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Woman Explains Why Men Should Stop Expecting Their Wives To Work As Hard As Their Mothers Did

Photo: Elina Fairytale / Pexels 
family cooking breakfast together

Tara Boddie is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Orlando, Florida who’s built up a social media presence based on her motivational speaking and counseling practice, both of which are faith-based, rooted specifically in Christianity.

She recently posted a TikTok that spoke to the pitfalls of an inequitable division of labor in heterosexual marriages, sharing valid reasons why strict expectations of how marriages work can change to benefit both people in the relationship.

Boddie clearly explained why men should stop expecting their wives to work as hard as their mothers did.

Boddie touched on a common expectation, often held by both husbands and wives, that can easily derail a loving, functional marriage. Wives “should not be working as hard as your mother,” she explained. “We can’t look at our wives and say ‘What’s wrong with you? My mother was able to do it all.’” 



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Boddie countered the very notion of moms being able to do it all, calling it out as a fallacy. She stated, “Your mother was barely doing it all, and now she’s tired; now she’s having health problems. You see it in her body, you see it in her strength.” 

She posed the following question to husbands of the world, asking, “Why would you want to break down your wife if you love her? Why would you want her to carry all that?”

men should not expect wives to work as hard as their mothersPhoto: cottonbro studio / Pexels 

The idea that our mothers “did it all” is hugely pervasive, not only from the men’s side of a marriage.

It’s a thought I’ve heard expressed by many friends who are wives and mothers, a refrain so common it’s become ingrained in the way these women experience themselves as caregivers, which is to say they feel like they are never quite enough. I’ll sit with my mom-friends on porches on low-lit summer evenings, as their kids chalk the sidewalk with perfect, wobbly drawings. I’ll stand in the doorway as they give their kids baths, and I’ll listen when they say, “I just don’t get why it’s so hard for me. My mother did it all so easily.”

For these millennial moms, it seems like no matter what they do, it’s never enough. In part, this is due to the fact that they’re parenting in a wildly different era than our Boomer parents did. The economy is not set in our favor. Owning a house is a faraway dream for most people. Families with two incomes are struggling to make ends meet. 



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Adding to these challenges is the strongly-held belief that modern-day moms should be able to ‘do it all,’ just like their own moms seem to have done.

But Boddie pushed back on that idea, making the claim that moms in past generations were also just barely holding it together, and they’re paying for those sacrifices now.

Women who carry the full weight of caregiving and keeping house can experience repercussions later in life.

“She’s going to remember, you left me out there, you left me out there to work by myself,” Boddie exclaimed. “You left me out there to be tired. You left me out there to be broken down and you didn’t care.” She called for husbands to shift their perspective and pitch in more with household responsibilities, both for their own individual growth and to strengthen their marriages.

In an Instagram post, Boddie explained that love is a give-and-take, and “when we feel respected and loved, we can give it back in equal measure.”

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She spoke from personal experience, saying, “When I feel like I’m also receiving equal servitude and equal love, I don’t mind giving it back.”

“It’s when people feel like it’s very unequal, it’s very lopsided, do they begin to feel resentful,” she explained. She touched on the inherent value of accepting our spouses' complaints as valid. She stated that the spouse on the receiving end of the complaint “must take it into account and say, ‘What are you saying when you say that? Because I don’t see it, but tell me what’s going on.’”

Boddie also upheld the importance of clear, calm communication, saying, “We have to be able to tell our spouses things without being so angry. We have to give them grace to say, ‘You probably don’t know this or understand that I’m feeling this way, but sweetheart, I’m feeling unloved when you don’t help me.’”

A marriage is never a static entity. It’s a constantly evolving relationship, shifting in real time as we grow and change as individuals, coming together in partnership. 

As Boddie made clear, upholding the misguided belief that our mothers did it all with ease is damaging, both to our mothers’ memories and to our current relationships. It’s okay to ask for more than what past generations had. In fact, it’s essential to healing ourselves and improving the ways we love.

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers relationships, parenting, pop culture analysis, and all things to do with the entertainment industry.