I’m so interested to know how you guys feel about Jessica’s post today– she certainly has some strong opinions!
I saw something on Pinterest the other day, one of those e-cards or memes or whatever that had a picture of a goofy guy in his 30s giving a thumbs up and the caption, “Your husband will always be your biggest and oldest child that requires the most supervision.”
This is lame.
And not just because it’s badly phrased – the whole concept is lame. But it’s everywhere! Every time I see a comment like that online, or I hear it in person, I get a raging case of the side-eye.
Just the other day, an acquaintance referenced her “oldest child” as she spoke, and it took me a good five minutes to realize she was actually talking about her husband.
It’s supposed to be kind of endearing, right – “He’s so helpless! What would he do without me?!” – or a joke, because your husband is just as loud and messy and irresponsible as your kids and he needs you to keep him clean and organized and on task. And I’m sure most women who say it are playing it for laughs, kind of a funny pity play.
The thing is, I do find myself pitying whoever says it. But it’s probably not the kind of pity she intended.
Because what is she really saying? She’s saying she pulls most of the weight on the parenting front, and she’s in a relationship with a grown man who can’t look after himself. It’s a lame statement that suggests it’s the woman’s job to coddle her husband, and, worse, that no one expects a man to pull his marital weight because he’s a moron.
Ha. Ha. Ha. Hilarious!
I think this bugs the hell out of me because it perpetuates the idea that marriage and parenthood is inherently unequal. Here we are, still fighting for things like equal pay and equal representation and, unbelievably, equal division of domestic responsibility, and then we unravel all that hard work with this kind of stupidity.
It’s a joke. I get it. But the idea that my husband needs me to stay on him the same way I do our four kids just blows my mind. I can’t imagine putting up with that longer than, like, a week tops, if he had the flu or something.
On the off-chance that you’d marry someone because you want to mother him – which, what? – you’d think that notion would be slapped right out of you the second you actually had a real baby. Because kids are work, and no one needs a husband who thinks he’s too useless to pitch in.
So my advice? Don’t suggest that he is by referring to him as your oldest child. It serves no one, it makes you look bad, and it’s a terrible example for your kids.
And one more thing – calling your husband your oldest child is creepy. I don’t know about you, but I like a man who can wipe his own butt. Properly.