Don't mind MarkyMark. He was still under the impression that I was a feminist who had unrealistic expectations of life when he wrote that comment. That was before I put my comment moderation on.