childbirth · parenting

Light housework reward for childbirth

I watched a woman state this line on a breastfeeding webinar, 2017, not 1950’s. After a woman has had a c-section and her GP has given her the go-ahead, she can go back to light housework duties such as dusting.


All my childhood dreams coming to fruition. All that sport, study, contemplating, dreaming, all to dust a house. That woman got payed to say that. Is that not depressing? After carrying a baby for 9 mths, the once finely muscled apparatus reduced to wobbles and skipping with my legs closed, all to become an indent on the couch, feeding a crying baby and imagining what a whole, fulfilled human I will be when I can dust a house.

What about women without kids, is that what they get to look forward to after a particularly arduous task, perhaps volunteering in a 3rd world country, or working on a complex case, is their reward at the end of the day to clean a fucking house, or perhaps a pay rise, recognition or self fulfillment. A guy heals from a vasectomy or a nasty case of itchy balls, is his reward at the end of the tunnel to dust a house?

I understand this is a tad cynical, perhaps even a little over the top. Clearly I really, really do not like cleaning. I get more satisfaction staring at a blank wall or listening to that dull women on the webinar then a good spring clean.

What I personally would have loved to hear was encouragement and positive words. Something along the lines of, when healed you can start doing light activities that help you reconnect with yourself, your family and friends. Something that reminds you to become reacquainted with who you are rather than an outdated version of what women should be.

Here’s to reaching higher.

“Some women marry houses.

It’s another kind of skin; it has a heart

a mouth, a lover and bowel movements.

The walls are permanent and pink.

See how she sits on her knees all day,

Faithfully washing herself down.”

-Anne Sexton

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