Soon after Mother’s Day I received an email from my cousin that made me laugh and then made me really sad. Here’s the email and then I’ll explain what I mean:
THE NEXT SURVIVOR SERIES
Six married men will be dropped on an island with one car and 3 kids each for six weeks. Each kid will play two sports and take either music or dance classes.
There is no fast food.
Each man must take care of his 3 kids; keep his assigned house clean, correct all homework, complete science projects, cook, do laundry, and pay a list of ‘pretend’ bills with not enough money. In addition, each man will have to budget enough money for groceries each week.
Each man must remember the birthdays of all their friends and relatives,
and send cards out on time–no emailing.
Each man must also take each child to a doctor’s appointment, a dentist appointment
and a haircut appointment.
He must make one unscheduled and inconvenient visit per child to the Emergency Room.
He must also make cookies or cupcakes for a school function.
Each man will be responsible for decorating his own assigned house, planting flowers outside, and keeping it presentable at all times.
The men will only have access to television when the kids are asleep and all chores are done.
The men must:
shave their legs,
wear makeup daily,
adorn themselves with jewelry,
wear uncomfortable yet stylish shoes,
keep fingernails polished, and eyebrows groomed.
During one of the six weeks, the men will have to endure severe abdominal cramps, backaches, headaches, have extreme, unexplained mood swings but never once complain or slow down from other duties.
They must attend weekly school meetings and church, and find time at least once to spend the afternoon at the park or a similar setting.
They will need to read a book to the kids each night and in the morning, feed them,
dress them, brush their teeth and comb their hair by 7:30 am.
A test will be given at the end of the six weeks, and each father will be required to know all of the following information: each child’s birthday, height, weight, shoe size, clothes size, doctor’s name, the child’s weight at birth, length, time of birth, and length of labor, each child’s favorite color, middle name, favorite snack, favorite song, favorite drink, favorite toy, biggest fear, and what they want to be when they grow up.
The kids vote them off the island based on performance.
The last man wins only if he still has enough energy to be intimate with his spouse
at a moment’s notice.
Now, those women out there reading this will find this hillarious. Those men out there reading this are possibly somewhat offended. And thus begins the battle of the sexes as set up by society. The truth of the matter is that it has largely become the woman’s job to take care of the emotional side of family relationships as well as the logistical side of family life. I know many men will say, well that’s because I work, but the reality now is that women also work, often full time, outside of the family. And thus begins the battle of the sexes in couples therapy. It is happening more and more often that couples enter marriage therapy because the wife has simply collapsed under the enormous pressure of maintaining family life. This battle over whose “job” taking care of the family is has created a divide between men and women. Some women thrive in this type of environment. They spend their time planning family outings, making family meals, and attending school functions – it gives them energy. Other women attempt to do all of these things and feel like utter failures when they are exhausted by the end of the day. This is because we all have different talents and strengths. Notice I said different, not better. The truth of the matter is that if you’re a mom and doing all of the things in this email makes you feel fulfilled and full of energy, that’s great. The problem occurs when you’re a mom and you feel completely drained and empty after doing all of these things. That means you need help and you will need a partner who supports that need for help, even if society doesn’t. Otherwise, you and your partner will end of in my office, or divorce court. That’s what makes the funny sad.