Definition of Work

I organized and executed a move to a new apartment. I do all the various paperwork and legwork for everyone’s insurance, medical appointments, and so on. I buy nearly all the food, some delivered and some on foot, as well as household supplies — it’s a major point of pride for me that we never run out of anything. It sounds a little silly to count that among one’s achievements, but the truth is that it’s really really nice always to have what you need. Then I cook 7ish meals per week and assemble another 10+ from leftovers, make sandwiches, scramble eggs, etc. I purchase clothing for all 4 of us, mostly online, not to mention keeping it all clean(ish). Returns, warranty issues, miscellaneous customer service matters all fall on me. It’s a lot.

No, it isn’t. I do all of this, too, and I honestly don’t see what the big deal is. If she had four or five kids, then yeah, it would be a lot. But with two, it’s just normal.

I don’t understand this need to issue awards to oneself for very trivial things. And it’s not about whether she works outside the home or not. I know plenty of academics who list the minutia of their work lives with the same feeling of unacknowledged heroicism. I grade papers! Hold office hours! Prepare classes! You can practically hear fanfares as they speak.

And I’m not even going to address the ridiculous premise of “every millennial needs a housewife,” as if we were talking about objects or robots and not human beings who are somehow excluded from being millennials because they don’t have office jobs.

Another bit of idiocy in the article is the idea that doing freelance work from home is not really work in comparison with a job that requires one’s physical presence in an office. Hello, twenty-first century here! More and more people don’t do 9-5 office work. So what? I have an online store that doesn’t require me to go to an office. Hell, my professor job rarely requires me to go anywhere. Will anybody argue it’s less of a job because of that?

I can understand these attitudes in people who were born in 1932 but millennials should really get over these antiquated definitions of work. Work means something different today. Many people spend a ton of time on their couches staring at smartphones, and it’s work because they are building their online presence, writing content, doing branding, whatever. It’s all work.

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