Gender roles? Nah, we just play to our individual strengths.

We had some people over for dinner a few weeks ago, and as I sat on my ineffective ass in the den entertaining the guests I wondered if they were thrown off by the fact that I didn’t help out at all with dinner. Matthew did everything on his own. If you subscribe to stereotypes, I should have been in the kitchen getting dinner ready while Matthew entertained our guests. But if we had gone that route, dinner would have been quite an interesting affair. The guests arrive at 7. At 8:45, I ask if anyone is hungry. Everyone turns to me with the look of someone who has been looking around the room for anything edible and has now begun to consider that the magazines on the adjacent table would do in a pinch with a condiment chaser. And I say, “Great! The sides are ready! The entree will be ready in an hour.” Timing is not my forte when I’m socializing, and it’s kinda critical when you’re feeding people dinner, at least in my experience. They seem to expect to be served the entire dinner at the same time. This got me thinking about how we handle things in our household and how we let individual strengths dictate who does what. Just a few examples:

  • Discipline is man’s work in the stereotypical world, right? Not here. It’s all me, baby. Look at that face in the About Me section. Scary, right? Now add in a major frown and some serious ‘tude. MUCH scarier. Makes you want to run and hide under a blanket somewhere or run from the house screaming, amirite? And you haven’t even heard me all shouty.
  • Homework/schoolwork stuff is mostly me (unless it’s a math concept that I am too tired to try to grasp and I sic Matthew on it). This makes the most sense because I’m around the most to help with it, but I also keep track of it better. Which is a touch scary since keeping track of that type of thing isn’t exactly one of my strengths. Hi, Mrs. K. 🙂
  • Coaching the kids’ sports is all Matthew because I should not be allowed anywhere near kids’ sports in a coaching role. I don’t take it seriously enough. And I’m too invested. Totally contradictory, right? But what I mean is, I never take it seriously enough when they miss a practice, but when it’s game time I get completely upset when the other team does something that’s unsportsmanlike or that appears to bend the rules in some way. I’m a complete nut!
  • Laundry? We share this one. OK, I’m better at it. He would disagree. And I would disagree with his disagreement. But, moving on.
  • Cleaning the house is a shared task. We both seem to focus on different things, so it’s a good system. We both loathe cleaning, but who doesn’t?
  • Cleaning dishes is a shared task, too. But I think the person who invented the dishwasher is a person to whom I’d like to give a giant bear hug.
  • Vomit? That’s all Matthew. In fact anything of an excretion-type nature is going to fall to him. I’m going to be gagging in a corner all, “I can’t, I just…..no, really. I need to take a shower RIGHT now.” There are many vomit incidents and one INFAMOUS poo incident that to this day make me turn a bit green if I let my mind really explore those memories. In one of the vomit incidents, I took 5 showers within a 2 hour period. 3 of the showers were taken because vomiting was occurring in my vicinity and I thought there was a small chance that it somehow made it onto my person. The other 2 showers I can’t talk about. I just can’t focus on that. The poo incident is LEGENDARY and, if I receive written approval from all involved parties, I may post that tale as it was quite amusing in hindsight. I will say in my defense that I’m doing my share of poop-scooping when it comes to the dog. But, that’s about all I can say in my defense.

Hmmm, looks like we share most tasks. That’s a pretty great deal.

3 thoughts on “Gender roles? Nah, we just play to our individual strengths.

  1. Eric and I have also shared responsibilities based on strengths. I do laundry, he vacuums. We both do dishes. We both cook. He cleans litter boxes and takes out the trash and recyclables, I do laundry. I know I already said that, but it’s a big task!!! We both feed the children (cats and dogs) based on who gets up first, but I usually let the dogs out first because, unlike him, I’m already dressed! It’s nice when things just work out in a marriage! Like yours, mine is a happy and rewarding union, where things either get done or not, but it’s a joint effort. Thank goodness we don’t have to deal with homework, because that would squarely fall on MY shoulders!!!

    1. It sounds like you guys have a great system in place! And I know what you mean about the laundry. UGH! Hey, if you ever feel like you’re missing out on the homework, you are welcome to come over here and help out. 😉

  2. Watch what you say! I’m liable to show up at your house in the afternoon for homework time! I’ll take any excuse to spend time with JT and Anna!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *