In the These Little Moments household, we’ve pretty much taken on the traditional male and female gender roles.
Aside from the occasional freelance work I do, Michael is the sole financial provider. After a year and half of job searching to no avail, my unemployment insurance is no longer and I will be stating a new job in about six weeks — that of a Stay at Home Mom. We’ve figured out a way to make it work. A little less frivolous spending, a little more coupon clipping. Nothing that wouldn’t have been smart to do anyway. And the truth is, even if I had been working outside the home all this time, we most likely would have tried to make it work for me to stay at home with This Little Baby anyway, because it was important to both of us.
The time I’ve spent at home definitely has solidified our roles, though. I do all the cooking, the shopping, the cleaning, the laundry. (Except for scrubbing the shower, which I’ve made Michael’s chore, because I think he’s better at it. That and because breathing in those fumes lately didn’t seem like the best idea, unless we wanted baby to have an extra toe or something.) Michael takes care of paying the bills (side note: yes, I am involved in our finances, very much so. He just actually takes the time to sit down and pay the bills.), all yard work, anything involving our vehicles, and fixing things around the house.
Yes, at first I resented it. It would annoy me each time I took out the vacuum or soaped up the sponge. But as time went on, I began to think of it as my job. Because here’s the thing…he leaves the house for 40 hours a week (more, when he works overtime) to make a living to support our family. It’s one piece of our life puzzle. The fact of the matter is, we need money, and he can provide that.
In turn, I do the things that need to be done here at home. We need food. And I am kind of fond of clean underwear and a dog hair-free living environment. And I have the time to make those things a reality. Not to mention that soon, I’ll be doing those things while taking care of a new life. It should also be said that if I really needed help with something, Michael would help me. Except for cooking. The boy cannot cook to save his life. Something about the inability to multi-task in the kitchen. But, he does always thank me for each meal I make him, so that helps.
I’ve had friends make comments about our arrangement. Thinking it’s archaic that a man in 2010 doesn’t pick up a dinner shift or push the vacuum around once in awhile. Truth be told, two years ago I might have said the same thing. But now, at this point in our lives, it really works for us and most importantly, we’re happy. I don’t resent him for working, but not cleaning, and he doesn’t resent me for not traditionally working. (Although, I think he’s jealous that I can nap in the middle of the day.) Marriage is a partnership, and I think we’re each doing our part. Plus, I’ve reached a point where I’m actually happy doing what I do. Except for the vacuuming, because, blah.
What are the roles like in your home? Are you the “typical” woman? (Or man, although I think I only have like two male readers, but hey, if you’re out there boys, speak up!) If so, do you resent having to take on that role, or are you happy doing it?