We mark life based not upon the date but your standing in life.
Are you single or married? Home owner or renter? Parent or childless? Each time you pass from one to the other society says that you must don a certain hat, fill a certain shoe, and basically conform to their own stereotype to fill that mold.
There was so much focus on not wearing the veil that turns you into THE BRIDE upon getting engaged and planning the wedding. It seems like every wedding blog has to at least have an article once a year about how to not be the dreaded zilla. Women can never be right. Too opinionated you're bridezilla, not opinionated enough you don't take marriage seriously.
It was hard enough striking the right balance for the year or so we were engaged. Managing to talk about the wedding just enough so that I didn't bore people but they also didn't feel left out. Only in all that time I never really stopped and thought about just how I pictured becoming THE WIFE would go.
Overall our life didn't change much once the wedding was over. We already lived together, we were both working at the time of the wedding, and had our routines down pretty well. But something was going to work on my brain, slowly nibbling away and it wasn't til 6 months in I even began to realize it.
Just because I am a wife now I must suddenly hold myself to higher standards. When you're single doing the laundry or having a week of home cooked meals is almost something worth celebrating.
Once that ring goes on society expects you to keep the house miraculously clean, create 5 star dishes in under 30 minutes everyday, hold down a high paying job and love every second of it. Because after all you're a woman and that's just what you're expected to do.
Too bad no human being can be this perfect all the time (even robots have down time). And mentally I know and realize this, but intrinsically society just keeps hammering away that you must be this, this, and this. And if you aren't then you are worthless. You're a horrible person to even fail for one second.
These thoughts have been slowly invading my mind. Used to be if I failed at dinner, something burned or wasn't cooperating properly, no big deal. I'd just improvise, or fall back on hot dogs.
Now I get mad. Mad at myself for screwing up something so simple that anyone can do, mad at the fact that I have to be perfect all the time, and really "about ready to kick it across the room" mad at whatever just turned into a black crust.
I'm also sick and tired of being everyones cruise director. Why is it that women must instantly become the CEO and Director of their household? Every day it is my job to not only plan what dinner we'd have but to also prepare everything the night or two before and know what we're out of when going grocery shopping.
Then there's entertainment. I must think of not only how to keep myself entertained but also my husband and plan out our weekends. Is it any wonder that it generally devolves to me running off to the kitchen table canvas in hand for a few hours and leaving him to his video games?
So not only must I create and totally plan delectable meals that must be perfect at all times, I must also dictate everything in our lives and plan when we should have fun, what type of fun we should have, and just how much fun was had.
Oh and make sure to do all that while also holding down a full time job, because only lazy women stay at home nowadays. Remember you can have it all, as long as you plan on having a heart attack by the age of 43 from all the stress of trying your damnedest to be perfect and keep 30 plates spinning in the air.
Most people probably want to put the blame on the husband, after all he's the second half of the duo. But I cannot fault mine (okay aside from me having to plan everything, this is what happens when parents never let their children make their own decisions. They suddenly can't do it as adults, what a shocker!). He helps cook by making sides and he has a few certain things he cleans.
No this pressure to be perfect to fit in comes mostly from one big source of estrogen and cold shoulders: other women. We are constantly trying to out do each other. Our house must be cleaner than hers, our children fluent in three languages, our taco salad miles beyond hers.
It's gotten so much worse thanks to the 24/7 peep show into other peoples lives. I can't count the number of times I've seen envy posts, people saying they wish they had enough time/money/talent to do something they saw someone else do. In just a few steps that little thing only a few people do (like say making your own ketchup) turns into a requirement of daily life and soon people are scoffing at you if you don't spend hours every month making and bottling your own ketchup. After all they're just thinking of your family and how much your squandering their lives by being selfish enough to not devote your worthless time making ketchup.
I don't know if I'll ever really be able to fully reconcile this insane push to just be perfect in everything I do, because everything I can do is worthless anyway. But I do know that just ignoring the problem because it affects everyone, or is anti feminist or anything else like that is just going to make it worse.
It seems like no one ever wants to ask the hard questions. Just why are women expected to be perfect while men can just float through life? Why is it that everything to maintain a household falls under women's duties even to this day? How come you never see a commercial for a cleaning product directed towards a man? Why are men praised for trying their hand at cooking/playing with the kids once a month but a woman is just expected to do it even if they both work the same hours?
We really haven't come that far from the 50's after all.