The Wives’ Badge of Honor?

T. helps out around our home a lot.  I don’t mean in the sense of, “Oh, he’s a man so even the smallest chore completed means he’s exceeding expectations.”  I mean in the sense that he cooks and cleans dishes almost every night without complaining.  Likewise, we take turns cleaning the big ticket items like cleaning the bathroom and we divide the grocery shopping (I go to the Co-Op and he goes to the actual store).  My main household duties include laundry and tidying up.  In my mind, this is fairly equal division of running our home and this is what  I wanted in my pre-wedding dreams of married life.

Then  I actually got married and starting talking to more married women.  Naturally, in our wifely talks, we would discuss our homes and our husbands.  When I would mention that T. does the cooking and I do the laundry, many wives would reply, “Oh.  Well, my husband will take out the garbage and cooks dinner once a week but  I do everything else.”  The odd part of these conversations were that the wives didn’t talk as though they were sad about the lack of help or admiring of my husband’s domestic skills, they talked as though the full reign of household duties was a badge of honor that every wife should proudly wear.  I began to feel like I had yet another reason to feel like a failed wife because my husband and I have an egalitarian household.  I didn’t have the Wives’ Badge of Honor.
My confusion about the division of labor in the home and what  I should be doing as a wife continued for many months.  Then I talked to my sister-in-law about T. helping around our home and how I seemed to miss out on the Wives’ Badge of Honor, she looked at me and said, “It seems that women like to have a competition about much their lives suck.  I used to do that but then I realized how stupid that competition is.  I wouldn’t worry about having T. help around the home.”  And that’s true, why would I want to participate in a ridiculous competition about who has the least help from their husband?  I’m going to enjoy missing out on that badge and eat delightful meals cooked by my husband.

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