1950’s paradigm: Man goes off and earns the paycheck; woman stays at home and does the child-rearing and housework.
200X paradigm: Man goes off and earns a paycheck; woman goes off and earns a paycheck. oh btw…woman gets to do the child-rearing and housework too…
M and I don’t consider ourselves awfully progressive. In fact, on a lot of things, we’re quite conservative. When we got married, though, we discussed that we saw ourselves as part of a team and that household chores should be split in ways that make sense. I’ve always tried to be an active dad, and when G was little stayed home and watched her mornings and worked in the evenings. Furthermore we worked on the input-output rule: M breastfed so I changed all the diapers. I still change a lot even though the breastfeeding days are long over and H’s diaper days are drawing to a happy end.
With M going to work, I’m the at-home parent since my commute is to my office in the basement. Since our schedule is currently arranged so that M works out in the mornings before work I’m:
- waking the girls
- making four breakfasts
- packing three lunches
- dressing 2 girls
- taking 1 girl (G) to the bus stop
- cleaning the kitchen.
Then my “real” day starts with spreadsheets, coding etc…
[Insert laundry here as I work near the washer & dryer]
- sneak in a run
- plan dinner
- start dinner prep
Then it’s back to the spreadsheets until:
- pick up G from bus
- finish cooking dinner
sometimes in the midst of spreadsheets. I was dicing onions during a conference call the other day…
Then after dinner it’s:
- clean kitchen
- help G with homework
- put girls to bed.
Is this lifestyle what they had in mind with “women’s liberation”?!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining; this is just what we have to do to make sure everything moves steady. Nor am I listing all of the stuff that M is doing—so please don’t think for a minute that she’s slacking or that I’m accusing her of it. Far from it!
Rather, it’s opening my eyes to the assumptions that we men tend to make about who does what and how we contribute to the household. And, it’s making me realize that M has been doing far more than I’d ever guess while I work away.
So—thank you, M!! And the rest of you guys with households–get off your butts and lend a hand… ;-)
FYI, today’s run will become a literal run to the grocery store to pick up a couple of missing ingredients for dinner. I’m shooting for butternut squash risotto with balsamic marinated chicken and brocolli. Feel free to stop by—and bring a fork… :-)