Read this article on ST and felt really sorry for not only the lady and her new baby, but us women as well. Women of today are overburdened by expectations from the society.
If you are not married by a certain age, you are either spending too much time working to prove yourself or deemed to have too high expectations. As if we shouldn’t have high expectations when it comes to selecting a partner to spend the rest of our lives with. As if we wanted to put in twice as much effort in order to gain the same recognition as the men.
Let’s face it. When a new female boss/colleague comes in, how many staff would try to find out whether she’s married or not, have kids or not, etc in order to ‘categorise’ her? If a new male boss/colleague comes in, who really cares if he’s married or not?!
If you are married and working, good for you! You are not adding onto your husband’s burden and should probably have kids soon.
If you are working, married and have kids, congratulations – MORE expectations!
You are expected to give birth naturally and breastfeed your baby at least six months. You are expected to be there for your children always and bring them up well as perfect humans. If anything bad happens, YOU the mother will be the first one to get blamed.
You are expected to not expose your children to (bad) television or YouTube. You are expected to revise with the children what they learned in school and enrichment classes every day, practice piano daily, teach them life skills, read them bedtime stories every night, and be the Best Loving Mom EVER to your children. Yet, the Dads will always get Best Parent Award as Mums = Homework + Housework.
You are expected to go back to work so that you don’t waste the education your parents spent so much on you. You are expected to be reachable at all times for work. If you leave on time to rush home to your children, it sends the message your priority is not work, but family. Personally I don’t see anything wrong with that but not clocking more hours at work pretty much translates to career suicide. At this point, I just want to emphasize that no one is indispensable at work but your roles as a parent or child are irreplaceable to your family. I have no idea how women are expected to behave at work. If you are nice, you are a pushover. If you are assertive, you are a bitch.
You are expected to keep the household in order. You are expected to keep your home clean and tidy for your husband and children. You are expected to cook delicious food that is healthy for your family. Bonus if you can plate them well enough for Instagram!
You are expected to be a supportive spouse who still prioritise marriage and couple time over children. You are expected to be a loving wife. You are expected to be understanding of the husband’s long hours and frequent traveling for work.
On top of all these, you are expected to maintain yourself well. You are expected to spend some time running or doing yoga so that you don’t look like a frumpy auntie next to your husband and a grumpy mother next to your children. Basically, you are expected to be a good looking Super Mom, Super Wife, and Super Co-worker.
It’s a miracle many of us are not dying from exhaustion. Women are probably the worst critics of women cos we expect so much from ourselves too. We need to learn to judge lesser and care more for one another to survive!