My friend B. forwarded this article to me this morning.
Much of the research on work-life conflict focuses on harried working mothers trying to juggle everything, desperate for more time, with lots of reasons to leave work early. But an even higher proportion of single women yearn for more free time; 68% of childless women say they would prefer having more time over more money, compared with 62% of women with children, according to a 2011 More magazine survey of 500 college-educated professional women over 34.
“People talk about, how do working mothers do it? But how do singles do it?” says Sherri Langburt, founder of SingleEditionMedia.com, a New York agency that advises brands on marketing to singles and runs a network for bloggers on singles topics.
Just so I’m understanding this properly…..singles now want props for being being able to wash their clothes, feed themselves and work? They want credit for being responsible adults? For reals? And we’re supposed to compare the responsibilities of a single parent – the biggest one being raising a child that will become a productive member of society – to those of someone without kids?
I’m not going to lie. There are some days when the burden of being the breadwinner and getting everything done gets overwhelming. I took a major financial hit shutting down the Sex Ed Salons. Huge, in fact. I don’t regret it for a minute. I’m lucky to have so many options to generate income, as well as a father who planned well for me and left me with no school loans, and that I was able to re-build a new channel. But I made this choice. Just like people who go to business school or law school made theirs. Being a grown up sucks sometimes. No question. I have sympathy for anybody who has to support themselves or support a family on their own. The emotional toll is huge and exhausting for both. However, it seems slightly self-indulgent to whine about your inability to do your laundry or go to the gym when there are single and coupled up people out there who don’t know how they are going to pay their mortgage next month.
Without a partner to help, singles must “get the laundry done, get to the gym, buy groceries and get to the job,” plus plan social activities or volunteer work and sometimes care for aging relatives, too.
“No one is focusing attention on those women or men, who are achieving such great levels in their careers, all alone,” Ms. Langburt says.
I realize I might be using a tiny group on which to base my opinions but…I know lawyers who work insane hours yet still manage to go on a couple dates a week and meet up with friends at least once a week. Are there phases here and there were free time is sparse? Absolutely. I have another friend who works for a financial firm AND went to business school full time who also manages to have social outings a couple times a week. Then there’s my other friend who works from 9 til about 7 each night, gets to the gym, travels 2-3 times a year and has 1-2 dates per week. Oh, and all these people also manage to get to the supermarket and get their clothes washed. Plus there are these things called laundry services as well as this nifty thing called The Internet where you can, like, buy stuff and have it delivered.
A 37-year-old New Jersey project consultant with an active social life says she faces piles of dirty dishes, laundry and unanswered mail when she gets home each evening, and she can’t get started on important financial planning.
“Some of my friends who are married or in long-term relationships are always asking me for my fun New York City gossip and my ‘Sex and the City’ lifestyle,” says Melissa J. Anderson, 29, a website editor who lives in Brooklyn. But that “is not exactly the case.”
She commutes an hour round-trip to her job, where she puts in a 10-hour workday, and attends work-related events several evenings each week. Weekends, she volunteers at an AIDS charity, works a few more hours and squeezes in time at the gym. She recently dined on beans and rice for a week because she couldn’t make it to her neighborhood grocery store before it closed at 8 p.m.
Okay…seriously??? This is their version of suffering? Here’s an idea…wash your plate after you use it instead of letting it sit in the sink. Ta da! Why does this sound like these people suffer from a bad case of The I Don’t Wannas?
“I’m tired…I don’t wanna do my laundry.”
“I want to take a hot bath. I don’t wanna go food shopping.”
To me, the people in this article came off insanely self-absorbed and the gripes seemed trivial. Is this part of the self-victimization that we’ve been talking about around here? Or is this a case of underlying resentment towards people who managed to find someone to support them emotionally or otherwise?
My father always said to me, from a young age, that life is about choices. At some point, whether it’s because you have children or choose to get married or choose to pursue a career, you’re going to have to sacrifice. That’s what being adult is all about. Nobody said that life, whether you’re single or not, was going to be easy.
Maybe that’s the problem? Perhaps the people in this article and those who inspired it had inordinate expectations of what their life was supposed to look like?
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