Equally Shared Parenting - Half the Work ... All the Fun



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Here's where we keep you updated on news about parenting as it relates to division of responsibilities, career versus home decisions, work/life balance, and legislative and grass-roots movements toward equality or better choices for families. We'll also throw in our opinions of life as equal parents in a nonequal world, regardless of what's in the news.

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Equality Blog

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Is 'Helper' All We Can Be?

What if you had a job that piled on the work but gave you no authority? Every day, you'd show up and do what someone else expected of you. Every little step orchestrated by someone else's rules. Your mind would not really be required because you'd just move from assigned task to assigned task, checking them off as you go.

I'm sure many of us have had jobs like this at some point, but ideally most of us want to rise above them because they are not particularly fulfilling. We go out and get educated or trained so that we can land jobs that value our skills and let us take charge of our own destinies to some extent. This is true whether we're white- or blue-collar workers. How many carpenters want to be told all day long which tool to use for what task?

This is how it goes with men and housework. We can stay in the 'helper' mode and take directions from our wives - living by their rules for how the house is run. That's how this fully involved dad portrays his homelife. Or, we can get competent and take on a full partnership in running our own homes. Yes, this will require learning the mental jobs too - like remembering and organizing - and standing up for our own way of doing things. But we get a whole lot more satisfaction if we quit the menial helper schtick.

2 Comments:

Blogger Natalie said...

That's why I fully believe that if someone else is doing a task, you let them figure out how to do it. Even if I think my husband is washing the dishes "wrong" (or not how I would od it), I'm not going to say anything because he's doing it and I don't want to. That means I have to give up control

7:30 AM  
Blogger (chandelle) said...

very interesting topic. i wrote a rather long post about this issue, if you have the time to check it out.

http://onthespiral.blogspot.com/2008/03/division-of-labor.html

11:48 AM  

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