"Division of labor imbalances in marriage is a form of spousal abuse. Stop making excuses for shitty men," she wrote.
Any relationship, partnership, alliance, or collaboration where one person is left to pick up all the slack is sure to be a physically and emotionally taxing experience for that individual. Unfortunately, this might sound familiar for countless women across the world as the "traditional family"—as dictated by patriarchy—has for generations been one where the multitude of tasks involved in managing a household and raising children fall almost entirely on the women's shoulders. Meanwhile, men get away with doing the bare minimum and are often showered in praises for doing even that.
A few years ago, one mom decided to call out this sexist practice in a powerful post that struck a chord with many online. Although she shared it privately with her friends and followers, her words have since reached thousands after Facebook user Cate Nelson posted it on her profile "in case anyone needs to hear this." The post, which has been shared over 3000 times, reads: "On every page I follow, in every parent group I am in, I see the same thing: mothers talking about how exhausted they are, how hurt they are by the imbalance of work in their heterosexual relationships."
"The problems are all some variation of 'I just gave birth/am up half the night breastfeeding. Why do I have to also make dinner and clean while my spouse watches TV?' The advice is always the same: Be gentle with yourself. You can't do it all. Parenthood is hard. Blah blah blah," the post continues. "I don't know which of you needs to hear this, but I'll give you some better advice: Divorce his a**. This cultural norm where a man buys his free time with his partner's labor, suffering, and sometimes with the literal destruction of her body is misogyny on steroids."
"Men are not innately incompetent or lazy or incapable of doing their fair share. Tell that jacka** to get off the golf course, get his a** home, get up in the middle of the night with the baby, and start earning the right to stay married," the anonymous mom urged. "And remind him that not all men are this way and that a dude who doesn't do his fair share is not exactly a prize. He is replaceable. Lazy men who think you should have to work 168 hours a week while they work 40 are easy to find."
"If my spouse can pull his weight while litigating police and prison death cases and dealing with the unending horror of our current legal system, then your Johnny Do Nothing husband can manage to get up with the damn baby and stop blaming your postpartum depression on your woman hormones," she wrote. "If he gets free time and you don't, if he gets to sleep and you don't, if you have to do the grunt work and he doesn't, guess what. It's not an accident. He knows exactly what he is doing. Division of labor imbalances in marriage is a form of spousal abuse. Stop making excuses for shitty men."
Nelson herself vouched for the advice given in the post by revealing that she's found it to be effective in her own life. "My life got infinitely easier when I left my ex. The biggest secret about single parenting is that (aside from the financial struggles), it's *much* less stressful than trying to fill in for a lazy partner," she shared. Several other Facebook users also shared similar experiences in the comments. "The only way I got my (now ex) husband to do his fair share with the kids was to divorce him," wrote Kristen Chester. "And only being on the hook for 50-60% of child care duties is incredibly freeing. Having built-in boundaries that guarantee you time that you own is a valuable thing."
"I think that's the dirty little secret that divorced moms of young kids are reluctant to share: you miss your kids desperately when they're not with you, but because they're not with you 100% of the time, you get to have a fuller life as a human being than your peers who have 'intact' households."