This episode is part of a series about care. About the value of care. And we’re going to focus mostly on care in the U.S., because that’s where we make this show and where most of our listeners live. Just FYI.
This week, we’re talking about care within our family and interpersonal relationships. And I want to say up top that even though a lot of the examples in this story are going to be hetero couples, the researcher that we’re speaking with finds that these issues apply in roommate situations and all kinds of romantic partnerships, so… I think it’ll be relevant. It’s not just for married people. Let me put it that way.
But to start, I want everyone to think about the way you were raised. Think about the grownups who raised you, and think about what they did every single day to keep your lives on track. Who did the dishes? Who did the laundry? Who took you to doctor’s appointments and RSVP’d to birthday parties? Who wrapped the birthday gifts? Who drove you to practices? Who washed your uniform?
And if the answer is nobody, I’m sorry.
And now I want you to think about your life today. In your romantic partnerships, who pays the bills? Who grocery shops? Who makes the bed? Who cleans the bathroom, makes plans with the extended family, remembers birthdays and buys the gifts? If you have kids, who does bedtime and bathtime and plans their schedules? Who buys their school supplies? Who takes them to the doctor?
For many, many families, the answer is: the mom. The wife. Me.
That’s how it was for Eve Rodsky, back in 2012.
At first, my mother, the poet Anne Atik, had seemed just ordinarily confused. Then, very gradually, the confusion took on a pathological aspect. She...