It’s the age-old saying: The grass is always greener on the other side.
The share of stay-at-home mothers has risen since 2000 among married mothers with working husbands. Since stay-at-home moms don’t earn an actual paycheck for the work they do, it’s not uncommon for resentments to arise between spouses who stay at home and those who go to work. But is that really fair? Is one “job” more important than the other?
The story below is an urban legend/long-form joke (often seen under the title, “Why A Man Should Never Complain”) that’s been circulating online for many years. The story begins with a wife and mother who stays home and takes care of the kids and chores while her husband works a full-time job.
He goes to the office every day and works hard for his money, until one day he gets fed up with being the sole breadwinner. He prays to God to let him switch places with his wife, so that she can know firsthand what it’s like to work so hard every day.
So, God grants him his ultimate wish — only this husband ends up getting way more than he bargained for, and learns a lesson he’ll never forget.
Wait until you see how this story ends. It’s nothing short of brilliant…
A man was sick and tired of going to work every day while his wife stayed home. He wanted her to see what he went through so he prayed.
“Dear Lord, I go to work every day and put in 8 hours while my wife merely stays at home.
I want her to know what I go through, so please allow her body to switch with mine for a day.”
God, in his infinite wisdom, granted the man’s wish. The next morning, sure enough, the man awoke as a woman.
He arose, cooked breakfast for his mate, awakened the kids, set out their school clothes, fed them breakfast, packed their lunches, drove them to school, came home and picked up the dry cleaning and stopped at the bank to make a deposit, went grocery shopping, then drove home to put away the groceries, paid the bills, and balanced the checkbook.”
He cleaned the cat’s litter box and bathed the dogs.
Then it was already 1 P.M. and he hurried to make the beds, do the laundry, vacuum, dust, and sweep and mop the kitchen floor; ran to the school to pick up the kids and got into an argument with them on the way home.
He set out cookies and milk and got the kids organized to do their homework, then set up the ironing board and watched TV while he did the ironing.
At 4:30 he began peeling potatoes and washing vegetables for salad, breaded the pork chops, and snapped fresh beans for supper.
After supper he cleaned the kitchen, ran the dishwasher, folded laundry, bathed the kids, and put them to bed.
At 9 P.M. he was exhausted and, though his daily chores weren’t finished, he went to bed where he was expected to make love which he managed to get through without complaint.
The next morning he awoke and immediately knelt by the bed and said,
“Lord, I don’t know what I was thinking.
I was so wrong to envy my wife’s being able to stay home all day. Please, oh please, let us trade back.”
The Lord, in his infinite wisdom, replied, “My son, I feel you have learned your lesson and I will be happy to change things back to the way they were.
You’ll just have to wait nine months, though.
You got pregnant last night.”
Now that’s a punchline.
This story originally appeared at LittleThings.