A growing segment of the female population is hanging on by a thread. These women have a sense of why they’re unsettled, but their feelings are taboo so they don’t feel at liberty to address them.
Who are these women?
They’re the college-age women who want nothing more than to get married and have kids but don’t dare admit that’s the extent of their plans.
They’re the women who did everything right: they stayed in school for years and got degree upon degree. They found a career they love, but the novelty has worn off. Now it’s just 24/7 work that keeps them from having a life.
They’re the wives who want to stay home with their kids but can’t because they made all the wrong decisions prior to marriage that undermined their ability to do so.
They’re the wives who are the family breadwinners but had no intention or even desire to end up in that boat.
I know these women exist because I hear from them every day. They are tired. They are frustrated. They’re lonely. And their marriages, for those who have them, are in shambles. They’re not enjoying motherhood at all.
These women deserve our attention. Unfortunately, it isn’t popular to acknowledge they exist because to do so would undermine the status quo. Because if women don’t agree to live the same lives as men and feel happy about it, well, there goes 40 years of feminism.
But these unhappy women, who were officially recognized in 2009, need to know the truth.
They need to know that if they want to marry on the younger side—typically not before 25, though, since 60% of couples married between ages 20-25 end in divorce—they’re not foolish or reactionary. They’re smart. They need to know that if they don’t want to work full-time and year-round when they become mothers, they will in fact be the norm. The majority of married mothers with children at home are either not employed or are employed part-time. A mere 28% of married mothers are “working mothers,” or wives who work full-time and year round.
And many of these women are not doing well.
Women like Tina, for instance—a married, full-time working mother of three children under six, who, if she were pressed and felt free to speak the truth, would say that motherhood sucks. It’s not at all what she envisioned. She’s stressed out and sleep deprived. Her kids sleep in the marital bed. Her son has major behavioral problems. Her marriage is strained to the breaking point.
Or Heather, who’s the breadwinner in her family and has an almost sexless marriage. I hear from her regularly. Her unemployed husband takes on some of the at-home tasks, but this modern arrangement is not working out.
Most nights, I fall asleep on the floor of the kids’ room once I’ve put them to bed. But I know I have to get up to pack their lunches for the next day if I want them to have something to eat besides leftover Taco Bell or a ketchup sandwich in their lunch bags.
My husband told me he doesn’t think of me as his wife but rather, as his partner. I just wonder when it is that I’ll reap any benefits from having a “partner” in this life, beyond getting the occasional oil change done in the convenience of my own garage and my kids having the approximation of a father in their lives. I’ve come to think of him as less of a “partner” and more of an incestuous teenage roommate who sometimes pays his rent on-time.
Then there are the single gals like Laura, who at 34 has priced herself out of the dating market. She’s extremely successful but very unhappy because she can’t find a good man to date, let alone to marry. By focusing exclusively on her career, Laura’s choices have dwindled considerably. The men she’d like to date are either already married or are interested in younger women. She gets the leftovers.
Or Kelsey, who at 30 is rethinking every decision she’s made. She has been living with a man for three years who has no plans to marry her, despite insisting that day will come.
If I could go back in time, I would have accepted the fact earlier on that I should also plan accordingly for the other things that make a well-rounded life—including marriage, family, career and a partner who’s on the same page.
These are real women—I’m not making them up. And there are thousands more just like them. Their lives are a hot mess for one reason.
They were feminists’ guinea pigs.
Feminists claim to speak on behalf of women, but it’s all a ruse. Feminists couldn’t care less about women. Their movement is a political one, pure and simple. It seeks power at your expense.
The only way out of this madness is for women to create a new life script, one that takes into account what they want rather than what society wants them to want. They need to map out their lives, or modify the lives they now have, in a way that’s countercultural to its core.
Stop doing what you’re told and start doing what you want. Turn off the TV. Ignore the news media. Stop reading women’s magazines. Ignore what your friends are doing.
Your happiness literally depends on it.