Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Spoiled Brats

A family member called my husband yesterday to tell him about the tirade he went on during his Priesthood meeting on Sunday. This particular relative was born without an inner-censor and regularly says exactly what he's thinking before he thinks about whether it's actually appropriate to say at that exact moment (it's what we love about him). Keeping that and the fact that I'm hearing this second hand through my husband in mind, here's the basics of his rant. I thought it was interesting and perhaps even applicable but at the very least could start an interesting conversation.

On Sunday he was sitting through yet another lecture from a leader about how men should validate their wives. (It seems the men get this lecture often. Some probably even need it and heaven knows we like to be validated.) However, on this day, during this lecture this relative had had enough. He interrupted to say and I quote that "Mormon women are spoiled brats". (Now, I'm paraphrasing) He claims that we don't realize just how good we have it. He pointed out one brother who was holding his baby and another man had just left the room to change his baby's diaper. He quoted his mother who comments regularly when she sees men take care of their babies at church that women now days are so lucky to have husbands who are willing to help out with their babies. (Her husband NEVER changed a single diaper for even one of their seven children. From what I understand, he'd start gagging. Nice.)

Relative went on to say that now days a woman hands over their kids as soon as her tired husband gets home from work, hands them a honey-do list with things from A to Z, and then heads out to book club, Zumba, or Time-Out-For-Women. The man (in his version) takes care of the kids and completes the list with the exception of N. The wife comes home and all she can do is complain that he didn't finish N.

Even the glares from the Priesthood leader giving the lesson didn't deter the relative and he continued. In his line of business he works regularly with people in the world. He says he listens to the men talk about women and even their wives. Apparently, we would be shocked, appalled, disgusted. So, he concludes that Mormon women along the Wasatch Front do not realize how good we have it and that we are big baby whiners when we complain that our husbands need to validate us more. Essentially, we are spoiled brats.

Hmmmm. Something to think about. Maybe.


Catey said...

I'll probably be hated for saying this, but he's right!
Part of me feels really bad that this is such a common lesson in Priesthood classes, the other part of me feels bad that there are a number of men who actually still do need to hear it, and often.
I have been absolutely spoiled by my husband, but make it a point to try my best to let him know it is appreciated, to send him out for a hike or bike trip with the guys or whatever, so he gets a chance to recharge and enjoy some free time as well. I am very far from perfect, but I am surprised at how many women don't even try to reciprocate for their husbands. Last time Aaron went out for a day, he went rafting with a few friends....he said I was the only wife who hadn't called whining about them being gone for "so long" (about 6 hours) and nagging them to come home. It was sad!
Not that this is something I feel strongly about.... ;)

Becca B said...

I wish I could weigh in on this, my husband does next to nothing and expects a medeal. We are not morman, practising catholic, and i htink he should sit in on that lecture. Really, I dont whine. I let him go do what he wants/needs to do and I work, clean, take care of the kids, and make his lunch and coffee, and dinner, and bed and wash his clothes. I let him sleep in, go off with is friends, and when I ask him to take out the trash, he always conviently forgets! I ask him if I can go visit my friend in VA who is going through IVF, and he says no, he can't take care of the boys. I think you guys are blessed with exceptional men!

Melissa said...

It is unbelievably ignorant to lump all "Mormon women" or "women along the Wasatch front" into one group. I have never met this person, so I can safely assume he doesn't know me or my situation at all. Our situations obviously differ from house to house and from relationship to relationship, and statements lumping us all into one group are just careless. It clearly depends on the wife, and frankly it also depends on the husband. You teach people how to treat you. Obviously men SHOULD validate their wives, and guess what? Wives should also validate their husbands.

In addition, some choice people think that each and every thought that pops into their head should be shared, and not only that, but that if it applies to them, it must surely apply to the rest of the free world as well. This is unfortunate.

Jocelyn said...

I guess it really is a case-by-case deal. My husband and I just had this discussion the other day. We don't have kids quite yet, but I really appreciate all the work he does around the home for and with me without a lot of complaining. I feel that he is a great husband and will be a great father who is willing to share the load with our kids someday.

Note that I said "share". I will not expect him to do everything but just give me a little time off here and there for a break.

But anyway, we got on the subject the other day because he mentioned that he too is getting really tired of constantly being admonished to place his wife on a pedestal all the time. I guess I didn't realize what goes on in Priesthood class on Sundays, but he says that they hear it a lot there.

So, I think I have to agree with this relative that sometimes it gets a little ridiculous. I'm all for girl power and stuff, but not by pushing the men completely down.

Thanks for the story!

Playing It Cooley

Utah Mom said...

I agree that it is dangerous to lump people into broad generalizations. Obviously not all Mormon women living in the Wasatch Front are spoiled brats. And all Mormon men are not porn addicts who abuse their wives and never help with the house and children. It is unfortunate that there are husbands like this who apparently need the lectures. I think the men who are trying their best to be good husbands get tired of being lumped into that category regularly in their meetings. Just as you and I are not be happy to be referred to as a spoiled brat whiner.

Essentially, this is an extreme rant and I posted it only to see what others thought about it.

My personal opinion: husbands and wives should treat each other with respect and dignity.

Mark2 said...

Sadly, I must disagree to some extent. Unless you work manual labor, you may come home a little mentally exhausted but not physically wasted. It takes very little mental energy to play CandyLand and Chutes and Ladders. I've been home all day with 3 kids and 2 babies. If I can do it, any man can do it.

And while you mention the wives that call their husbands, Catey, how many men call their wives when they go grocery shopping for 2 or more hours? I think we have a lot of good men in the church but we also have some who don't understand how exhausting it is to watch kids all day who whine and pee and fight. Coming home and helping with the kids is part of being a parent.

Shilo said...

I think this relative had some very valid points. But, this is coming from someone whose husband does a lot! My husband is the one with the baby in Priesthood and the one that the baby wants as soon as he walks in the door every night.
I think it comes down to treating each other with respect and the whole give a little, take a little.

Hardy said...

Wanted to mention, just in case anyone out there is thinking it. The LDS Church isn't lumping everyone into a category of a failed husband or a failed wife.

We all need to remember that we are each struggling with different aspects.

Sunday lectures are themed around certain trials, and given to a general populous. Hopefully in an inspired manner that will help those who need it, and reinforce those who aren't struggling with it.

Despite my Wife's (Shilo) wonderful comments, I'm not always that way. When we were first married, often i would leave and go hang out with friends for 3-4 nights in a row. I've since change my ways and try to encourage Shilo to get out.

In a world with so many distractions, we(Men and Women) need these constant reminders to give attention to our loved ones.

Rheanna said...

Apparently I joined late in the discussion :o) I read the post earlier today, but had to think about it. I think that both sides are true for SOME people-some husbands help a ton, some don't, some respect their wives and some don't.
I could agree with the idea that I am spoiled-not a brat, but spoiled. I think all wives and husbands should feel that way! Knowing the Plan of Salvation and the goal of having an Eternal Family, we should work the best we can and the most we can to help our spouse feel like the most spoiled person in the world.
Justin is quite the awesome husband and I'm grateful everyday for his understanding the chaos of being home with sometimes crazy kids! Apparently I need to attend Relief Society more often to get told to spoil my husband because I'm sure I can always do better in that arena!

Utah Mom said...

Eric, thank you for pointing that out. You are, of course, absolutely right.

Hardy said...

One more comment :)

The reason we men get it sooo often, is simply due to statistics.

In the last 4 years, I know of 5 for sure and possibly 6 cases where the husbands got to distracted (for whatever reason, work or play, moral or amoral) and the wives got lonely and connected with another on facebook. Ending the marriage.

Conversely I only know of one where the woman was the one "out" constantly and the man was stuck at home with the kids.

It is completely generalizing (statistics always are), but that's why.
We need to remember that, before we take it personally.

Kerri said...

I agree with both. I feel bad that the husbands get the lecture and more of the wives don't get it sometimes. I love that my husband knows when I need him to do something for me before I have to ask. No he didn't always take the baby and I was the one balancing 5 kids under 7 while he sat on the stand every Sunday but he always knew when I had had enough. Now we both take time out and we both work full time and we both take care of children:))

anna said...

I can only imagine which relative said this - there are a few possibilities of people in our family who love to say whatever is on their mind :)