It’s a topic that is always under debate somewhere or another – who works harder, mum or dad? (Or more aptly, who works harder the stay at home parent or the one who goes out to earn a living?) In times of tiredness and stress it can be easy to try and one up each other, pointing out all you do, totting up the hours and comparing every task.
- In our household, I am technically the stay at home mum, although I run a part time childminding (daycare) business too. My husband goes out to work full time.
- I generally cook dinner, he washes up.
- I empty the bins usually. He tends to clean the floor.
- I do all the night-time parenting (Hello breasts!). He wakes up at the crack of dawn to go out to work.
- I do all the laundry. He often puts it away.
- We alternate putting our son to bed and doing baths.
- I do the food shopping. He pays the bills.
- Both of us sort out the car MOT, whoever it’s convenient for does it.
- I lock up at night and switch things off before bed. He hoover’s because he is bothered by the mess before I even see it.
Some of these tasks are typical gender stereotyped roles, but we do the things we do simply because it works for us.
There have been times where I have been annoyed, thinking I do more work – after all, I am the one who is on call 24 hours a day and he can get a long stretch of uninterrupted sleep. But then on weekends, he happily gets up with our son to let me catch up.
Our list may not reflect how your own household runs, and it doesn’t have to. It doesn’t matter so much which tasks you do, what matters is that we are a partnership, a team. The point is that we both work incredibly hard and ALL of the things we do are important to the running of the house. Yes I may have spent the day caring for a sick toddler on no sleep, but he may have had the customer from hell and rush hour traffic. My difficult day does not trump his and it shouldn’t try to.
So my conclusion is this – When everyone does their best for the family and cares enough to give each other a break, make each other a hot drink and acknowledge the hard work we both put it, counting up tasks and hours simply doesn’t matter anymore. We work equally hard, it just manifests in different ways.
(And just a little acknowledgement to all the single parents out there who do the whole shebang! I know not everyone shares the work, here’s me noticing all that you guys do. Go and get yourself a cup of tea!)
How do things work in your home? Do you feel like you are working in partnership or do you resent being the one that does it all? If you enjoyed this article, please click the share button below, thank you!
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