Gender Roles in Marriage
If it works for your marriage, work it...
Young Married Couple, allow me a few moments to take you through my day…
Each day I wake up, get ready for work, and begin my day. I have two work obligations to fulfill. One, I work with the family business providing transportation services for a couple of hours. From there I head to my job as a production coordinator. Generally, my work day ends around 5:30pm. Here’s where it gets interesting, and in my opinion is when my day truly begins. Some people believe that after a hard day’s work I should come home, kick up my feet, and wait for my wife to bring me a hot meal. However, that’s not what happens, and I’m good with it.
Here’s what happens. In most instances, I get home before my wife. She works as a director alongside her mother in their childcare and learning center. This is a blessing in so many ways: My wife gets to do what she loves, gets paid well for it, and is able to take our 3 young children to work with her. However, my wife’s job is quite demanding, and while having the kids at work with her is a blessing in many ways, it can also be very taxing on her. Oh, did I mention that in the morning while I’m at work, my wife is running around the house trying to get a 4 yr. old, 2 yr. old, and 6 month old baby ready. If you have one child, you know that this can be extremely stressful.
As a husband, I do all I can to help alleviate her of any extra stress. Therefore, after working a full day myself, I perform a myriad of household duties. For example, 99% of the time, I do the cooking in the home. As the primary cook, this also means that I do the shopping in the house. Often, my ride home from work includes a stop at the local grocery store. In addition, to cooking I am also no stranger to laundry, picking up behind the kids after terrorizing the house in the morning, as well as any of the necessary yard maintenance responsibilities. To some, this may seem like a lot. To others, this is my reasonable service. Lastly, I’m sure there are some thinking, what does his wife do?
Well, think about, while I’m driving children for the family business, she’s driving our children in other ways (getting them dressed, fed, and taking them to school). Moreover, after working hard herself, she comes home and works right beside me for our family. Yes, I cook, but she does the dishes. Yes, I clean, but when my wife and kids come home, they have a space to come to that clean, allowing my wife to be able to help them with homework. In addition, there are some areas of the house that she’s much better at cleaning, so she often has to come behind my cleaning with her own touch anyway, lol. Yes, I do laundry, but this allows for ease in my wife gathering the children’s clothes for the next day. After I’ve finished all of my duties in the home, I’m often able to work on my church and business responsibilities while my wife bathes the children and prepares them for bed.
Here’s the point in sharing this, my wife and I have a system that works for us. While this may not be the norm, it works for us. Much of society believes that things like cooking, cleaning, and laundry are gender specific to women. Here’s my thing, if it works for your marriage, work it, just like our systems works for us. I don’t feel any less manly doing what needs to be done to make our marriage work. As the head, it’s my responsibility to create an environment whereby my marriage can flourish. If gender specific roles work for your marriage, great. Just be sure that you and your spouse work together, on the same page, for the same common goal. Support each other. Uplift each other. Be there for each other. Provide what needs to be provided to make your marriage work. As man, I encourage other men to not see anything in the home as a woman only job. You’re the head, the example, the tone-setter. If there’s a way for you to add more value beyond a check, do it. Your wife and marriage will thank you for it, and your family will be better because of it.