Okay, blame the Minnesota Matron for this one. She started it with her amusing post about, um, explaining to her husband the need for a housekeeper once she starts working fulltime this fall.
Excuse me, did I say "starts" working? I meant, once she gets a new full time job which just happens to be outside her home. Because, you see, she has already got full time employment - she just doesn't get paid for it. And I, with my advanced mathematical skills, have already figured out that if you have one full time job, and then you get another full time job, you then have two full time jobs. (Yes, I know, I'm brilliant.)
Unfortunately, most people seem not to have realized this (about the jobs, I mean, not my brilliance). Oh, maybe the early feminists did, since they were always insisting that once a woman went to work, her spouse would have to pick up half the work at home. But what these good women did not recognize is that the spouse generally already had a full time job himself. Maybe these women just weren't good at fractions; but three full time jobs divided evenly between 2 people equal 1 and a half jobs each. Which is a lot of work for anyone, and particularly if there happen to be children in the household.
[Of course, there were those whose solution was to warn women not to have kids; or not to have too many of them. But I will save my rant on that subject for another time.]
So, if both spouses want to work outside the home, great! (I know, you all were just waiting for my permission.) Just make sure that there is someone else doing the needed work at home, so that your lives don't fall apart. It's no fun working all week, just to spend weekends catching up on laundry and grocery shopping and housecleaning. It's not fair to ourselves, it's not fair to our kids. And our insistence on trying to do things this way makes it clear that most of us do not believe that women who take care of their homes and their children full time already have a job.
But we do. And the pay sucks.
[Edited to add: Some people seem to be interpreting this as another blast in the Mommy wars. It isn't. I'm a uniter, not a divider. We all work. Some of us get paid. Some don't. Some of us find our jobs fulfilling (paid or not), while some of us don't. We all struggle to find time for ourselves. We have more in common than not. So cut it out.]