Come take a trip with me on my wild ride as the mother of 3 sweet "babies".

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Gender Roles

I always think it's interesting to look at "traditional" gender roles and compare them to the way our family operates.  Here's our breakdown:

"Man's Work"
  • Bring home the bacon (work) - We both do this, and often it means tag-team parenting because Jerry works during the day, and I work mostly nights and weekends.
  • Take out trash - He does this most of the time (when he remembers), but I've been known to do this once in a while.
  • Take care of car - I insist on Jerry doing this.  I am a typical woman in that I feel like I'm being totally taken advantage of at car places.  I know NOTHING about cars.
  • Mow the lawn - I have never mowed a lawn in my life.  Don't plan on it.  Jerry can have this one!
  • Shovel - I tried, and I was sore for almost a week.  I'm happy to call this "man's work!"
  • Hang pictures - I'm usually the one to get out the hammer and nails.  Unless I need a drill and those dry wall anchors, I'm on the job.  Anything more complicated, and I make Jerry do it - but I do the leveling, because he would rather eyeball it.
  • Change light bulbs - depends completely on how high up the light bulb is!  If I can reach it or climb up to it, I will take care of it.
  • Discipline kids - We both do a pretty good job of this, I think.  We back each other up, and stay fairly consistent. 
  • Do taxes - I married a math teacher.  That's his job.
  • Change the oil - If I have to change the oil, I pay someone to do it.  I'm lucky to be married to a guy who will do it himself.
  • Put together furniture / build - If something comes in a box and needs to be put together, I usually do it.  Not because Jerry won't or can't, but because I LOVE to do it!  Give me some screwdrivers and a hammer, and I'm happy.  If we're talking about actually building, that's Jerry's territory.  Again, not that I won't or can't, but because it's what Jerry enjoys (at least I think he does!)

"Woman's Work"
  • Cook - We both cook.  I am usually in charge of breakfast and lunch during the week, and Jerry does dinner, because I work. 
  • Clean - I do most of the cleaning, but Jerry helps.  I have to give him a list of what do beyond picking up toys most of the time, because he sees the house with "man eyes" - he doesn't see the dust on the piano, the fingerprints on the glass table, or the streaks on the mirror like I do.  We did decide at the beginning of our marriage, however, that I am more than happy to clean all the toilets if he promises to scour the tubs and showers, because I HATE doing that!
  • Iron - Yeah, we don't iron much.  BUT, I will say that when we first got married, I taught him how to iron his shirts.  Now we just get them dry cleaned. If any more ironing needs to be done, I do it.
  • Laundry - I am much better at this task, so I am glad to do it.  I really don't mind washing/drying clothes - but I despise folding and putting it away.  Jerry folds and puts away his own clothes and sometimes towels.  I take care of the kids clothes and my own.
  • Wash Dishes - We fill and empty the dishwasher.  Otherwise, it would be overwhelming!  We go through a lot of dishes.  I do most of the hand washing, though.  I'm not really sure why this is.
  • Change diapers - I can't believe there are still men out there who don't do this, but it's true.  We both change diapers equally, but I am in charge of cleaning out and washing the cloth diapers.
  • Bathe children - Currently, this task usually falls to Jerry because it's usually bedtime, and I'm nursing Luke or throwing in some laundry while he gets the girls bathed.  I give Luke his baths.  Once he's done nursing, I'm sure this will be more equally split again.
  • Take kids to practices - Right now this is just Bella and gymnastics.  I take her if I can, but if I have to work, Jerry takes all the kids along and goes.
  • Put kids to bed - We do this together - the whole bedtime routine - stories, songs, and prayers.  Occasionally, I'm at work late, and Jerry has to go solo on this one.
  • Tell kids to "Wait until your father gets home!" - Do people still do this?
  • Pay bills - I put this under "women's work" because I think of it that way.  I wasn't sure where it traditionally fell, but I do pay all the bills online.  I was always better at balancing my checkbook than Jerry when we were dating. 
  • Grocery shop - Jerry does this 85% of the time.  If I go, I end up getting 15 things that weren't on the list!  I have no willpower when it comes to shopping. As my mom says, I can find something I "need" no matter where I am.
  • Clothes shop - I do 95% of this.  I love clothes, so I have no problem with this!
  • Decorate - I consult with Jerry, but I take care of most of this as well.  He likes to have an opinion, but... well... it's women's work!  ;)
All in all, I'd say we're pretty traditional with just a few adjustments - mostly because Jerry is an awesome daddy, and I work outside the home. 

What is your household like?  Do you stick to mostly traditional gender roles, or are you a more "modern" family?