“Chores, like success, are unisex…”

Guys and dolls,

I know that it is easy to fall into the trap of traditional gender roles, especially when it comes to marriage and relationships but there is absolutely no rule of man or God that states what type of modern chores are gender aligned. Sometimes I wonder where our ancestors got the notion that women are of the home, and are not expected to take care of any of the heavy lift items that make running a household a success. A woman who cannot clean a gutter or change a lightbulb will go through life depending on those who can and will venture out to do it. In essence, she will sit in the dark until others light her way. That’s unacceptable for any human to endure especially since we all are supposed to act as masters of our own destiny.

My beef with gender based chores is that in a Double Income No Kids marriage, or any dual worker marriage/relationship, this belief implies that the female or lowest earner takes the brunt of the chores on top of all other work and family obligations. This wouldn’t be a big deal if their counterpart cooperated and actively participated in making chores well, less of a chore. Very few people take accountability for certain routine items or plan to make less of a mess to show they consider the person doing the day to day chores. The “I’m late for work and can’t do X or help you” excuse doesn’t fly anymore, especially when your spouse has to pick up your slack and go to work as well. It is not their fault you suck at time management or task execution plans!

Newsflash: If you married a strong successful career person, their job is not more important than yours and vice versa. Why? The winner is not who earns the most but who can balance both professional and personal lives best. In neither case your partner is meant to be a built-in assistant, maid, cheerleader, cook and secretary.

Equality means you need to free your mind from the idea that because someone stays at home they have to do more. Don’t know about you but when I am all day in a house with children and pets, I want a break at the end of my shift. That means not having to deal with said children or pets even if I am trapped in the same house until bedtime. Feminism and equal rights aren’t about oppressing the party that earns less for the benefit of the highest earner. Your income doesn’t exempt you from having to parent, take care of yourself, and figure out how to adult on your own. I’ve been at the tail end of the “but I have to work” excuse for a decade and a half which #1 isn’t reasonable for any human to use and #2 says more about your lack of appreciation for the person than you may realize. For all intents and purposes the stay at home partner or chore doer is working just as hard too. Work is work, whether you get paid to do it or not!

In these modern times teach your children to be independent, chores and all. There is no reason why we must make a task gender based when any human is capable of accomplishing it. If your relationship put the onus on one partner to take care of everything re-evaluate your contributions. Being a good spouse and provider is not enough these days to run a partnership. You must be present and considerate of their needs as well. This is why at home we outsource whatever we don’t want or care to do ourselves and we budget accordingly. Adulting is hard, no need to make it harder on ourselves. Challenge the status quo. What worked for your ancestors may not work for you or society anymore.

There must be more than this provincial life…

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