I met a really sweet Vietnamese lady today and we had a very interesting conversation that I thought of sharing with you guys. She asked me about how many kids I had and I told her, I have three. She then told me she had 4 kids of her own. And then she went on and said…actually you have 4 kids…. the fourth kid is your husband. Ha-ha! The cultural difference made her think so!
Right off the bat we hit it off and had so much in common. She asked me whether I am married to an Asian guy and I told her yes, he’s Chinese but born in America. She then went on and asked me if he does anything around the house? And I said of course he cooks, cleans, takes care of the kids, etc. Then she told me…wow… my husband doesn’t do anything…. in the Asian culture. Because men go out to work, come back home and get to do nothing. They get home from work and expect dinner on the table, drink with their buddies, the wife cleans up, cooks for the family takes care of the kids despite being a working mom. Then she tells me…it is the cultural difference and that’s just how the Asian culture is. The women just have to do it.
This made me remember when I was little my dad told me he had never changed a diaper. Now being a mom myself…I’m shocked he never changed a diaper! Which means my mom had to change all of me and my sister’s diapers, cook and clean while working? I thought back in the days when the older generation (The baby boomers) were in the game, the gender roles were defined. Men were known as the breadwinners and women as the caretakers. So, the woman used to take care of the children and the man would earn the money. So, in our culture, men don’t have to care for the children but just have to provide for the family. It’s still the same in many Asian cultures, where the wife works and manages the home together, and their husbands really are more like grown-up children depending on their wives for their work.
I guess you can say I’m very lucky because I’m Asian but I’m living in America now. Times have changed and I think men have too! My husband cook cleans and takes care of the kids. The culture in America is definitely very different. Being parents is like being on a team, whether you have a full-time job or not. You share all the work, taking care of the kids, cooking, cleaning, and whatever else that comes with being raising a family. But that doesn’t mean that women today are having fun or are better off. Women nowadays definitely go through a different kind of stress: the struggle of balancing a career with taking care of the family.
This made me think how proud I am to be a woman today and how Goddamn resilient we are. Being a woman means you can do it all. No complaints, work hard, raise your family, provide, cook, clean…but remember we’re all so blessed to have each other, and to be able to have this community is amazing.
I am so happy I am surrounded by very strong women in my life, my mom, my mother-in-law, my two sisters, and my little daughter. It makes me so proud to be a woman and mom. Cheers to all the hard-working mamas out there. You’re doing an amazing job! Cut yourself some slack, you’re doing a great job! Go Team mama!