Ok, so this has been bothering me for a while, I think I have to get it off my chest. I religiously follow our friends' blog about the twin girls from China (see our China blog). Anyway, it's really an interesting read, and I check it often (sometimes a few times a day) to see if there are any updates.
Well, this weekend, a surprising conversation followed the hilarious entry on the blog. I have to take exception to that conversation. It's still bothering me a little (yes, I know, I have no life!).
First of all, note to self: never call anyone an idiot in your blog, it may upset some people (I blame that one on mommy-brain). Just because some people decide to make choices in life that are different than what you would choose, doesn't mean they need to be insulted for it.
Here's what I take exception to: the concept that "equality" in a marriage means the man doing everything that the wife does, or more (equally splitting all chores and duties). I am not a parent, so I understand that I am not all that qualified to comment on the roles of mothers vs fathers and all that, (even though I've spend the last week interacting with new parents, and analyzing what they do and how it works for them). But I get really annoyed with the whole premise that a full partnership must involve a full 50-50 split on all responsibilities. Just as I get annoyed when people say "cooking is a woman's job", or "a man has to make more money than his wife". To me, these are two extremes in the spectrum, neither of them very healthy. My philosophy is one of sharing responsibilities and duties according to abilities (maintaining an eye on fairness obviously). Maybe the husband who doesn't take care of poopy diapers is a hard working surgeon, who brings in lots of money so that his wife can stay at home and take care of the kids and the house (and maybe she even enjoys it-g*d forbid!). Or maybe the partnership is such that the husband takes care of the outside of the house, and the wife of the inside.
And sometimes what happens is that the roles that were defined earlier on in the relationship don't seem appropriate anymore, and that's when one of the partners may start to wonder "how can I get my partner to change xyz". Doesn't mean that the original arrangement was bad, it's just that people change. You can't always prepare for what the future holds.
Personally, for example, I love cooking. So it only makes sense that I would be the cook for our family (not because I am "the woman", but because I like to cook). DH does all the dishes, though (I wish I could say it's because he likes, but in this case it's more a case of the fairness thing). We share most of the other housework almost 50-50 I would say. It works for us, but I am sure there are plenty of couples for whom it wouldn't work at all. I know plenty of men who are excellent cooks, and plenty of women who dislike cooking for example :)
Anyway. gotta go! It was good to get this off my chest...