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What Exactly is "Women's Work??"

June Cleaver, The Quintessential 1950's MomThis post is inspired by a fan question that I read on my husband’s page Facebook today. Some might think that I would have been extremely offended by the question, (Check out the Fodder 4 Fathers page on Facebook to read it), but I wasn’t. It made me laugh. There are obviously people out there who still believe that we live in the 50’s. They wondered why my husband does all the “tucking in” before bed, and why he is the one who takes the kids to school every morning – you know – the “woman’s work”. HA!! I’m sorry, but what exactly is “woman’s work”? You see, in my house, THIS woman wakes up every morning at 4am to go to work. THIS woman works from 5am – 11:45am. THIS woman then picks up her kids at school. THIS woman then takes them home, feeds them and puts them down for a nap. Two days a week, THIS woman goes from her first job that ends at 11:45 to her SECOND job where she teaches until 4:30. This woman then picks up her kids, heads home and spends time with her kids before her husband (The man of the house) comes home. THIS woman, is also in charge of laying out her kids clothes for the morning and bathing them every night. THIS woman is doing a S**T load of what I call “woman’s work”.

Not that I feel the need to justify my (and by my I mean OUR) lifestyle, but you want to know why my husband takes my kids to school? Well, other than the fact that he LOVES spending as much time with his kids as possible, he has to because I’m out of the house way before anyone wakes up. Why does my husband tuck the kids in at night? Well, other than the fact that he LOVES reading to them and that he’s possibly the most involved father in the world, I’m already asleep!! When you wake up early, you go to bed early. It’s always been like that and way before Mr. Fodder and I had children we knew that we were going to have to “adjust” the stereotypical parental gender roles to suit our lives and our kids.

Yes, I will certainly agree that my husband does A LOT. I mean, I have friends whose husbands are useless pieces of, um, doo doo when it comes to parenting. Men that are on the same wavelength as the lady living in black and white who asked the fan question. But I DIDN’T marry a useless piece of...doo doo (I did however marry an extremely stubborn one, but that’s a whole other blog). I married a guy who believes (like we all should) that regardless of schedules and jobs, at the end of the day, if you are lucky enough to have two parents in a household, then you should BOTH be the parents, in every aspect.

Sure, there are things that my husband does better than I do and vice/versa, but we use those strengths to our advantage. We know what we can do and we DO it! There is A LOT that I do that my husband doesn’t do and he’ll be the first to admit it. I just don’t have a Facebook page dedicated to it. (If I did though, I would DEFINITELY call it woman’s work and I KNOW that old fashioned fan would be my first like!) Yes, my husband has two jobs along with running Fodder 4 Fathers (page/blog/website), But so do I! We BOTH make the money in the house and I’m finding that nowaday’s many more families run this way. And hell, I think our kids are bloody lucky because of it! They will become better people for it. My daughter won’t grow up with any sort of sense of duty believing that she NEEDS to “serve” a man, and my son will grow up having respect for woman, knowing that every relationship has its give and take (not give and dictate).

Now this isn’t to say that I don’t “agree” with families whose husbands “bring home the bacon” and whose wives “cook it”. If that’s what works for your family, then I think that’s GREAT!! I know plenty of people who live like that and they are very happy. I’m just saying that it’s not about “Woman’s Work”. It’s about “WHAT WORKS”. What works for YOUR family. That’s it!

So can we please re-define what Woman’s Work is??? Because as far as I’m concerned, “woman’s work” is defined as things that can only be done by a human that has a VAGINA! Giving Birth – woman’s work. Breast feeding – woman’s work. Menopause – Woman’s work. Peeing sitting down – Woman’s work (although I know a few men who do that too). And that’s pretty much it!

(End rant).  

**Note: Mrs. Fodder would like it known that she prefers the word "sh@#" to "doo doo" but recognizes this is a family blog.

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Reader Comments (2)

Kudos to you Mrs. Fodder! My husband and I have a similar life-style to you and your husband but we live in a rural/small community where most of the mothers stay home. I remind myself and anyone who is brave enough to criticize to my face that I refuse to allow the expectations and opinions of someone who is not in this family to define this family. We all chip in to do the work that makes this family work while we work ;)

June 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMommaMolly

I couldn't agree more. We are working on our balance now that I'm back to work. And I was beyond lucky to be "home" with my son, but I also work two part time jobs around my husbands and sons schedules... The chores aren't distributed by gender, it is by what needs to be done...whoever is more efficient at whatever it is... not "woman's work". There would be a whole lot of serious heated discussion if it was referred to as such in this house lol

June 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLori

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