We are both responsible

Things people don’t tend to say to working fathers:

  1. Does your wife/partner mind you working?
  2. Who looks after your children when you’re at work?
  3. Does your wife/partner help you with the housework?
  4. Is it worth you working given how much you are paying for childcare?
  5. It must be really hard having your children looked after by other people.

Things people don’t tend to say to working mothers:

  1. To whom should I address correspondence concerning your child’s preschool/nursery/school matters?
  2. Do you look after the children to give your husband/partner a break sometimes?
  3. I know you love your children so much it hurts, but I understand totally that your work drives you and makes you a whole person. There’s no shame in that so stop beating yourself up about it.

My point?  Redressing gender imbalance in our society starts with attitudes.

My long suffering husband is an amazing father who easily does more than half of the childcare on days when our girls are at home, does more than his fair share of the housework, as well as car and house maintenance and gardening, and holds down a full time job into the bargain.  Does he get credit for it from society? No, he doesn’t.

We are both responsible for our children – we made them 50:50 after all – and we are both responsible for the effective functioning of our household.

So let society give us a break, me for working my guts out to build my business, and him for carrying on quietly, looking out for our girls and being there for me without the wider recognition he deserves.

That is all.

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3 Responses to We are both responsible

  1. Jules White says:

    I am right there with you! My husband makes doctors appointments, does the cooking, cleaning and home maintenance, doesn’t grumble and puts up with lots of late night working, weekend working and is generally the rock of our family. Holds down a job and still manages to send supportive text messages throughout the day.
    It’s the modern day partnership.

  2. Hilary Norris says:

    Can I just say ingredients were 50/50, but the actual cooking was 100% me! Couldn’t agree with you more though…

  3. Karin says:

    It’s good to see equality at work. Only yesterday I had a conversation with my partner about how we are bringing up our 4 boys: Are we expecting them to take the kind of responsibilities at home that we would expect from them had they been girls? Is our aim to see them with a brilliant career and generally ‘doing well’ different had they been girls?

    Gender equality starts at home. If we wait until the moment we knock on the boardroom door and then rise against the lack of women there, we will have waited too long. If we haven’t brought our children up to have the self-esteem to believe that they can live with responsibilities being, as you say, 50/50 shared with their partner, regardless of gender, it is going to put them in a position of always having to struggle to in one or both of these areas.

    Gender equality is still at it’s infancy, it’s is a long learning curve of change. In my mind it is about flexibility and team work, acceptance and appreciation. For these skills to be fostered couples need to have an open, honest and considerate communication style. Putting all this together very often also results in a loving and supportive environment.

    What better environment and role models could we want for our children?

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