Finger wags across Facebook. Ryshell Castleberry, a Florida mom and tattoo artist, has upset working moms by posting a now-viral Facebook tribute to stay-at-home moms that details how housewives spend their days at home.
Castleberry kicked off her March 3 post with a theoretical conversation between a husband and his therapist. The husband, a bank accountant, claims to his therapist that his wife "doesn't work" because she's a housewife. The therapist poses questions such as, "What time does your wife wake [up]?" and "Who makes breakfast for your family?" While the husband repeatedly replies, "My wife, because she doesn't work," it becomes clear that the stay-at-home mom's life is action-packed with family duties.
To drive the point home, Castleberry even shared a painting of a topless mom applying makeup with one hand and breastfeeding her infant daughter with the other arm. The work, created by artist Ricky Mujica, is named "Multitasking."
"She wakes up early because it has to be organized. She organizes the lunch for the children, ensures that they are well-dressed and combed, if they had breakfast, if they brush their teeth and take all their school supplies," the husband tells the therapist in Castleberry's post. "She wakes with the baby and changes diapers and clothes. Breastfeeds and makes snacks as well … Usually takes a while to figure something out that she can do while she is out, so she doesn't have to pack and unpack the carseat too many times, like drop off bills or to make a stop at the supermarket. Sometimes she forgets something and has to make the trip all over again, baby in tow. Once back home, she has to feed the baby lunch and breastfeed again, get the baby's diaper changed and ready for a nap, sort the kitchen and then will take care of laundry and cleaning of the house. You know, because she doesn't work."
The husband tells the therapist that after work, he needs to "rest, of course … I'm tired after working all day in the bank." In the meantime, his wife prepares another meal. "She makes dinner, serves my children and I, washes the dishes, orders once more the house, makes sure the dog is put away as well as any left over dinner," he says. "After helping children with HW she gets them prepared to sleep in pajamas and the baby is in fresh diapers, gives warm milk, verifies they brush their teeth. Once in bed she wakes frequently to continue to breastfeed and possibly change a diaper if needed while we rest. Because she doesn't have to get up for work."
The post has nearly 200,000 shares and 526,000 reactions — plus many comments left by working moms. "I work and do all that other stuff as well ..." one woman wrote, while another chimed in: "It's also the daily routine of working women. They just have 8 hours a day less to do it all."
Men also commented on the post. "S--t, I'm a single working father, I do all of the above (except now it's easier as the kids are all school aged) which lightens the load of the hypothetical non working mother too," one man wrote. "Not hatin just saying. And not sure who the hypothetical dude is that found a woman that didn't demand help lol. Even when partnered with a non working wife I had 2 jobs, did the yard, trash, at least half of the dinners (I am a helluva cook Though LOL) helped the kids get ready for bed etc. While I deeply respect all parents that are there actually parenting male or female the statement above is pretty worst case scenario really unrealistic in most cases."
Frustrated with the backlash, Castleberry added a follow-up note. "Let me take a minute to clarify something for people making nasty comments or sending me nasty messages. First of all, this statement is generalized ... At no point am I complaining, at no point am I not giving credit to the man who does work, the mom who does work (which I DOOOO, actually, proving how generalized this is and not to be taken LITERAL,) or the stay at home DAD," she wrote. "IF YOU are any of those things, read the message and replace the words with words that fit your situation. No one is coming on here being so specific as to say that they do not breastfeed, their husband is a laborer not a banker or they do not have a dog; IT IS GENERALIZED. You take the POSITIVE that you see from it and leave the rest."
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