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Gender roles at my house (funny)


Elisabet1
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Back to the original topic.  I think it's funny when my kids get used to one of us doing a certain thing and they are then under the impression the other parent can't handle it.  That has happened.  There were times when my younger kid waited all day for me to come back home to ask for food because I'm the main food person and I guess he didn't think his dad could manage it or something. 

 

 

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Uh yeah and the way I see it is my husband has a desk job.  It's not like he is out digging ditches or constructing houses.  So he can't tell me he had some sort of back breaking hellish day and is unable to move. 

 

On the topic of office jobs... the main-station telephone rang at my husbands office a few months back. It was the wife of one of the new summer hires. Apparently the wife was having a meltdown, because she could not control the kids.

 

When my husband came home and shared the story, I was gobsmacked. Absolutely dumbfounded for words.

 

Kids running the household.

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I'm tired, but I think that's pretty inevitable at 8 months pregnant with five small children. I've been tired for years.

 

Dh is tired too, he's taking a nap. He definitely finds life at home on the weekends more stressful than his regular work schedule  :tongue_smilie:

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 No man should ever have to go to work all day, then come home and start making bottles and changing diapers, at least not when the other SO is at home full-time.

 

 

I disagree also. Men should know how to care for their own children. I've known a couple of blokes who were almost afraid of their children, they'd done so little hands on caring. If you know nothing about babies, you might worry you'll break it, but no one should still be feeling that way about a three year old unless they are medically fragile.

 

 

Btw, homemakers in the past spent a fair bit of time watching soap operas and drinking cough syrup too. Kudos to your mum for being too tough for that, but there have always been people with stronger constitutions and others with weaker constitutions. I remember the last few times I got off my pity potty and stuck at it. I wound up in hospital. Bugger the Mummy Martyr Syndrome. I want to be well.

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Back to the original topic.  I think it's funny when my kids get used to one of us doing a certain thing and they are then under the impression the other parent can't handle it.  That has happened.  There were times when my younger kid waited all day for me to come back home to ask for food because I'm the main food person and I guess he didn't think his dad could manage it or something. 

 

And then when the other parent does do the certain thing, the kids tell them they're doing it all wrong because dad/mom always does it a particular way and that way has to be right!

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On the topic of office jobs... the main-station telephone rang at my husbands office a few months back. It was the wife of one of the new summer hires. Apparently the wife was having a meltdown, because she could not control the kids.

 

When my husband came home and shared the story, I was gobsmacked. Absolutely dumbfounded for words.

 

Kids running the household.

 

I actually once had a very bad day.  It wasn't that the kids were acting hellish.  It was that my husband was asked to work some ridiculous number of hours, I was new to the area and didn't know anyone, and I was just downright flipping tired and sick of being alone. 

 

I don't think that's so crazy.  You never really know all the details of a person's situation.  What I've had to get used to is being around no family and not know anyone.  It gets lonely.  I have to deal with any emergencies alone sometimes.  Not fun.  So yes I do rely on the one person in my life who works with me on these things.  And that's my husband.  I don't think that makes me some sort of a weirdo.  He relies on me as well.

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On the topic of office jobs... the main-station telephone rang at my husbands office a few months back. It was the wife of one of the new summer hires. Apparently the wife was having a meltdown, because she could not control the kids.

 

When my husband came home and shared the story, I was gobsmacked. Absolutely dumbfounded for words.

 

Kids running the household.

I assume your children were perfect angels and you never had any trouble managing them.

 

What do you know about that woman's life? Maybe that woman has health problems. Maybe one of the children has special needs. Maybe the woman and children are simply real people who express real human emotions and failings.

 

We don't live in Leave It To Beaver world. No one ever did.

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And then when the other parent does do the certain thing, the kids tell them they're doing it all wrong because dad/mom always does it a particular way and that way has to be right!

 

Oh yes.  Like DH can't cut the waffle right or toast the bread correctly.  Stuff like that.  LOL

 

Once my dad made scrambled eggs for the younger kid and the younger kid claimed they weren't right.  The only difference was that I cut them up for him.  My dad didn't cut them up.  So they didn't taste the same. 

 

Guess he is a creature of habit.

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The only example I can think of that's on topic to the original post is when dh's younger brother thought I didn't know how to drive. Dh gets car sick unless he's driving, so he is the default driver. BIL stayed with us during the summer when he was a teen. He needed a ride somewhere and I said I could take him. He looked at me and said incredulously, "You can drive?" :p

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Back to the original topic.  I think it's funny when my kids get used to one of us doing a certain thing and they are then under the impression the other parent can't handle it.  That has happened.  There were times when my younger kid waited all day for me to come back home to ask for food because I'm the main food person and I guess he didn't think his dad could manage it or something. 

 

My cat will do this.  Does that count?  Of course, he also wants to be fed first thing in the morning and I'm the only one up so that could be where he's getting the idea that I'm the only one who can handle cat food.

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The only example I can think of that's on topic to the original post is when dh's younger brother thought I didn't know how to drive. Dh gets car sick unless he's driving, so he is the default driver. BIL stayed with us during the summer when he was a teen. He needed a ride somewhere and I said I could take him. He looked at me and said incredulously, "You can drive?" :p

 

LOL

 

This reminds me... When our first son was little my husband only spoke German to him.  He spoke English to me because I don't speak German.  So as DS got a bit older (but still little) he was convinced that DH didn't know how to speak English so he was on a mission to teach his dad English.  He'd sit down and write out the alphabet to his dad and tell him the sounds.  It was pretty funny.

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My oldest was a very demanding toddler, I used to call my husband at work at least half a dozen times every day because I needed a sanity lifeline.

 

We were in a small apartment, far from any family or familiar support network. I am an introvert by nature and was really struggling with this intense little person who wanted me to interact with her every minute of every day. Subsequent children have been easier to handle because they have older siblings to help fill that interaction void and mommy gets more breaks.

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My oldest was a very demanding toddler, I used to call my husband at work at least half a dozen times every day because I needed a sanity lifeline.

 

We were in a small apartment, far from any family or familiar support network. I am an introvert by nature and was really struggling with this intense little person who wanted me to interact with her every minute of every day. Subsequent children have been easier to handle because they have older siblings to help fill that interaction void and mommy gets more breaks.

 

Yeah my oldest had bad colic.  It was awful.  He cried all day long.  He was born in the dead of winter.  Not fun.....  And my mother had just been diagnosed with cancer.  It was a hellish time.

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Btw, homemakers in the past spent a fair bit of time watching soap operas and drinking cough syrup too. Kudos to your mum for being too tough for that, but there have always been people with stronger constitutions and others with weaker constitutions. I remember the last few times I got off my pity potty and stuck at it. I wound up in hospital. Bugger the Mummy Martyr Syndrome. I want to be well.

Alas, cough syrup ain't what it used to be.

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On the topic of office jobs... the main-station telephone rang at my husbands office a few months back. It was the wife of one of the new summer hires. Apparently the wife was having a meltdown, because she could not control the kids.

 

When my husband came home and shared the story, I was gobsmacked. Absolutely dumbfounded for words.

 

Kids running the household.

If it were possible to pay your bills in smugness your husband wouldn't need a job.

 

I mean seriously, how do you know what precipitated that phone call? It's important to remember that we don't know what we don't know.

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My youngest rarely slept for the first 2.5 years of her life. I was chronically exhausted and I can totally understand losing it and demanding help. I did not, because I had other support. If I did not, we would have been sunk. I can not function on only 3-4 hours a night of sleep for months on end. Now I am lucky an get 5-6 for over half the week, so that helps.

 

I have a friend who had done that, she has a child with multiple special needs. When she says, "I can not control the kids" it means her dc is having an ongoing meltdown that she can not calm him down from and she needs help making sure everyone is safe.

 

Everyone I've ever me has difficulties and needs help in some area or another....

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I'm old school to the bone, a traditionalist if you will, so the argument surrounding the case of, "I'm too tired", or "I'm so overworked", or "poor me", doesn't cut it.

 

My own mother was up from the crack of dawn until dark, taking care of us kids, cooking, baking, doing housework, and whatever else required doing to keep things in and around the home running smoothly and efficiently, and not once did I ever hear her complain. That was her job and she knew it, and sure, there were definitely days where my mother was dead on her feet, but she was a trooper and took pride in being the proper stay-at-home mom and homemaker she was, just as my father took pride in who he was and what he did for the family (labourer outside the home).

 

I mirrored the same and never complained.

 

It's called dedication, and it's what separates the older generation from today's namby-pamby generation.

 

IMO far too many young couples today embark upon parenthood with a sense of complete and total naivety, thinking it will be so easy and without it's ups and downs or trials and tribulations, only to find out such is not the case, hence the chronic divorce rate nowadays and dysfunctional family units present in our modern day society today.

 

Sure, for the dads and male figures in family units who choose to involve themselves (with childcare) beyond that of their own daily schedules and work obligations (outside the home), I tips me hat to them, but to arbitrarily impose additional requirements and demands is IMO shameful.

Well, as the mom, I worked 8-5 today, came home, made dinner, changed a diaper and am giving baths right now. DH took care of them all day, I can give him an hour of relaxation tonight.

 

He does the same for me when he's working a day shift and I am home all day.

 

I don't call it dedication. I call it "parenting" and I expect it out of DH as well as myself, regardless of who worked outside of the home that day.

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I'm pretty much a traditionalist, but that had to go out the window when I found myself 23 years old with infant preemie twins with really bad colic and hundreds of miles away from the nearest family support. Thank the Good Lord Above that dh was willing to help out, otherwise (and I mean this sincerely) I'm not so sure one, or both, of the twins would be alive today.

 

And today is our 20th anniversary, so I guess him helping out with the babies didn't really hurt our relationship. :-)

I agree.

 

I had my younger son 1 week after my mother had her last ditch cancer surgery and 6 months before she died. He was born early to boot. I was burning the candle at both ends caring for new life and ending life. My husband got up pretty much every nighttime feeding just to change the diaper and bring me water. Because I was exhausted physically and mentally and emotionally and that was something he could do to help me keep breastfeeding and keep healthy and sane. He made me breakfast every morning before he left for work. I don't know that I would have made it without a husband willing to do all that and more and hire a cleaning service for us.

 

ETA- he never once used the "I can't get up and change diapers because I have to go to work" or "one of us should get some sleep and you're the one with the breasts" line with me. Waking up for most every feeding just to support your wife? That's dedication. We both got more sleep because it was a peaceful, tag team effort.

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As I mentioned, I'm a traditionalist through and through, so live and swear by much of what past generations practiced.

 

Traditionally, baby/child care was the mothers job, and bringing home the bacon was the fathers job, and though not perfect, I am sold on and a firm-believer in the defined job descriptions of the day.

 

No, it wasn't equal by any means, but when I analyze family units today, I laugh, because for whatever reason I will never know or understand, I seem to get the impression that whomever works outside the home not only has to earn the income for the family, but also has to come home at the end of his or her workday and work double-time on top of it all caring for children.

 

Here is where the modern family looses me. I hear it all the time from moms, "I'm so tired". I think to myself, snap out of it and get off the pity potty your sitting on!

 

Back in the day, housewives and homemakers spent their entire days cooking and baking (among countless other things), and they kept themselves looking like true proper women. No one ate-out. Today, young families visit restaurants feverishly (think little to no homemade meals and/or baking going on in those homes), yet mothers are so exhausted?

 

They pop open a handful of sticky diaper tapes each day and roll up the dirty diapers and toss them into garbage, prepare a bottle or two, and sit junior down in his playpen or in front of the television?

 

When I was diapering, I used real diapers, cloth diapers, which for those not old enough to know or remember what old-fashioned cloth diapers entailed, you had to fold them to fit, and then you had to fasten them with safety pins, and when you had the diaper on and fastened, you topped the diaper and pins off with a pair of rubber pants.

 

When you changed a diaper, you took the cloth diaper (sometimes the rubber pants, too) and walked them down to the bathroom to rinse them out in the toilet, then you deposited the soggy bundle into the plastic diaper pail for safe-keeping until diaper wash day.

 

When diaper wash day arrived, you washed the diapers in the washing machine and when the wash cycle was done, you gathered up the diapers from inside the washer, loaded them into the laundry basket, and walked them outback to the clothesline and hung them up one-by-one to dry.

 

When the diapers were dry, you folded and repeated the process, again and again, hundreds upon hundreds of times.

 

I'm at a complete and total loss as to comprehend all the "tiredness" I hear of nowadays.

Not for anything, but do you ever participate in a thread without mentioning cloth diapering? Your children are all grown, but you started a thread on cloth diapering, and also mentioned it here and on the simple pleasures thread, the washing machine thread, the getting to know each other's bad side thread, as well as a few others. IIRC, when you first joined the forum, the first thing you did was resurrect old cloth diapering threads.

 

I don't normally notice this sort of thing, but I have to tell you that I have never known anyone who could manage to slip the topic of cloth diapering into so many discussions.

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The only example I can think of that's on topic to the original post is when dh's younger brother thought I didn't know how to drive. Dh gets car sick unless he's driving, so he is the default driver. BIL stayed with us during the summer when he was a teen. He needed a ride somewhere and I said I could take him. He looked at me and said incredulously, "You can drive?" :p

 

Something similar happened here. Though I'd driven a stick shift for 20 years, I've been driving an automatic since dd was little. Dh's car was an automatic too, so she'd never seen me drive a stick. When dh's car died and he got a new one he decided to get a stick shift. He'd had it for several months and in that time dd had ridden with him. But I hadn't driven it much. There came a time when dh had to take my car for the day so we had his and dd and I needed to go to the store. She was surprised that we were taking dh's car. After we got in she asked, "Do you even know how to drive this car?" She was genuinely concerned. At least she's observant enough to know that dh's car is driven differently from mine. :D

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I'm pretty much a traditionalist, but that had to go out the window when I found myself 23 years old with infant preemie twins with really bad colic and hundreds of miles away from the nearest family support. Thank the Good Lord Above that dh was willing to help out, otherwise (and I mean this sincerely) I'm not so sure one, or both, of the twins would be alive today.

 

And today is our 20th anniversary, so I guess him helping out with the babies didn't really hurt our relationship. :-)

 

Add a 3 year old into the mix and this was me exactly.  My dh stepped up and was up all hours of the night with me while I tried to bf preemie twins.  And then sacrificially changed jobs and moved our family across the country so I could have help.  I didn't try to play the martyr and act like super woman. There were no cloth diapers or hot meals waiting on him when he got home.  There were crying babies, a crying mom, and piles of laundry.  I thank God he didn't play the man card and leave it all to me.  My kids wouldn't still have a mother today if he had.

 

We have very traditional roles in our marriage, for the most part.  He works, I take care of the housekeeping.  I have it pretty dang easy right now.  So does he.  But when the need for those roles to shift arises, we shift out of love and respect for one another.  

 

If you are going to have traditional roles in a family, you'd better have the traditional community to back it up.  Mothers weren't meant to parent in solitude.  Anyone that is smug enough to think that mothers are somehow failing if their working husbands step up and parent, is doing a disservice to the wonderful men that love their wives enough to see that she needs help.  

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Related to the OP, my oldest didn't realize boys could be doctors when he was little. I'm a doctor, his aunt is a doctor, the pediatrician I took him to was a woman, the doctors I happened to see were all women (he'd been to a few appointments with me). I was talking about one of my partners at work who is a male and ds (about 3ish if I recall) said something about how "boys aren't doctors, only girls are." 

 

 

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Not for anything, but do you ever participate in a thread without mentioning cloth diapering? Your children are all grown, but you started a thread on cloth diapering, and also mentioned it here and on the simple pleasures thread, the washing machine thread, the getting to know each other's bad side thread, as well as a few others. IIRC, when you first joined the forum, the first thing you did was resurrect old cloth diapering threads.

 

I don't normally notice this sort of thing, but I have to tell you that I have never known anyone who could manage to slip the topic of cloth diapering into so many discussions.

Please come and clean my computer screen with a soft cloth diaper because I just spit bits of apple all over it.

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Something similar happened here. Though I'd driven a stick shift for 20 years, I've been driving an automatic since dd was little. Dh's car was an automatic too, so she'd never seen me drive a stick. When dh's car died and he got a new one he decided to get a stick shift. He'd had it for several months and in that time dd had ridden with him. But I hadn't driven it much. There came a time when dh had to take my car for the day so we had his and dd and I needed to go to the store. She was surprised that we were taking dh's car. After we got in she asked, "Do you even know how to drive this car?" She was genuinely concerned. At least she's observant enough to know that dh's car is driven differently from mine. :D

The first time I drove an automatic it felt like a video game. :p I took my driving test in a Volkswagen van. It took both hands for me to shift that sucker into reverse and power steering is your own arms. ;) The DMV tester's eyes got pretty wide when he saw what I was driving, but I passed. :)

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Not for anything, but do you ever participate in a thread without mentioning cloth diapering? Your children are all grown, but you started a thread on cloth diapering, and also mentioned it here and on the simple pleasures thread, the washing machine thread, the getting to know each other's bad side thread, as well as a few others. IIRC, when you first joined the forum, the first thing you did was resurrect old cloth diapering threads.

 

I don't normally notice this sort of thing, but I have to tell you that I have never known anyone who could manage to slip the topic of cloth diapering into so many discussions.

I think the smoked salmon thread proved to be too much of a challenge to find a way to mention a connection to cloth diapers -- for which I am profoundly grateful!
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They pop open a handful of sticky diaper tapes each day and roll up the dirty diapers and toss them into garbage, prepare a bottle or two, and sit junior down in his playpen or in front of the television?

Does anyone ONLY have that to do today?

 

I'm rather gobsmacked you didn't mention that I need to eat my bon bons and call and whine at my husband at work. I also have to fit in my spa appointment, my tabloid reading hour and order pizza I guess. And my nanny won't be here for another hour.

 

(Tho my 11 and 6 year old sons might be awfully baffled if I start diapering them again...with "sticky tape" diapers or the ever sacred cloth. Or put them in a play pen. Oddly my babies grew up and my interests moved on from diapers and mommy and baby yoga.)

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As a side-note... I know of not a single male figure that took on baby-care in the 60's or 70's.

 

Apparently you've never met my father. That is too bad because he was a wonderful man. I was born in the 70s and he was an involved dad so, yes, he "took on baby care".  

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I find it interesting to learn how gender and roles (domestic chores/duties) play-out in other people's homes. 

 

In our home, the housework, cooking, cleaning, and shopping falls on me, whereas general household maintenance and yard-work falls on my husband, though I do spend countless hours outside gardening from spring till fall.

 

When the kids were little, my husband helped out as much as he could, including changing the odd diaper, however, baby-care was my department, and I was good with that being the stay-at-home mom I was. No man should ever have to go to work all day, then come home and start making bottles and changing diapers, at least not when the other SO is at home full-time.

 

Other notables worthy of mentioning... my husband does take the initiative (all on his very own without being asked) to scrub a floor and vacuum on occasion, and for that I'm grateful. DH also helps me with dishes regularly.

 

Well I suppose to be fair neither DH or I are at home full-time.  We decided that it was best for our kids to have a strong relationship with both parents and we've both been able to adjust our schedules so one of us is home with the kids at all times.  DH is an attorney, I am a physician.  We both have careers, we both contribute to our combined finances, and we both take an individual and shared responsibility for parenting, nurturing, and raising our children. DH has changed a lot of diapers [our now youngest is now two so everyone is now out of them :)] and will likely change a lot more this summer when our newest arrives.  I have enjoyed breast feeding [and believe that in the absence of contraindications it is best for mother-baby pairs who can make it work] but he has certainly fed expressed breast milk so no one starved while I was working EM Physician shifts at the hospital. We both come home after working, rejoin the family, and parent. We don't feel put upon to do so. We feel like we're honoring our responsibility to the children we decided to bring into the world and into our family.

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Well, as the mom, I worked 8-5 today, came home, made dinner, changed a diaper and am giving baths right now. DH took care of them all day, I can give him an hour of relaxation tonight.

 

He does the same for me when he's working a day shift and I am home all day.

 

I don't call it dedication. I call it "parenting" and I expect it out of DH as well as myself, regardless of who worked outside of the home that day.

 

Exactly! I've started working a lot more 10-6 shifts so I usually don't make dinner because we like to eat before 6:30 so it wouldn't work unless what we planned for dinner that night is crock pot compatible.  In that case I will usually put everything together in the crockpot before I go to the hospital.  DH will then take care of making salad and or anything to go with the main course and dinner will be making it's way to the table when I'm coming in the door. If I work a shift that gets me home earlier then I often will make dinner and I find cooking a good transition home activity.  I do usually put the kids to bed on the nights after I work.  Honestly, I want to put the kids to bed on those nights because I've spent most of the day away from them and enjoy those moments getting ready for bed, reading, saying prayers, etc. Sometimes DH helps with that but if he needs his own downtime then this is a logical time for it.  Or if he has contracts he needs to review he has some quiet time to get that done.

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Both my husband and I come from traditional European backgrounds/traditional upbringings, so we were quick to adopt into our married life, much of what we were exposed to and taught in the way of principles related to domesticities (and responsibilities) in and around the home.

 

It was established from the get-go, that I would stay at home and raise the children, and I was all for that. As for other standard daily household chores, duties, and miscellaneous things, we shook hands on a traditional role system, where baby/childcare, cooking, baking, cleaning, grocery shopping, and whatever other incidentals happened my way, fell to me, and as for my husband, it was agreed upon that he would (aside from working outside the home) oversee all maintenance and outside work (i.e., lawn cutting, snow-shovelling, etc), and to this day we still live by our early days agreement.

 

Of course living by a distinct divide isn't for everyone, but for us it has always worked extremely well and provided us with balance. That doesn't go to say that we don't offer our assistance where needed (outside of our chosen roles), just that for the most part we oversee the areas where we agreed upon to oversee.

 

What you have described is how one of my SILs and her husband conduct their marriage. The roles are traditional and my SIL feels very strongly that this is the correct, respectful, and God-given directive. My feeling has always been that this works well for them and it's none of my business.

 

As I have gotten older, I've noticed a few things and was curious for your take on them.

 

SIL and her dh have four sons now ranging in ages 16-30.  The boys have been raised in strictly traditional roles.

 

We usually see this family on special occasions for my dh's parents( now just Mom). Half of the 6 siblings live on the West coast and the other half roughly in the East. With 6 siblings, 5 spouses, 10 grandkids and their 4 spouses, and now 5 great grandkids, there are a lot of us even when a handful can't make the gatherings. Sometimes there is a house big enough for us or one glorious year we had two beautiful homes side-by-side.

 

For meals, each sibling couple has an assigned night to cook and clean up, so for example, dh and I might make taco and beans and our kids help serve and wash dishes. For my traditional SIL, it is her job to cook for 20+ people and do the dishes. Her husband and boys sit and chat with everyone during the process. When we first started doing this, the sisters and sister-in-laws jumped in to help out "poor C", then it dawned on us that that was what her dh was expecting. I am a bit embarrassed to say that we all decided that was their choice, not ours, and we no longer help.

 

Another way this traditional arrangement plays out outside the home is with my nephews. They are fine young people as long as our interactions are limited to conversation only. They have been raised to expect women - all women, not just their mother, to wait on them. These "boys" cannot cook or do laundry, although now that I think of it, one of them did have an apartment so he should be able to do something. If you wait on them, there is no "thank you" because what you are doing is simply your job.

 

This is where I find the comment about "namby pamby" generation to be baffling. My nephews were raised in that traditional fashion, yet sadly, most of us think of them as "namby pamby," unable to do basic life sustaining skills. The older men don't think of their father as "manly," they think of him as "lazy."

 

We don't live in the good,old days. Men aren't working on the ranch all day while the woman holds down the home. Somehow we morphed from traditional meaning a man who sat in the evenings, but cleaned tack or did other small repairs to the of the man of the 1950's who sat with cocktail in hand while the little woman flounced around in the kitchen in heels and an apron. The latter image is the aberration, not the tradition.

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The only thing my kids don't think dh can do is help them get food or water!  This isn't really a gender role thing but more of a 'mom does it all day when dad is gone so she must be the go to person.'

 

 

I'm quite thankful that my dh recognizes that his role in this family goes past working 40 hours a week and some house maintenance!  By default of the fact he works 50 hours a week I do most of the childcare, cooking, household chores, etc.  But he knows that our jobs are equally demanding so he helps out at home when he gets home, even with the changing/cleaning of our old school cloth diapers.  Of course, we both give each other the down time we need to both be able to do all the work it takes to run a family together.

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Another way this traditional arrangement plays out outside the home is with my nephews. They are fine young people as long as our interactions are limited to conversation only. They have been raised to expect women - all women, not just their mother, to wait on them. These "boys" cannot cook or do laundry, although now that I think of it, one of them did have an apartment so he should be able to do something. If you wait on them, there is no "thank you" because what you are doing is simply your job.

 

This is where I find the comment about "namby pamby" generation to be baffling. My nephews were raised in that traditional fashion, yet sadly, most of us think of them as "namby pamby," unable to do basic life sustaining skills. The older men don't think of their father as "manly," they think of him as "lazy."

 

 

Their poor future wives. There's nothing attractive about an incapable and unappreciative man.

 

And at the next family reunion, all of the men and boys should make a point to get up and help your SIL. Arrange it in advance. It will be awesome.

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It's called dedication

 

In my book it's called getting suckered by a confidence trick.

 

Good for you that you did three times as much as your husband and never complained. Unless your husband is a miner in the 1930s, you got suckered into thinking he had it hard.

 

I've done the SAHM thing, WAHM thing, and WOHM thing. By FAR the SAHM/WAHM is harder during those eight hours and after. I don't work outside the home because I have to, though I like the freedom.

 

I'm sorry to hear about your sacrifice without reward, but as someone who's been there and done that (all of it), I am not buying it. SAHMing is more physical, requires more stamina, and requires more thought than a huge chunk of work out there today. Maybe less education and less specialized skills but that does not change the fact that when you're on your feet all day you need a rest.

 

Yes, I kept the house clean. Yes, I had dinner ready (and a hot lunch!). Yes, I did the dishes. But 12 hours straight of toddler care?

 

You couldn't pay me enough to do that again. And I mean it. I have choices, and you really could not pay me.

 

Oh, and  my personal favorite: what is worse than solitary confinement? Solitary confinement with a one and a three year old when your spouse has the car and the credit card and all you have is oatmeal and network TV. Jesus. If you think that's fun or easy you really need to get out of the house.

 

Men used to tell women how hard they had it. Women just... believed them. We just believed it. Because we hadn't done it.

 

A HUGE reason that things are changing is that now we know what they are doing all day because we do it. So man up, buddy, we know you spent a half hour looking at cat videos while we hand-washed shit stains out of diapers--you're on diaper duty now.

 

(PS I'm not opposed to SAHPing--I'm opposed to people suggesting that a man at work is out there "working hard" while staying at home is easy and moms should not be recognized or rewarded for their work.)

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Do y'll remember that radio personality that would tell these really good true stories and I think they always had "...and the rest of the story" ?   He is dead now, so it is fading from my memory.  I remember one of them.  

 

There was a female governor of one of the Dakotas.   She had a grandson turning 4 and because she was a governor, and I guess not much else was happening, there were journalists there.  They asked the boy "Do you want to be Governor when you grow up?"   Answer, "No, that is women's work"  

 

DH is a SAHD and I work full-time.  DD thinks "Going to Work" is what mommies do.   

 

 

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Their poor future wives. There's nothing attractive about an incapable and unappreciative man.

 

And at the next family reunion, all of the men and boys should make a point to get up and help your SIL. Arrange it in advance. It will be awesome.

 

This!!! I would love to see it.

 

 

My paternal grandparents had a pretty traditional setup for many years, grandpa was a farmer and worked his tail off on the farm, including middle of the night irrigation turns throughout the summer. Grandma worked just as hard at the cooking, cleaning, canning, laundry, etc.. The division of labor (in the house/outside of the house) under those circumstances makes a lot of sense--a lot of farm work required masculine physical strength, and someone needed to stay close to home to watch the kids. There was plenty of work to keep both husband and wife busy. They used to move down to California every winter and Grandpa would hire out for more farm work.

 

Once the kids were all in school, grandma went to college to study nursing and later worked for many years as a nurse. She didn't do so much at home after that--the kids did instead. My dad learned how to cook, do laundry, etc. and I grew up with the expectation that men could and would do all those things.

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I remember a few years ago, when MIL and MIL's mother, then 90 yo, were visiting us. It was Saturday, so DH spent the day on the sofa, watching tv, etc etc. I spent the day as I spent every other day, transporting dc all over the place to various activities. I came home and cooked dinner for everyone. After dinner DH said he'd clean the kitchen. After a few minutes, I saw him 90 yo grandmother in there alone, cleaning. I spoke to DH, who said he'd been sent out of the kitchen. When I went in to help grandma, I got an earful -- all about how men worked so hard all day and how the least women could do was to clean up in the kitchen etc etc. I was so ticked and mortified that a healthy able man was lazing around while his 90 yo grandmother was doing what was supposed to be his work. Of course there's nothing you can say to someone that age that won't be rude, so I kept my mouth shut. It was a good insight into how dh had been raised though and explained a LOT.

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The ex told me a story once about his grandparents who were married and raised kids in the early 50's-60's.  They had the traditional marriage of him working 40 hours a week, taking care of car maintenance, and yard work.  She raised 5 kids, kept the house, ran all the errands, cooked a hot lunch and dinner every night.  After the kids were grown she wanted to buy something for herself (can't remember, maybe jewelry) they could afford it but he said no, it was his money and his decision.  She sat down and totaled up all the money he would have had to pay to have had someone do all the things she did for all those years.  Then she minused her portion of bills and childcare expenses (they were her children too) and gave him a bill for around $150,000.  She told him she would take payments or she would divorce him, his choice (divorce would have cost him a whole lot more the $150000).  He started making payments AND she got a part time job.  She was quite proud of the story and would trot it out every once in awhile when he was being particularly ornery. I would hate to have their marriage but she made the best of it.

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When my great-grandpa retired from farming as a 70-some-year-old he took over all the dishwashing. He told people, "I may be retired, but my wife's work is never done so it's only fair that I pitch in around here." She'd cook and he'd follow behind her and clean each item as she finished with it. Not bad for a traditional man born in 1901 :)

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Yes, men were participating in child care in the sixties and seventies. My mother always talked about my dad helping with diaper changing. The had children born in the late fifties, early sixties and then I came trailing along in the early seventies. :) Oh and I am the only one who had disposable diapers. So that means he was changing and cleaning up cloth diapers with my older siblings.

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When my great-grandpa retired from farming as a 70-some-year-old he took over all the dishwashing. He told people, "I may be retired, but my wife's work is never done so it's only fair that I pitch in around here." She'd cook and he'd follow behind her and clean each item as she finished with it. Not bad for a traditional man born in 1901 :)

 

My grandfather (who died in 1981) always did the dishes (by hand) in their family.  His reasoning was that my grandmother made the meal, he ought to be the one who cleaned up.  My grandmother also did dishes for a restaurant (by hand) since she had to drop out of school after 4th grade and help the family financially.  My grandfather knew this when he met her and never wanted her to ever have to do dishes again.  (She did some, but not as a "rule.")

 

He was a MAN I admired and still do long after his death.  He was washing family dishes back in the 40s when my dad was young and kept at it up until the day before he died.

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Their poor future wives. There's nothing attractive about an incapable and unappreciative man.

 

And at the next family reunion, all of the men and boys should make a point to get up and help your SIL. Arrange it in advance. It will be awesome.

 

That would be great!

 

The learned helplessness has an effect all the way through life.  A friend's mother has just died suddenly.  Her retired father is completely incapable of looking after himself (despite being fit for his age).  He's not going to learn now.  Luckily, he has the money to get someone to come in to do all the cooking, cleaning, shopping, laundry....  He's as helpless as a baby.  I can't see anything manly about that.

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My father grew up on a farm.  He said it was the norm for All kids to be taught both housework and farm work.  The logic was that the work needed to be done, and even if someone generally did X, other people might need to be able to step in.  Sort of like workplaces insisting on cross-training.  

My mother on the other hand, was raised with the idea that her husband should provide servants.  Which is weird because mom's dad was a steel worker and they never had servants.  

 

So, when I was a kid and sewing needed to be done, it was Dad on the sewing machine.  Not, that he "made" anything.  Just mended as necessary.  But, he only changed one of my diapers.   He has a weak stomach and there was a real chance for vomiting.  

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