Monday, February 8, 2010

Mommy and Daddy Jobs

I had an interesting conversation with my oldest the other day (he's four). I was explaining how he wasn't allowed to crack the egg in the bowl while we were baking, because it was a Mommy Job (a fairly common term around our house). He clarified that cracking eggs was a Mommy Job and a Daddy Job (which is also a fairly common response of his). Curious, I asked him if there were any jobs that were just Mommy Jobs in his opinion, not Mommy and Daddy Jobs. He thought for a few moments and replied that there weren't, that there were just Mommy and Daddy Jobs.

This got me thinking. I'm raising my children in a fairly traditional household. I stay home with the kids, my husband brings home the bacon. He mows the lawn, I make dinner, etc. However, I think there are some strong differences from previous generations of parents and households. My husband is really and truly involved with our three small children. I don't mean he just waltzes in from work, plays a game of tickle, pats heads all around, and puts his feet up. Oh no, my darling husband is a 100% parent when he's home. That mean he deals with dinnertime tantrums, folds the laundry, bakes bread, puts the little ones to bed, and changes bottoms...and he doesn't even have to ask me where we keep the diaper cream and extra wet wipes. When I'm sick or have a new baby, he doesn't hesitate to step in and take care of everything. Even if my daughters' bows don't match their outfits, he still attempts. While it's true that I do a majority of the housework simply because I'm home during the day, there isn't anything he won't do, given the time and opportunity.

You know what, I gotta say I'm really, really glad that's the way it is in my house. I'm happy that I'm raising a son who believes that Daddys can do anything that Mommys can and vise-versa, yet with the most important traditional roles still in place. That was a huge priority to me when I started a family and I'm pleased that that's one thing I'm accomplishing on my to-teach list. Next peace and potty training ;)

I promise this post isn't just to brag on my fabulous husband (although heaven knows I do plenty of that), instead I have a question for y'all. Is there separate Mommy Jobs and Daddy Jobs in your house or is there just Mommy and Daddy Jobs? Is there anything on you or your hubby's Won't Do list?


  1. Great post, Whitty, as usual. I often think of Spence when I'm cleaning the bathroom (something I know he does and my husband just can neeever get around to, but something he would do if asked) and when I'm doing laundry. Although, now that I come to think of it, Spence does the seperating, washing, folding, and putting away sometimes...BUT...there can be a stray sock, things may get dried that shouldn't, things could get folded inside out, and things generally get put in the drawers sideways...hee, hee...I love 'ya, Spence! ;) You surely have married an amazing guy and I am always in awe how much he can accomplish and in such an efficiant manner. He never shys away from a task...especially never says it's "not his job". He's a gem.
    Let's see, I grabbed a pretty great guy myself, though. ;) Phillip's pretty much the same way. He rarely cleans the bathrooms, though. Recently he realized he didn't know how to wash the clothes in our semi-new mashing machine (that would mean he hasn't done laundry since we got it)! So, I guess the actual washing and seperating of the clothes falls on me, but he will help fold and occasionally put away. Phillip's great about taking the kids 100%. I have found though, that if a child "prefers" me then he'll let me mostly deal with them, but if I tell Phillip I've had it, he'll take them. He's daddy all the way when he gets home, though. There are times when he just doesn't understand what's going on as far as homework and such because he isn't around often during the evenings, but he'll always try if needs be.
    I guess I should wrap up my mega comment... To sum it up, I suppose, my husband would do whatever I asked, because he's just that kind of guy. He may not do it the exact way I would, but he's always willing.

  2. Hmmmm - I refuse to mow the lawn. I did it once as a teenager (thinking that I liked working in the garden with my Dad, why not mow the lawn?). Yah, hated it. So that chore is strictly up to my husband. My husband hates doing dishes (he chooses poopy diapers and bathroom cleaning over dishes) so I usually do those 99% of the time. Other than that - we share our chores pretty equally. But like you, we play pretty traditional roles in general. I guess we just married fabulous men.

  3. Sad as it is, I won't clean bathrooms. We do most everything else equally (but sometimes you don't want my hubby cooking, it could be scary), but I just can't do bathrooms and he doesn't care either way. Thank goodness for that. I always told my mom I wouldn't have to clean the bathroom when I got married, and I was right. ;)

  4. The only job that I try to leave totally up to James is taking out the trash. With living in a townhome community, we have to take it across the parking lot, (in the snow right now), and I just don't enjoy it. Other than that, I'm proud to say my husband cleans the kitchen better than me (even the drip pans on the stove get scrubbed!), and loves to vacuum. He also does a great job of helping with the boys. What I'm most proud of, is how he supports our traditional family roles and reinforces that to our children.

  5. We are the same way - we both do everything. Although, I work full time as well as my husband. He does the dishes that have to be washed by hand. I pay all the bills and thank goodness we have a housekeeper to do the bathrooms or they would NEVER get done! Frank is always happy to take over with Isabella he often gets a phone call on his way home from work that he's on daddy duty when he gets home.

  6. Hmmmm...I'm not sure how much I should comment on this one...everyone else is so optimistic and upbeat... ;)

    My husband doesn't "do" laundry. He will put a load in, but other than that, it is all my job. I will say I don't "do" the car. He is the only one that changes the oil and figures out what is going on if something is wrong. THis might mean it takes months for things to get done, but he is definitely the one to take care of it. I also, generally, leave the talking to our bank about loans, etc. up to him. I've also handed the phone to him when I get the run-around about a mess-up on the bill or talking to our landlord about a problem. Other than that, most of the things fall into my category. My husband is willing to do a lot of things---IF I am willing for them to get done on his time. :) This means if I ask him to do the dishes, I shouldn't be annoyed/shocked that it takes days (I'm not exaggerating) for them to be accomplished.

    This isn't a complain comment, though. Kit is very sweet to encourage me to get out with the "girls", wants me to sit around and relax (if only that was really possible) and thinks I do too much anyway.

  7. Liberty - just so you know you didn't sound pessimistic or anything. If anything, I was sounding too optimistic. If I want things done in what I consider a timely fashion I have to do it. I was pretty much saying that there isn't anything I do that my husband won't do and vice-versa. How and when those things get done are totally different subjects.

  8. Isn't that the truth, Aubrey. Spencer is totally willing to fold the laundry, but I have to realize that (as Stephanie alluded to) things might get folded inside out or stuck in funny places. It's one of those things I have to decide whether or not it's worth living with. I can let my husband do the dishes and accept the fact there'll be water all over the place or I can just do them myself.

  9. I'm totally with Liberty. Jared is pretty timely on the things that "he thinks" need to be done in a timely fashion :)

    He IS all about planning dates though, (which makes me beam for weeks!) so...I'll keep him ;)

    ps Jared's also pretty good to change diapers, and sleeps with Rhoane in the middle of the night when he wakes...gotta give him his props. But when it comes to "mommy jobs" it just goes without singing..."anything he can do i can do better, i can do anything better than him"... ;)