‘How ‘Bout Offering HER That Dinner’
Getting this one done early today because I want to hit up the creek and get the rest of the food processed…actually!
A common scenario I find myself in (and you may too)…
A while ago a girlfriend of mine went out of town for a night and the better part of two full days.
Her hubby and kids stayed back.
As I was preparing dinner, I thought “I should ask if I can bring over dinner for them seeing as she is away and he’s on his own with the kids”.
Now, what I’m going to say next is not intended to ‘blanket statement’ or to imply any kind of negativity toward any person, male or situation so I’m not going to debate or get into conversation over “guys do this or that too” or whatever. I’m not implying that the other party doesn’t work hard or have challenges.
I do realize there are different balances in each relationship and I’m also not assuming certain people/dudes are incompetent. I’m not ‘anti-man’, I like and champion the guys and Jeff is the leader of our home.
But there are still many stark societal differences between dudes and gals in life...period.
What I got tripped up on the other day and caught myself subconsciously thinking without missing a beat was:
- 1- I allowed myself to side with the irrational idea that it’s the woman’s job to cook dinner or whatever and that without my friend there, what would he and the kids do?
- 2- I caught myself buying into believing and thinking that he needed help and support while she was gone (for one single night). How hard it must be without her there? He could really use a hand with the kids.
- 3- Wow, he’s working and caring for the kids…trying to feed them and sort out what they will be doing for the time she is away. I’ll ask and see how I can lend a hand and surely dinner will help him out.
Cringe…I was glad I caught myself/my brain/my own engrained thoughts before delivering a container of pasta and some salad to their house.
To put all of this into context (not comparison), I’ll share a bit of my own work/life:
I thrive on working with my hands and doing labour-type jobs. I’ve worked for the city parks crew keeping our outdoor areas clean and cared for and I’ve worked at multiple golf courses around B.C. on the grounds maintenance crew running equipment and spending time on the butt end of a shovel.
By trade I’m a truck driver.
Having worked mostly in the concrete industry, I have spent many, many hours inside the drum of a concrete mixer jackhammering out old concrete, running a concrete forms company, running batch plants, being in lead/charge and have spent many years doing my own oil changes, light bulb changes, minor maintenance, cleaning, running heavy equipment, testing material and being on my feet — mostly outdoors year-round in all types of weather — for almost 14 hours straight.
Lifting, shovelling, getting dirty, working with chemicals, conveyor belts and the list goes on…and I will add…for always lesser pay than my guy counterparts who had LESS experience than I had (yes, that is reality and yes I tried to address it without change ever happening so I moved on from those jobs). 99% of the people I have worked with were male so, yes…I know how hard they work at their jobs in a ‘mans job’ and what they have to endure etc.
I went to work full time when Luke was three months old putting in those 12–14 hour days…alternating seven days, seven nights in a row doing the tasks outlined above…while raising then seven year-old Braden. The extra tasks of home included (and includes) doing all of the shopping, cooking, cleaning, lunch-packing, ‘emotional’/’invisible’ labour like booking appointments, remembering class photos, baking for the school bake sale, signing forms for that field trip, remembering the $2.00 for ‘cookie day’, forgetting to return Luke’s overdue library book that we will get billed for by next week, putting out the garbage, watering the plants, finding and replenishing the multi-vitamins that the kids will actually eat, buying cards at the dollar store to have on hand for thank-you’s and birthday gifts, listening to their day — their hardships and their wins, arranging rides to sports and playdates, shopping and setting up a trade account at the local sports consignment store so they have the appropriate sizes and gear, springtime? Darn, Braden grew and his bike is too small…time to start looking, baking or making tie-dye shirts with them and their friends when they come over, responding to family texts about dinner and making sure ‘we’ bring something……………………………………..
This is another good one:
Studies Show Moms Take on More Invisible Labor, and It Makes Them Feel Isolated and Depressed
In our society, it's usually moms who keep track of the day-to-day tasks that keep a family moving. "Who can relate to…
I’d like bring to light the guidelines of how ‘women’s work’ should be governed.
Appropriately defined in the online dictionary a women’s role is: “a role with children as defined BY NATURE in that only women are biologically capable of performing them: pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding.” online dictionary (emphasis mine).
By. Nature. — I think those two words are good reference points to stick to when considering the allocation of tasks between males and females.
Look fellas, it’s not that we don’t want to ‘hang out’ in the mornings or late at night…because we do…just like you. But the thing is after doing our day jobs, the household stuff and everything unequally divided as mentioned above (and yes…if you are a SAHM you are doing all jobs constantly all the time and that’s way more exhausting mentally and completely unrewarding which can be depressing even if we choose to have a good attitude than working outside the home….I’ve done it so I can say that), we are done…toast with very little to give.
We want to be fun, energetic, feel pretty and look spicy and we still do and are those things. We want to be attractive to you and feel good, rested and healthy. We want to be able to sit on the couch too and ‘just chill’ like you ask us too…but the reality is that isn’t possible if there isn’t more of a balance in life to-do’s.
Sometimes it’s as simple as answering one or a few of the kids’ 40 questions per hour or looking at the Fortnite win (again) so she doesn’t have to. Yes I love my boys…no, not more than life itself…but a LOT. I champion and support them and give them as much attention as humanly possible but after hearing about the new skins coming out or how much of a bot ‘Cowcraft88’ is…I can become a tad mentally worn out.
As some of you will assume and even roll your eyes at thinking I’m complaining or something, it’s not a complaint rather a shedding light from my own experiences as that’s all I have to go on — so it is what it is.
My call is this — let’s share in the life to-do’s more…the non ‘by nature’ to-dos and not have to be asked to do so.
Ladies, how about, when you/me have the energy, we help HER out with dinner on a REGULAR day just because you know she could probably use the hand.
Also, single moms…I see, hear and root for you. Unbalanced in this too, I observe a lot and hear the imbalance of extra praise, support, giving more grace to, the cheering on the single dad. Not to downplay how much respect I have toward the dads raising kids on his own but the reality is it IS different for the gals. Society IS different towards them and it often sucks for those moms who have to bear the unequal attitudes and assumptions.
Gals, will you join me in helping each other out if/when you can? I’ll go first…perhaps less judgement, more grace. Less comparison, more love. Let’s help other mom’s crush life better.
Guys, I can’t speak for you but I know you know what needs to be done. Perhaps ask more questions, look at the calendar, do ‘our stuff’ without being asked, without having us write a list for you. Maybe bring a meal to another dude and his family…wouldn’t that be a cool movement?