The Female Dilemma
Will parental roles ever change? I think about this every summer when I see friends navigate the end of school and what the kids will do this summer. Even if there are two female or male parents, one of them generally becomes the caretaker. Someone has to, and for some reason, the care falls typically upon the woman’s shoulder with a partnership between a man and a woman.
The juggling of keeping the refrigerator full, getting the errands done, figuring out where the kids are and how to get them there and back, different kids, different camps, different schedules, clothes in their closets, food on the table, providing emotional support, and don’t forget the dog or cat to take care of.
Let’s not forget that if you work, that must all be managed. You also need to have your own sense of self, from friendships, work, mental health care, reading books, going out, buying clothes, and maintaining a sense of assemblage.
Is caregiving innate? It might be. I see our friends with kids that are young, not old young to drive or now driving, and it all brings me back to realizing how exhausting, fulfilling, joyous and crazy it all was. I am still the Mom, but my role has shifted. The only thing that remains constant is nobody has any idea how much shit I do to keep the trains running. I guess that defines motherhood and the female dilemma.