Monday, February 23, 2009

Housekeeper, Housekeeper, Keep Me A House

(title magnificently provided by Dashing Boy)

In college I took a fabulous sociology of gender class where I read the book The Second Shift. It was about dual-earner households (where both husband and wife were working about equal hours), and raised the question: With both partners working out of the home, who becomes responsible for the majority of the housework? childcare? and upkeep of home life?

Across the board it was the woman.

Thus, The Second Shift.

Now, being the forward thinking feminist college gal that I was, I resolved that I definitely would not have The Second Shift in my marriage one day. In the future. You know, whenever that happened.

Earlier, freshman year in fact, I had also resolved that I wouldn't be one of those Mormon girls that gets married young. yuck.

Which didn't work. sucker!

So there I was a mere year or so after my Second Shift class. Married. Working. Full-time student. Dashing Boy and I were busy. We were a dual-working household.

And so, Dashing Boy quickly learned the term "second shift" as I would energetically bemoan about it in melodramatic moments.

Oh, The Second Shift!

Don't worry. 98% of me was just being silly. (The other 2% was fiery feminist Jenny wanting to make sure she put in her two cents (she can't help it)).

The truth is, Dashing Boy is very in-tune, responsible and unassuming. He doesn't just expect things to be done for him. Which actually makes me want to do them for him anyway. I do find joy in it.

Anyway, back in the first months of our marriage, we both just kind-of took on certain tasks that we were responsible for. Of course there are times where they mesh together and overlap but in general:

I love to bake and make the house look pretty.

Dashing Boy can do a mean stir-fry.

I like to use power tools to install things on the walls like pot racks and put together bookshelves and such. (I can't wait to learn some home improvement skills someday when we have a house).

Dashing Boy is the resident computer guru.

I like to tackle big organization projects.

Dashing Boy cleans the bathroom.

I sweep and mop the floors.


Dashing Boy does the laundry.

Which I love. In the process I have lost two new bras, a few shirts (I didn't need them anyway) and last week my green cardigan accidentally became two sizes too small. But I don't care!

Every week I see my sweet husband going through the clothes as he puts them in the dryer. He knows which clothes stay out (the green sweater was a new addition). And as he hangs those few items up to dry I feel so overcome in love and so blessed.

And maternal homemaker Jenny sighs and smiles and yearns to go bake a pie for her husband, search for a task that will make his day easier, and give him a good back rub.

1 comment:

C├ęcy said...

That's what my husband does too: the laundry. I think he only messed up one of my tank tops over the years. He is really good at knowing what goes in the drier and what doesn't.
For the rest, I do most of the cooking and dishes, he cleans the bathroom, and then we take turns from time to time.