Friday, April 23, 2010

An interesting mix of old fashioned and new fangled...

For J and I we quickly realized we had been raised in similar families and in similar worlds so to speak. We both had both of our parents in the picture. We both were raised by stay at home moms. We had siblings (although he definitely has more). In our families Mom was the primary parent because she was home. Because of this we find that we kind of have an interesting look on husband and wife roles. For example there a "boy jobs" and "girl jobs" in our house.

Boy jobs...
  • mowing the lawn
  • taking out the trash (this is a big one for me...Dad still to this day does this at my parents house)
  • scooping puppy poop
  • fixing things (cars, sinks, toilets, etc) 
  • catching flying bugs (although really the pets do it best)
  • doing dishes (I cook, he cleans)
  • driving when we go some where (I enjoy driving but when we go somewhere together I prefer he drive)
  • unstopping the sink
  • maintaining the yard...mulch, etc.
  • changing the oil in his car
  • moving heavy stuff 
  • carrying things in from the car (he always gives me the keys and tells me to go open the door he'll get the stuff)
  • taking care of puppies in the morning (taking them out, feeding them, etc)
  • anything electrical
  • paying house bills (mortgage, electric, gas, water, etc)
  • packing the car (although usually he ends up asking for my opinion)
  • pushing the cart in a store (he says its like carrying my books in high school)
  • flatterer
Girl jobs...
  • fixing dinner
  • changing the cat litter
  • unloading the dish washer
  • making coffee in the morning (he'll do it but I try to do that while he is getting ready for work in the morning)
  • feeding the kitties (he'll do it if they bug him)
  • laundry (it is safer this way I have too many special care clothes)
  • getting puppies settled for the day before I leave for work
  • making his lunch 
  • DD (I am not as big a fan of drinking in public so I don't mind at all when we do go out)
  • stopping the sink 
  • dealing with distressed sister-in-laws
  • getting us packed for a long trip
  • cheerleader
Both jobs...
  • Getting the house cleaned for company (he does a great job on a bathroom)
But what I have learned is that it isn't who does the job because of gender it is who does it because we do it well or because we like doing it. I for one hate yard work. I don't get all excited about the smell of mulch or pulling weeds, etc. but he does so why not let the person who loves it do it. I enjoy cooking I find it relaxing in most situations (except when I'm pushing it and company will be there in 10 minutes) he doesn't enjoy it so again it makes sense that I do it.

We went through a bit of trial and error to get here. But our system works for us. He likes to feel needed. I like to nurture. I enjoy being taken care of in many regards although having been single for years I know how to take care of myself. But for now I'll enjoy him taking care of the boy jobs while I take care of the girl jobs.

What about you how do you divide labor? Do you take on traditional roles or do you break the mold?