Saturday, January 2, 2010

Division of Labor

I was taking the trash out last night and noticed that one of our carriage lights on the back garage is out. When I came back in the house I asked my husband if he could replace the bulb. His response was, "Its funny that women can't change light-bulbs". Huh. Maybe his response was fueled by the fact that I had just asked him the day before to change one of the lights that was out in the kitchen ceiling. I can change a light bulb, but since my husband is quite a bit taller, it just seems like this should fall under his responsibilities. I mean, shouldn't something fall into that category around here?

The holiday season is always a good reminder of how the labor in the household is really divided up. My husband will argue that he put up the Christmas trees and strung the lights. Yes, he did help with these two things, but I'm pretty sure my kids would not have been satisfied with just a tree and lights on Christmas morning. I spent hours decorating the trees and house, baking, shopping, and wrapping. Do men even know how to wrap presents? My husband didn't buy, know, or wrap any of the gifts my children opened on Christmas morning; and he didn't wrap any of the gifts he got for me either. If gift wrap wasn't offered where he shopped, I just received the item in the packing box. Since we weren't with any of my in-laws to see them open their gifts, I'm betting my husband still doesn't know what he got his family. And with all of the festivities and entertaining of the holiday season that I prepped for, there comes the clean-up, which also somehow falls into the category of my responsibilities.

So, maybe its funny that I "couldn't" change those light-bulbs. But, its also funny that men don't know how to clean anything. My husband's way of doing laundry is putting whatever clothing he spilled on into the utility sink in the laundry room. The laundry fairy takes it from there. There have also been many occasions where my husband has shown me where the cat or dog threw up in the house - so I would know where to clean up the mess. When my 3 year old peed on the bathroom floor, my husband who was standing next to him said to me, "You got this? I don't know how to clean this up". Yeah, I got it. And I also get that I'm not taking on any new skill sets - like changing out of reach light-bulbs.

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