Of roles and gender…

Now that I’ve been back to work for almost a year, I’m ready to come clean. The real division of labor in a house is not between man and woman, but between the person who stays home and the person who works. When I went back to work, I thought that the housework would be more fairly distributed when I worked because I was used to being home so it would be easier for me to pick up the slack than it was for Zak when I was home. That’s bull. After a while, a very short while, you lose track.

When I was home, I used to find it slightly annoying when, on weekends, Zak would ask me questions all the time. What do I give our son to eat? At what time should I put him for a nap? What do I pack for the day? I kept thinking, can’t he figure it out by himself? I just want a break here! Well, of course, when I went back to work he figured it out. And now I find myself asking him what I should give our son to eat, at what time I should put him for a nap, what I should pack for the day or what needs to be done around the house.

I would certainly figure it out if he wasn’t there. But since a toddler’s schedule changes regularly, his needs for diapers, snacks, etc. evolve, I do tend to ask Zak. And I’m sure it must be annoying, but it’s really hard to avoid. He is the one who cooks supper, so he knows what’s not in the fridge that I should buy for supper. He knows how much fruit gets eaten through the week. He knows where everything is in the house. He knows what needs cleaning the most – he spends so much more time there than I do! He knows how much clothes our son goes through a day, and therefore how much we should pack on a trip. And although I try to do as much as I can in the evening, it will never equal what he puts up with every day. Especially on days when our son is a brat (yup, it happens)!

So for all you moms out there who think that men are jerks because they don’t help you enough, hear this confession of a working mom who cannot seem to manage to help her husband enough… and try to be patient!

2 Responses to “Of roles and gender…”

  1. Anne Says:

    I’ll make sure to remember next time my husband forgets to buy milk on the way home, or doesn’t remember our daughter has to eat something 30 minutes before she goes to bed. At least now I’ll know it’s not a gendre thing.

  2. sophie Says:

    There you go! I’m glad I could enlighten you…