How women are socialised to be overly grateful for their husbands doing the bare minimum.

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What a hero hoovering the carpet. His wife is so lucky. Photo by Gustavo Fring from Pexels

My husband does his fair share around the home and in terms of childcare. It hasn’t always been this way and we initially struggled with our misogynistic attitudes. Without realising it, he left a lot of things to me and I took on all of these things without questioning whether it was fair. I had watched my mother do the same thing, just as she had watched her mother before her. I knew no different.

Unfortunately, my mental health suffered as a result and we were forced to re-evaluate how we work together as a team. I couldn’t sustain doing the lion's share of the household chores whilst looking after a baby. …

I’m going to watch reality TV in my face mask and read my horoscope without shame because I’m living my best life without internalised misogyny.

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Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

“I’m not like other girls.”

For a long time, saying this to myself made me feel good. Not because it made me feel different or special, but because it reassured me that I could be taken seriously.

In reality, I am very much “like other girls.” I enjoy stereotypically girly things and have a lot of common with other women in general. As a teenager and young adult, I had no idea the concept of internalised misogyny existed and that not only was my behaviour hurting myself, but it was also hurting girls in general.

I can remember being praised for doing things that weren’t stereotypically girly when I was a teenager. I felt I was seen as strong, capable, and worth taking seriously when I engaged in these things. I felt this way because that’s how I was taught to feel. If I engaged in girly hobbies, I was not met with the same treatment. So what other conclusion was I supposed to come to? …

It’s not your fault that you are expected to nurture in a world that doesn’t nurture you back.

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Photo by Claudia Wolff on Unsplash

Since my daughter became a toddler, I feel like all I do is yell. It’s difficult to get anything done when you have a little one trying to climb into the bin or parkour off the sofa. And I need to get things done. People dish out advice that these tasks can wait and to enjoy my time with my little one.

Time? What time? There aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. …

Thank you for teaching me the importance of adults apologising to children.

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Photo by MBARDO from Pexels

Dear Mom and Dad,

It feels weird to call you that. As far as I’m concerned I’ve never had parents. Sure, you were there in body. But you were never there for me.

I have spent many years feeling angry. You were right, I do have a problem with anger. Being forbidden to express negative emotions, being shamed for feeling hurt, being gaslit — it creates issues with anger. …

November 2020 Newsletter

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Photo by Pro Church Media on Unsplash

Happy November!

In the spirit of thanksgiving, the editors of Home Sweet Home want to thank our writers and readers for helping us to reach 1.7k followers! We appreciate you all. You are what makes Home Sweet Home such an inclusive and supportive space for parents and families.

Winner of October’s Writing Prompt

Last month, we challenged you to write about the future of parenting. The stand-out entry belongs to Kate Lynch who wrote a wonderful piece called Special Needs Children Are Leading the Future of Parenting.

“I’m grateful to my kid for being someone complicated, who caused me to question myself and my ideas about parenting. He came into my life, and turned it on its head. …

What are you thankful for?

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Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Can you think of a parenting or family experience that made you feel thankful? What did you learn? Was it something you previously took for granted? Was it a painful journey to learn to be thankful for this experience? Maybe it was an unusual situation or one that you can’t help but look back on and laugh. Regardless, we want to hear your story!

There is no right or wrong answer to this prompt. As long as it’s your truth, that’s what matters. Home Sweet Home is always a safe place to share your perspectives on family and parenting.

Rules:

  • Your piece needs to be a minimum of 800 words.
  • Poetry is not accepted.
  • It must be written for the reader. Pieces that are written in the style of a diary entry generally do not give anything to the reader. …

You may mean well, but you are invalidating the pain of your child.

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Ever since I received a letter from my father, I haven’t been the same.

I was starting to move on with my life. The part of me that’s still a little girl who desperately wants her daddy to change was getting smaller by the day. I was realising I was a grown woman who deserved better than being repeatedly let down and gaslit when she tried to express her pain.

When I received the letter, I couldn’t understand why I felt hopeful.

And how I overcame my fears.

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Photo by mododeolhar from Pexels

I can’t remember a time when I felt beautiful. Even on occasions when I was supposed to feel beautiful, such as my wedding day, I didn’t. As a child, I thought everyone had the same thoughts as me.

“You are hideous.”

“People shouldn’t have to look at you.”

“You need to make up for what you lack in looks with your personality. You need to be perfectly nice to everyone or you will let yourself down.”

“Only surgery can fix this. And you’ll never be able to afford that. You would be better off dead.”

“Don’t risk having kids. What If they look like you?”

How a harmful stereotype can be detrimental to the healing of child abuse survivors.

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Image by Pixabay on Pexels

“Yeah that’s why they grow up to be abusers too.”

“Is it?”

“Yeah. Cos they were abused as kids they grow up and abuse kids.”

My life was about to begin. This was my second chance. After being isolated from the outside world due to agoraphobia, I was sitting in the college library looking no different than anyone else. Finally, I was normal.

Then I overheard this conversation. And I remembered I wasn’t normal at all.

I had been abused my entire childhood. I had what they called at the time “a mental breakdown” when I was seventeen-years-old. I developed severe anxiety and was debilitated by panic attacks. …

Outing an abuser doesn’t ruin their lives. They will have groomed people other than the children they abuse and often this ensures their protection.

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Photo by Trym Nilsen on Unsplash

As soon as I was old enough to understand the word “paedophile”, I knew my grandfather was one. It wasn’t until I was much older that I realised everyone else around me had known it too.

My grandfather frightened me. And it wasn’t just me who was terrified of him. He seemed to have a hold over everyone, even grown men who were much bigger and stronger than him. It was an unspoken rule in the family to never upset him. So when I suggested his behaviour towards myself and the other children in the family was “pervy”, I quickly learned to never suggest that ever again.

The stereotype of an abuser in the family is that they are manipulative and seem normal — “just like everyone else.” When it’s revealed that all along they have been hurting people, everyone is shocked. …

About

Laura Fox

I write to heal myself and others. laurafoxwriter@gmail.com

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