Yeah, it is a redundant statement. Of course, every mother works. And it is extremely risky for any man to give advice about women working outside or inside the home. I’m not sure how I would feel if a mom wrote about how a man should provide for his family. Of course, a woman who understands her place would never attempt to tell a man anything he should or shouldn’t do. (I hope you can recognize sarcasm when you see it. If not, you should probably stop reading this.) I am not by any means an expert on the issue of moms and their workload, but I have made a number of observations over the past few decades. I’d like to start this discussion with these two. (Remember, I only get about five hundred words in this blog, we will cover more in days to come.)
1. Mothers who work outside the home tend to assume more responsibility for homemaking duties than their husbands.
It makes sense. Someone has to assume the primary responsibility for taking care of the kids and feeding the dog. If women didn’t step up to the plate, someone could die. Naturally, mothers are the ones who should be responsible right? Aren’t they created to be the homemaker and the nurturing force in the family? Or has culture pushed them into a destiny of household duties because of their child-bearing abilities? Whatever you believe, I think it’s pretty easy to argue that a lot of moms feel a deeper sense of guilt when things are not working right at home. It really doesn’t matter what the reason is. It can be biblical, cultural or logical, but the point is mothers tend to be the first to add homemaking to whatever is already on their job description. But what if it’s just not healthy for mom’s to assume so much responsibility?
2. Fathers who work outside the home tend to let mothers feel more responsible for homemaking duties than they feel themselves.
Of course, I’m not talking about manly duties, like paying the bills, hanging pictures, or cutting the grass. (Although, I actually managed to delegate those to my wife as well.) I’m talking about all the things that a woman is “supposed to do” to make the home a man’s castle. That’s what the home is supposed to be right? It actually makes a lot of sense. Why? Because men work so much harder than women during the day. Doesn’t every man deserve to come home to a hot meal, respectful children, and a tail-wagging dog. Okay, maybe not. What if it’s not healthy for dads to allow moms to assume so much responsibility? I am honestly not trying to redefine parental roles in the development of a child. I am just referring to the complexity of tasks related to making a home.
On the one hand, a number of men are trying to share more of the burden of homemaking, and it is a good thing. On the other hand, I believe the tendency is still there for a lot of dads to let mothers assume and feel responsible for more things than are humanly possible to do. I regret to say, I did it. I wish I hadn’t. I wish I could go back and do a much better job at changing the diapers, cooking dinner, and cutting the grass. Well, maybe not the diaper part, but I wish I had understood more of a working mom’s burden. So, let’s spend the next week engaging in a constructive conversation on how to help working moms. What do you think?