Although I once wrote a post denying the existence of the glass ceiling, it occurred to me recently that men do have one big career advantage: wives.
Oh, for one of those! Someone who shops, cleans, picks up the kids from school, checks their homework and has a nice dinner waiting for you when you come home from the office (even if it’s take out). Someone to cover your back at home so you can travel, attend late meetings, network after hours and generally be seen after 4 p.m..
Before you write me off as a sexist pig, I realize that the modern husband is a far cry from the typical diaper allergic husband of, say, the ’50s. And the modern wife isn’t necessarily a wife at all, and may not even be female. Nonetheless, there tends to be one person in any partnership who assumes the bulk of the household chores and childcare, even if both partners work. And for lack of a better word I’m going to call that person a ‘wife.’
I love spending time with my kids but I enjoy working, too. And I sometimes envy my husband when I have to shut down in the middle of an interesting thought to pick up the kids while he finishes his work in relative peace and quiet before coming home to a somewhat clean house, fed children and a home-cooked meal.
My husband, by the way, is very supportive and spends a lot of quality time with our kids. He is also a wonderful cook, will shop in a pinch and has been known to clean the kitchen. But typically I’m the one who leaves work early, provides primary childcare and logs back on after they go to bed to finish up my work.
That’s why when my husband recently asked me what I wanted for my birthday I said I wanted a wife for a day. That’s right, for one day I wanted to go to work in the morning, work until I was finished and come home to smiling children in pajamas. I wanted dinner on the table and a ‘get out of cleaning the kitchen’ card.
I thought about holding out for folded laundry but decided not to press my luck.
My husband listened to my birthday request in silence, thought about it for a moment then asked, ‘Just one day, right?’
So if you’re wondering how to show your appreciation for that special working mom in your life, why not consider trading places for a day. Man up and be a mom, so to speak. As an added bonus, it’s a great chance to get in touch with your inner wife.
P.S. I hope he doesn’t ask me to file our multi-country tax returns for his birthday.
Photo credit iStockphoto