Sonya Bonczek was just trying to invite her child’s classmates to their birthday party. But when the mom of a 3-year-old attempted to ask the dads in class for their email addresses so she could send an invite, the responses were eye-opening.
In the now-viral tweet, she reveals that “3 out of 3 dads have proceeded to give me their wives’ emails instead. This is now a social experiment.” And that’s how one mom inspired a huge conversation about the invisible load of motherhood, and how women everywhere are experiencing the same thing.
Been running into dads of my 3yo’s classmates and asking for their emails for his birthday party and so far 3 out of 3 dads have proceeded to give me their wives’ emails instead. This is now a social experiment.— Sonya Bonczek (@SonyaBonczek) July 12, 2022
According to Psyched Mommy, “The invisible load of motherhood describes the unnoticed and uncompensated physical, mental, and emotional labor completed behind the scenes to keep our households happy, healthy, and running smoothly.” It involves physical, mental and emotional labor that we take on (often subconsciously) as we assume the role of default parent.
As evidenced by the tweet (which has over 6,000 replies), women are often given extra labor at the hands of our partners and places like our kids’ schools and doctors’ offices. Replies range from how frustrating it is that teachers and medical staff assume they are the first call for appointments and events, while more than a handful of men admit they “just don’t like planning things,” like in the tweet below.
So for me, personally, I have little to interest in planning things. Take family functions for example. Everytime I try to plan something, people whine and complain about EVERYTHING. I just eventually said, “You all figure it out…”
— Bean Counter TTV (@daddybeancountr) July 13, 2022
Well good for you, sir. We’re so glad you have the choice of opting out of taking ownership of family functions when “people whine and complain about everything.” Because, you know, that’s just normal when you have kids.
I hate to say it, but I too pass off a lot of the networking/scheduling to my wife. She’s the master of the calendar.
She tells me where and when, and I get it done. I don’t want to network with kids’ playmates.
I handle sports coaching, billing equipment, travel, etc.
— Public/Private Safety (Ret.) Vet. Lifetime CPP (@Secur80Consult) July 13, 2022
Do you see how if this was a workplace, your wife would be the manager? Except bc this isn’t a business, she isn’t getting paid more. She just has the extra responsibility.
— Leisel (@LeiselHughes) July 13, 2022
To be fair, there were numerous replies from dads who were frustrated that schools assumed they didn’t want to be contacted or daycare centers who didn’t reach out to them first despite being listed as the primary contact. However, they were far outnumbered by the references to wives who were “better master planners” and a “far more responsible grownup,” which are basically just thinly-veiled attempts to get out of participating.
While tweets like Bonczek’s make us feel a part of a larger, frustrated community, we can all agree change is the much bigger goal when it comes to relieving some of the invisible load. And, man, do we (still) have some work to do.