In this house we do not acknowledge gender roles. We work together as a team. Jake and I are raising our daughter to be an independent woman who can check her own oil, change a tire, shovel, carry in wood, mow the lawn etc. Yes, I want her to eventually find a life partner who will help her with the “manly” parts of life, but I do not want her to need someone. Growing up my father made sure his “baby girl” could take care of herself. If my parents catered to my girliness I would have been lost during the first 5 months of my daughter’s life. It was just her and I in our little house. I would not have known what to do when the pipes froze, and the snow piled outside would have been much more intimidating. Instead of being scared I thrived, because I had confidence in myself. I was comfortable outside of the kitchen! When I met Jake he was attracted to my independence. He admired the fact that I could take care of myself and my daughter.
I think it is just as important for my son to have some “womanly” life skills. When he leaves the nest I want to know he can take care of himself. When the time comes for him to share his life and home with a woman I want her be his partner, not his mother.
Here is a small list of womanly chores my son will know how to do before he leaves the nest:
- Clean a bathroom: Why? Because I don’t piss down the front of the seat. I love my man, but I hate cleaning a toilet just as much as the next person. If everyone in the house has to take turns cleaning the John they will be more careful about their aim.
- Make his own damn sandwich: I want my son to know his way around the kitchen. I would like him to know how to make more than ramen noodle, and spaghetti. I want him to be able to pack his own lunch for work. Most likely he will be living on his own before he meets the woman of his dreams and as his mother I want to know he will be eating a balanced diet. Plus, every woman likes a man who can cook.
- Wash, dry, fold, and put away laundry: I used hear “Babe, I need a clean work shirt” all the time. Every time I answered the request with, “you know where the washer is”. Jake finally stopped asking, and started loading the washer if he was low on clean clothes. Yes, I primarily do the laundry, but sometimes I get behind (that’s what working full time, going to school and being a mom will do to you). I’ll save my son’s future wife a little training if he is already a pro at laundry.
- Do the dishes: Everyone in the family uses dishes, so everyone in the family should take turn doing the dishes. I want my son to be the bachelor with an empty sink, not one stacked high with dirty dishes. I can speak from personal experience, when I come home from a long day at work there is nothing sexier than my man in those pink dish gloves scrubbing away at the kitchen sink.
It’s not the 1950’s anymore.