Welcome to the tenth edition of Would you rather? the game where I am given two choices and must pick between them. I did not one, but two of these last week. Thanks to being sick all week, I may be back to just this one this week. We shall see on Sunday.
Anyway, as usual the question comes to us from the website Either.io. Enough with the introducing with words, time to get down to brass tax.
So the question is would you rather be Ward or June Cleaver? There are still people in this country that can make it with one member of the household being a stay at home parent but that number is far smaller than it was at one time.
Traditionally, it was the man that went out and worked while the women stayed home with the kids. However, I feel like the term “stay-at-home dad” is becoming more common place and as you’ll see when you get to my answer, that might be a pretty good thing for men.
I want to state something that I would hope is obvious but in this day and age you never know. Being a home maker constitutes a job. It is work and often incredibly hard work. Plus the work can multiply tremendously with each subsequent child added to the equation. But the way this question was framed, I don’t think the author is talking about working at home as in running a business out of your home. I think the question intends to pick from the most conventional definitions of working and homemaker wherein the homemaker’s primary tasks would be keeping the household running.
This is not one of those questions that I had to think all that long about. In fact, I came to my answer really quickly and it surprised me a little. On Either.io, my answer would put me in the minority but it isn’t exactly what I would call a landslide.
I actually started thinking about this while listening to an episode of the Freakonomics Podcast a few months back. One of the more interesting topics they’ve discussed over the years in my view is that concerning happiness. Particularly how happiness differs among different groups E.G.: race, gender, education level and so on.
I provide all of those links as support for my controversial viewpoint which I am now about to express. WORK SUCKS. Sorry if that statement offends you but this is my blog and sometimes you’ve got to lay out the strong opinions. Men on the whole have always been more unhappy than women because they were out in the workforce and knew that work sucked. As women have been working more and more they have started to become as unhappy as men because they are learning that work sucks. I say that this is a good thing. This represents real equality as I see it. Women have every right to be just as miserable as any man. Granted, the women’s movement might have had a harder time with recruitment if that had been their chosen slogan. But to paraphrase Peter Parker’s uncle Ben: with more rights comes more responsibilities and they are hard and stressful and result in no fun. Again, I’ll grant that the line wouldn’t be as easy to remember if that was what it actually was.
So women are working more and less happy as a result. Again, this is because work sucks. This is why I have chosen to be the home maker. I’m not suggesting that this would be an easy thing to do. Espcially if children are involved, I mean, I’ve never had to change a diaper and if the time comes that I ever do there’s going to be a problem or ten.
I think there are two things that make this one more appealing. The first is that you can see that what you are doing is actually making a difference. This isn’t always true in the workplace. I’ve worked jobs where I didn’t feel like my contributions were counting for very much. The type of job where it all felt like busy work or like things would have moved just as smoothly if I had never been there and done my work. Working hard and not seeing it come to any good is disheartening and as a result very stressful. I feel like if you were a home maker you’d have an easier time seeing what you do as having an impact. I could be wrong and maybe homemakers feel just as inadequate and I’m sure if they really feel strongly about it they will comment on this post.
The second reason is that there is no office politics to contend with if you’re a homemaker. Sure, there are disputes between husbands and wives and such but that’s not really the same thing. Again, I’ve worked in jobs where people were definitely treated differently by higher ups. Clicks develop and when you’re new it can be hard to break into them, especially if you’re in the minority gender. Yes ladies, it can be just as tough for a guy to break into a group of all women as it is for a woman to break nto a group of all guys. Guys, treat the women around you as good as you can because it’s the right thing to do but also because you’re not imune from being in the minority at a workplace.
So flimsy or not, that is my justification. Think I’m wrong? Well, you wouldn’t be the first and you won’t be the last but if you feel strongly about it, you can have your say by voting in the poll.
I think I know which answer my friend Ric Gillespie will choose. He’ll pick the one that is closest to the couch which ever one that happens to be.
Thanks for reading and we’ll for sure be back with another question next week but we may also have a bonus Sunday question as well.