Regarding housework and child care, men act like children to get out of doing them and to have more leisure time. I understand this is a broad generalization, but I say this because I admit I myself act this way and I know countless other men that do the same.
Ladies, I’m here to tell you when it comes to household duties, men will always get away with what you let them. This explains why even when women who have a full time job outside the home still do the majority of the housework and childcare when they come home from work.
I realize there are rare super dads who may be the exception to this rule, but they’re not common enough, and I hope to be one someday for my wife’s sake. The fact is I just don’t feel motivated to do the housework or child care as much as my wife does. Therefore, I tend to manipulate the situation to get away with more and she usually lets me.
I don’t feel good about it but I do this everyday and often subconsciously. She is the mastermind behind our family and knows how often each chore gets done. She also knows every doctor appointment, shoe size, DOB, SSN, when its time for a bath, what we’re having for dinner, knows when to feed our dog, and never forgets to pack the diaper bag, and probably a hundred other things. If you ask me these things, guess what, I don’t keep good track of it and need to ask her. (I even asked her for help in coming up with these examples….)
This is not because I’m less intelligent or less capable of doing or remembering these things. It is because I make a conscious choice to let her do more of these duties than me. She, like many women, will just grin and bear it, and pick up the extra slack in these areas when we men fall short. They learn this unhealthy gender role from their mother and their mother’s mother’s mother.
I believe my mentality comes from one that was passed down to me from my father and his father’s father’s father and so on. It is the lingering traditional nuclear family values being passed down teaching us that women will do more of these tasks because as a gender they have been for ages.
I know this isn’t right and I’m working on changing it. I realize it’s important to my wife and perpetuating these unrealistic gender roles is sexist and negatively affects our marriage and relationship.
I also don’t want to pass this unhealthy view of gender roles down to my daughter. I want her to grow up seeing that mommy and daddy do an equal amount of work and neither doing an unfair amount of work.
That’s right, it’s unfair that I take advantage of the traditional gender roles so I can have more leisure time. I resolve to start changing this habit today and won’t stop until I erase it from my behavior.
I know I’m not alone in this epiphany and am sure there are other men out there who no longer want to act like children. When it comes to doing our fair share at home, we must stop MANipulating with this outdated MENtality and just be MEN.