Last week Jonathan woke up with a startled panic. He had slept through his 5am alarm and only had 5 minutes to get ready before had to leave our apt at 5:45. This may surprise you, but he has never slept through his alarm in the past 6 years we’ve been together.
Being late was not an option for him. So his only option was to bolt out of the house with no breakfast or lunch. Unfortunately, he had 85 patients to see that day so eating breakfast or lunch in the hospital cafeteria would be like trying to buy a Tickle Me Elmo at Christmas in ‘97.
I feel terrible admitting this, but my first reaction was, “He’ll figure it out, I need to sleep. If I get up and help him out, I’ll be enabling him and he’ll start to expect me to make his breakfast and lunch everyday and I will NOT be a housewife, damnit!”
I wish I was the only young woman who had this reaction, but I’ve talked to many of my clients about this fear of “losing ourselves” in our relationship and becoming more like our partner’s maid than his wife. The issue is that we’re so preoccupied with being taken advantage of, that we stop being a caring person (tweet it?).
I am so grateful for the women who fought for our equality, and I also want to be conscious of where the feminist expectation can be misunderstood.
So let’s find the difference between supporter vs. enabler, care-giver vs. servant, choice vs. obligation.
At 5:40 I got over my inner bra-burner’s tantrum, rapidly made Jonathan a green smoothie (love that I got him hooked on the liquid lawn) and threw some lunch in a tupperware just in time for him to rush out the door. I believe there was also a “Go Team Brajtbord!” and some solid high-fives through out our five minute scramble.
Jonathan was incredibly grateful, but most importantly it made me feel good to be there for him. I’m a natural nurturer, most of us are, and there’s nothing wrong or anti-feminist about that.
In the comments below I want to hear about how you walk the line between nurturer vs. being taken advantage of. Do you find yourself deliberately holding back so you don’t give him the wrong idea? Do you ever feel guilty for being domestic? What’s your secret to embracing your feminity?
This is a hot topic and I don’t want you to hold back