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Thread: Sars, re Emotional Labour

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    nolite te bastardes carborundorum stellarfeller's Avatar
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    Sars, re Emotional Labour

    You posted something on your facebook about emotional labour...could you expand upon that a bit? I have many thoughts!
    Mornings are for coffee and contemplation
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    Chief Hopper, Stranger Things

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    Heartless Wench Alice Chalmers's Avatar
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    Not Sars, but I'm game!

    http://everydayfeminism.com/2016/08/...otional-labor/

    The above strikes me as rather ironic as the Everyday Feminism site demands a metric ton of emotional labor from its readers.

    Anyway, I think a lot of the emotional labor in modern relationships is a holdover from homemaking a couple of generations ago. Men provided the income and the physical structure and women managed the home. But both of those jobs got easier, then women's work was added to - we started earning money - but there was no rebalancing of all the other work.

    Somebody has to make sure there's toilet paper and ketchup and coffee. Somebody has to plan meals and know when the kids are due for checkups and whom to call about that and make it happen. Somebody has to arrange for a dog sitter so the family can go on vacation. And that very often falls to the woman, with the man seeming to think it all happens be magic or something.

    In fairness, a lot of stereotypical "man" jobs in the home don't happen by magic, either. The furnace filter needs to be changed and the water heater drained and the roof checked and the gutters cleaned, and men often do these things with very little notice, as well.

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    Being it, y'all! Lizzie Beth's Avatar
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    Sars, re Emotional Labour

    Quote Originally Posted by Alice Chalmers View Post
    Not Sars, but I'm game!

    http://everydayfeminism.com/2016/08/...otional-labor/

    The above strikes me as rather ironic as the Everyday Feminism site demands a metric ton of emotional labor from its readers.

    Anyway, I think a lot of the emotional labor in modern relationships is a holdover from homemaking a couple of generations ago. Men provided the income and the physical structure and women managed the home. But both of those jobs got easier, then women's work was added to - we started earning money - but there was no rebalancing of all the other work.

    Somebody has to make sure there's toilet paper and ketchup and coffee. Somebody has to plan meals and know when the kids are due for checkups and whom to call about that and make it happen. Somebody has to arrange for a dog sitter so the family can go on vacation. And that very often falls to the woman, with the man seeming to think it all happens be magic or something.

    In fairness, a lot of stereotypical "man" jobs in the home don't happen by magic, either. The furnace filter needs to be changed and the water heater drained and the roof checked and the gutters cleaned, and men often do these things with very little notice, as well.
    ITA. Dh is all over that stuff and he does all the bills and the only reason I know is that he loves to tell me all about it. But he's "not looking for praise" (well, apparently he wants me to be aware.. ) I, on the other hand, want to be noticed. Nearly everything I do is contained in this one house and he's the only adult to see. I want it to be acknowledged by somebody on the planet that I'm not just taking, taking, taking.

    But somehow with that assumption that society makes - that women just live for their children and naturally embrace every aspect of childcare and homemaking - it's like people think he's just supporting this out of control child collection that I've forced on him.. This guy who wanted to talk children on our second date.

    Yes, he works hard. I work hard too. And if I ever go back to paid work, there is going to be help hired and/or he and the kids are going to take on some new tasks.

    And another thing this makes me think of - whenever we get ready for road trips and by we I mean me. I get five people packed, snacks and food ready if we're going to the cabin, everyone fed, dressed, pottied, their activities to keep them busy in the car, the animals arranged for, etc, Then we get in the car and I feel like I have crossed a finish line and I just want to relax for a minute in the passenger seat. And before we're out of the neighborhood he wants me to look up something on the phone, figure out which way would be faster on the GPS, call and confirm a reservation and keep calling the number no one is picking up until I get an answer. So that we're irritated with each other before we even make it to the highway. (This guy, who is a major in a reserves logistics unit.)

    And I want to kill him.

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    Nihongo dame desu villanelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lizzie Beth View Post
    ITA. Dh is all over that stuff and he does all the bills and the only reason I know is that he loves to tell me all about it. But he's "not looking for praise" (well, apparently he wants me to be aware.. ) I, on the other hand, want to be noticed. Nearly everything I do is contained in this one house and he's the only adult to see. I want it to be acknowledged by somebody on the planet that I'm not just taking, taking, taking.

    But somehow with that assumption that society makes - that women just live for their children and naturally embrace every aspect of childcare and homemaking - it's like people think he's just supporting this out of control child collection that I've forced on him.. This guy who wanted to talk children on our second date.

    Yes, he works hard. I work hard too. And if I ever go back to paid work, there is going to be help hired and/or he and the kids are going to take on some new tasks.

    And another thing this makes me think of - whenever we get ready for road trips and by we I mean me. I get five people packed, snacks and food ready if we're going to the cabin, everyone fed, dressed, pottied, their activities to keep them busy in the car, the animals arranged for, etc, Then we get in the car and I feel like I have crossed a finish line and I just want to relax for a minute in the passenger seat. And before we're out of the neighborhood he wants me to look up something on the phone, figure out which way would be faster on the GPS, call and confirm a reservation and keep calling the number no one is picking up until I get an answer. So that we're irritated with each other before we even make it to the highway. (This guy, who is a major in a reserves logistics unit.)

    And I want to kill him.
    Even though it is, in some ways, my primary vocation now that I'm not working full time, I am a shitty housekeeper. I really, really struggle with organizing ad get almost panicky when trying to put things away. I'm not wired for that. Likewise, I abhor cooking. it is 100% a chore for me. But with DH working long hours and me home, it's fair and reasonable that most of these things fall to me. Anyway, our house is messy and our meals are... basic. And I feel a ton of guilt about that, even though it seems to bother DH zero. But I find myself pointing out to him, "Did you notice I did all the laundry today!" "I cleaned the kitchen floors!" "The sheets on the bed are clean." It's my own issue, but I feel like I need to make sure he knows I didn't just sit on my ass all day eating bon-bons. Again, totally my issue. DH was fully on board with us getting a housekeeper, but that made me feel like a lazy failure. I compensated by taking on another class every week. The housekeeper comes while I'm teaching, and my fee from the class pays her (and there's even some left). So I feel like I'm spending the same amount of time engaged in the business of life, but I'm doing something I prefer and am better at. It's still a personal sore spot, but I can live with it.

    And I'd say this role as the wife of Senior Leadership comes with so stinkin' many "emotional labor" expectations. Thankfully, for the most part these spouses have become friends so a lot of it feels like just interacting with friends, but in some ways I'm a bridge between the spouses and that service members, and I'm the first phone call for the spouses if they have issues or questions. I problem solve for them, and as necessary, report to DH so that the command can be aware that the Smith family is dealing with X issue, so he can step in as needed. It's so very much of that kind of thing, and a lot of energy goes in to making sure everyone feels comfortable and happy. (For example, I don't attend kids birthday parties because if I went to some and couldn't make others, people might feel either slighted or like I was conveying the command's favoritism. It's silly that I have to think that way, but I do, and it takes a lot of energy. Likewise, I rarely invite anyone anywhere, because then I'm only inviting Sally and Jane, and Jessica might be upset. So if Sally and Jane are my friends and want to hang out, they invite me.) I spend anywhere from 10-30 hours a week on command stuff, whether that's typing a new roster or designing an event invitation in word, or messaging on Facebook with a spouse whose moving here soon and has questions, or brainstorming fundraising ideas or communicating with the guy from whom we are ordering some item, or whatever. Sometimes I resent it because it's so very expected, and it doesn't even have anything to do with me. All this is because of my DH's accomplishments.

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    I flunked typing coachgrrl's Avatar
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    I have spent the majority of my marital life doing all of the things. Now I don't. And I feel pretty good about it too
    Maybe its age, empty nest, or cancer fukital
    But it's working for me


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    nolite te bastardes carborundorum stellarfeller's Avatar
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    I haven't forgotten about this thread! I'll come back to it later.
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    Being it, y'all! Lizzie Beth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by villanelle View Post
    And I'd say this role as the wife of Senior Leadership comes with so stinkin' many "emotional labor" expectations.
    Seriously, the senior military wife role justifies the cleaning lady all by itself. Every now and then the Air Guard spouse people try to suck me in, but to me it's very, very different than active duty. Especially since we live an hour and a half away from the base. I do my time in the PTA.

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    I'm just here for the lulz. Sarsparilla's Avatar
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    Here's the thing I posted.

    Here's the piece that inspired it.

    I'm by nature and nurture one who does the emotional labor of others. Not just my partner, but my family, my friends, my co-workers, my bosses. I've struggled with what that does to me my entire adult life. Only in recent years have I begun to recognize it and chafe against it. My marriage is moderately balanced because I have the good fortune to be married to someone who took the time to understand how to look after me and how to help me look after myself. But we did the fight the Battle of His Family Birthdays etc.
    Welcome to Fluffytown. No smoking, no farting, no pillow fights.

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    And another thing this makes me think of - whenever we get ready for road trips and by we I mean me. I get five people packed, snacks and food ready if we're going to the cabin, everyone fed, dressed, pottied, their activities to keep them busy in the car, the animals arranged for, etc, Then we get in the car and I feel like I have crossed a finish line and I just want to relax for a minute in the passenger seat. And before we're out of the neighborhood he wants me to look up something on the phone, figure out which way would be faster on the GPS, call and confirm a reservation and keep calling the number no one is picking up until I get an answer. So that we're irritated with each other before we even make it to the highway. (This guy, who is a major in a reserves logistics unit.)

    And I want to kill him.
    Minus the rank and job, this could have been written by me.
    The years when my husband worked 2-10 p.m. shifts were the hardest. I had 3 kids at home, when he started that shift they were 11, 8, and a newborn. He did that shift for 11 years. IT SUCKED. For the first few years, I was a SAHM, and it was *okay*. Then, I worked a full time job, and then came home and had to remember everything for everybody, help with homework, manage dinner, take kids to extracurriculars, etc and it was so very draining. I have a wonderful, involved husband, and I truly don't think he could have managed it.
    Now, he works from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. He has done that for about 2 years now. I have to remind myself sometimes that he is home, and can take our youngest ( the only non adult) to soccer, basketball, scouts, etc.

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    Nihongo dame desu villanelle's Avatar
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    I know it doesn't work for everyone, but I am so, so, so much happier after having just sort of washed my hands of DH's family's gift buying. His family is not close at all. One year, SIL (BIL's wife, so she also married in to the family and yet was expected to get gifts) gave DH a 6 pack of Coke for Christmas, and me a grocery store plate of cookies with the "reduced for quick sale due to expiration date" sticker still on it. I think that's the moment I started resenting all of the energy I put it to finding really meaningful gifts for everyone. Over time, I tapered, and eventually just stopped. MIL often forgot for days (or entirely) to even acknowledge DH's birthday, so I don't feel guilt that she now doesn't necessarily get her's acknowledged from DH, where as before it was a source of stress. "Dont' forget to call your mom Sunday." "It's your mom's birthday today." "The days almost over, and I know you said you wanted to call your mom." They get no gifts, and we get no gifts from them. And it's lovely, and I don't have that resentment. This worked primarily because they were never especially close anyway, and because we aren't around to actually get together to exchange gifts. (Last year when we were stateside, we--and by that I mean I--got a gift for MIL and her boyfriend, but it was a gift card and I expended very little energy on it.) It was such a sense of relief for me to just let this go.

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