As mothers, we know just how much we do inside and outside the home to make sure that family life simply happens. From buying birthday party gifts to planning birthday parties, to doing the household chores that others simply don't think about (cleaning toilets anyone?) to those that seem to need to be done endlessly (laundry, dishes, making meals, etc.) there is no mistaking that there seems to be a gross imbalance between what moms do and what dads do.
While there is no shortage of articles outlining just how much moms are relied on to make life happen for her family, blogger Constance Hall recently opened up in her very real and often painful way about how being a mom and having a new baby can almost drive a woman to the edge. Hall has always been real about her life and her relationship and felt the need to set the record straight to her one million-plus followers about how having a baby has highlighted just how much more mothers do than fathers, and how angry it's making her.
Hall and her new husband Denim Cooke welcomed their first child together, son Raja, in late June. Hall has four children from her previous marriage while Cooke has two, meaning they have a very, very busy house. In a post on her Facebook page, Hall shared that she was sick and tired of people “commending” Cooke for being such a “hands-on” husband and calling the two “couple goals” when she is feeling like she's drowning while dealing with a house full of kids and a newborn.
"The truth is that having a baby has pushed my relationship to the absolute edge," Hall wrote, opening her very real and very relatable post. "I can handle upping my workload. I really can. But what I can’t handle is the unjust, unfair living arrangements that so commonly follow the birth of a baby."
She goes on to explain that she's not bashing her husband, simply pointing out the unfair expectations we put on women even after they've just had a baby. That the invisible workload that exists at home and in family life only seems to multiply once a woman has a new baby when it should drastically be reduced.
"The minute the baby came out, I became the ball and chain,"she wrote. "Coming somewhere with me became a chore, holding the baby, a favour, we went from being inseparable our saying was ‘where you go I go’ to Christmas holidays with 2 trips apart already."
She went on to explain that although she and her baby are inseparable, thanks to constant feedings and the constant care a newborn requires, she's never felt more alone and tired. "And I’m f*cking exhausted, so many night feeds, remembering to buy school stuff for next year, to bath all my kids, wash all the clothes, dishes, supermarket, take them out to tire them out, answer 5 thousand questions a day with a smile and keep this house looking relatively clean because someone walked into it the other day and laughed and said “don’t clean up for us.” But the truth is I fucking had, for hours. Is this what equality looks like?You have a baby, and you become insect repellent to husbands?"
Hall wanted to let her followers know that despite what we think when we look at her family, her life isn't sunshine and roses. "So thank you for giving me some superficial gratification when telling me that we are couple goals but in the spirit of honesty, having a baby is one thing, sharing that baby is a completely different story. " Her post sheds light on the huge imbalance of familial responsibility shared between mothers and fathers, and how if we don't speak out against it, nothing will ever change.
Hall's honest words have earned more than ten thousand comments, mostly from other women who can completely relate and are also tired of their husbands or partners being congratulated for simply being a father and for doing things fathers should be doing while mothers are simply expected to carry the heavier burden and never complain.
Hall reassured her followers that her marriage would weather this storm and be fine in the long run, because she and Cooke love each other.
"Where there is love there is a way, and there is no shortage of love in my marriage," she wrote. "We will grow, and we will be OK. Because as my recently divorced male friend told me, ‘you think having a baby and wife is depressing.. until they leave you. And then you learn the meaning of depressing.’”