Confessions of a bad wife: I am not my mother

My significant other has never told me that I was a terrible wife. But I know I am and my mother would probably agree.

There’s a generation of Latina women—my grandmother, mother, and mother-in-law—included that grew up thinking the best way to be a perfect wife is to maintain an organized home, cook all meals possible, and tend to your husband and kids. I’m no Martha Stewart—and I'd like to keep it that way.

I hate cleaning and doing laundry. In fact, I am terrible at it. My hubby even fired me from touching anyone’s clothes. I’d stuff our clothes into the washer and dryer, neglecting to read any care labels or pay attention to sorting. After enough pink socks and men’s shirts turned into toddler shirts, it was time to let me go. That’s why we have a cleaning lady who does all the scrubbing and laundry.  My mother was appalled when she learned we had a cleaning person. It’s outsourcing at its finest to me.

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I don’t make breakfast for anyone. My son and hubby make their own breakfast 99% of the time. My mother might flip out if she knew I wasn’t up at 5 a.m. making breakfast for my tween before he went to school. She often woke up at the crack of dawn to make farina or a scrambled egg sandwich for her four kids, all while holding a full-time job. The way I see it, my son is learning how to be independent and survival skills. I’m doing him a favor, thank you.

Making sure my home is spotless and picture-ready isn’t my priority. Sorry, mom. My home isn’t meticulous and flowing with pictures so that my husband can say we’ve got the perfect home. I’m more interested in reading books like the Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides or reading my latest issue of InStyle.

Sometimes I don’t always look like I’m ready for TV. Because on most days I work from home, I don’t need to dress up to go into an office. I have found myself changing out of my pajamas before he gets home from work. It’s not because I’m worried about what he’ll think; it could be anyone walking through the door, I’d be mortified.

My hubby raised our son for the first six years of his life. Early in my career, I had to cultivate relationships, spend long hours at the office, and traveled while I was a reporter at Fortune. It eventually landed me a top editing (and equally busy) job at Selecciones. During that time of our lives, my significant other mostly raised our son.

For all the reasons I’m a terrible wife, I have some redeeming qualities that make me a good wife, I hope. Sure, I’m not slaving away at making sure our home is perfectly clean, but we’ve managed to stay together for nearly 14 years, spending time discussing politics over dinner (I promise I actually do my hair and wear normal clothes) and discovering new restaurants. It may be a new-age approach to being a wife, but it works for us.   

 Would you consider yourself a bad wife?

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