Gender Roles

I was lurking my dad’s Facebook to see if he’s been on lately, when I saw these seriously picture perfect loaves of bread he had baked. It reminded me of some of the great meals he’s cooked for me. And my grandfather! He could cook! The men in my life (not every guy I dated but the men that raised me and my husband) have always been what I’ve jokingly referred to as “fancy men”.
And I don’t mean to imply they aren’t masculine. They all are. In an old timey, well read, shine your shoes, take your shirts to the dry cleaner, expensive liquors, articulate, clean! and polished men way.
I had posted a photo of Justin, boasting about how helpful he is and how much he cleans and it got reposted a ton of times and like 10,000 people liked it (which is so awesome and flattering and made me feel very special!) but it totally caught me off guard how surprised people were that Justin cleaned. I mean I get it, he helps A LOT. And always has. But some people commented that what I’d written had to be fake. And it isn’t!!
My mother did most of the cleaning but I do have tons of memories of my dad manically scrubbing the kitchen or detailing the car or taking a nail brush to his hands after a day of yard work. I’ve never ever thought of cleaning as a woman thing.
And to be fair the women I lived with growing up were my mom, who manages a construction company and in her spare time was at boxing. And her girlfriend at the time, who was my softball coach and who is a tiler (like she lays tile). And my sister who has almost always had men’s haircuts and only wears men’s clothing. And my moms best friend was around a lot and he is a man who loved arts and crafts and jazzercise! And I learned how to apply my makeup by reading a Kevyn Auccoin book my mom bought me cause she never wore makeup. I was the only one in a house of 4 women who wore anything more than mascara.

In our house hold today, Dad cooks and cleans. And mom cooks and cleans. And mom online shops for shoes, then dad online shops for shoes. The only thing that we do that is because I’m the woman and he’s the man is that I breastfeed and he pees standing up. Other than that we just don’t have gender roles and I never have.
I don’t know that there’s a real point to this other than wondering, did everyone else have a dad who came home and planted himself in front of the tv and watched football while mom cleaned the house in heels? Did that actually exist for people in my generation? Is this anyone’s current reality? No judgement, I didn’t choose to have the adults raise me that did, I’m not entirely against these typical roles. I’m just so curious to everyone else’s situations if anyone’s willing to share…

12 thoughts on “Gender Roles

  1. Good post… so thought provoking. I wasn’t raised super traditionally either, although it started out that way… when my parents went their separate ways a much broader world opened up to me in terms of gender roles, which I am SO grateful for. I know a lot of women who had traditional family roles modeled to them and they tend to have unsatisfactory arrangements at home where they bear the brunt of the housework and even child-rearing. I’m happy in my house because like you we both do everything 🙂

    • Yes! I will say early on, when my patents were together, my mom was more a traditional mother in that she was president of the PTA and baked cookies for us when we came home. But after they split up I got to see a mom who worked and who socialized outside of just my friends parents haha. And I agree, if Justin came home and just sat in front of the tv I’d be resentful. But I will say that subcontioisly I’ve started cooking and cleaning more just cause I realized he is doing a lot for us haha. ❤ also thank you!! And thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. My parents did both, but my dad obsessively cleaned the cars and only organized his stuff in the house and the garage, and when the house got so cluttered is when he would bug me to clean it. My mother on the other hand made my sister and I clean ALL THE TIME, but as for cooking they equally did that. My dad did most of the driving (and to be honest I wish Richard wouldn’t make me drive all the time).

    • My dad similarly had his chores he did, that were more obscure things, but my mom did all the day to day stuff. I didn’t do chores often as a child. Only if I wanted to earn money or something, 😦 looking back I wish I helped my mom more.

  3. My dad is the same way. My husbands dad Ida typical what’s for dinner football tv my underwear isn’t clean what do I do guy. It took until Oliver was born for him to regularly do housework without me reminding him, but he still can’t /won’t cook. He can ruin a box of macaroni and cheese. It just isn’t worth it. I have taken on more household lately since I work once a week and on call and he is full time.

    • Hahah! Having a child totally changed the dynamics huh? And Justin can cook, but I’m very very particular about food so I do it more but at least he can cook if I want him to 🙂

  4. In my family it was all equal but my husband comes from a line of “what’s for dinner, I don’t know what to eat without u here” type family. Infact I do think his mom lives in the kitchen and his dad is either in garage or in bedroom .. so since we’ve been together its been hard to break him or rather open his eyes to help around house. And we have a 4month old and he doesnt help except to prepare a bottle if needed.. and buy her necessities. It’s very hard to wake them up from this at least to cook (a healthy meal) or pick up house would be nice especially if my sole responsibility is to the baby
    I must admit I don’t keep house as well and I’d rather order from restaurant cuz I don’t have time. So yes cherish his help .. cuz Id love some help from my man lol 😉

    • I think Justin just knows if he doesn’t help, I’ll let the laundry go until we’re all out of clean underwear! Haha. But I don’t think cleaning and cooking and mothering are a packaged deal. Mothering to me is cuddling and playing and going to the park and playing peekaboo. But I understand that house keeper is often part of the “stay at home mom” job title. But that makes it a really lame job!!! Haha!

  5. I love how well you explained your situations/thinking/experiences. As for me, I can’t say I had many examples I wanted to follow when growing up. My parents divorced & things never felt quite balanced before or after the split. My grandparents were more old-fashioned in how they split up duties.
    As a kid I got called a tomboy a bunch. But that’s ok. I grew up doing things my own way & found my own path. Today I’m happily married to a wonderful man who learned to cook from me. He’s at a point where he enjoys it & isn’t scared to branch out & try new things. We have our own balance of chores. Some things we both do, some are things one of us is better at or just does more. We never assumed one of us would be in charge of ____ because that’s what the husband/wife is “supposed” to do. We don’t get that thinking.

  6. My dad did 90% of the cooking, FANCY cooking. Chicken heart salad, homemade cellophane noodles, wokked everything…my mom is, um, not so great in the kitchen, she has some good things but mostly she does bland really well.

    My dad also braided our hair (he learned from braiding electrical cords for storage), and took us shopping. I always joke that my mom would freak if we didn’t get three outfits for $100 and my dad thought $100 jeans were a good deal….so I don’t think gender roles existed in our house either.

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