Recently there was a post floating around on facebook but I can’t find it. The QLD (or at least I think she is from QLD, maybe Melbourne? She’s an Aussie.) Mummy Blogger Candice? Candace? Cadence? Carla? The one who says we are all queens and is a huge advocate for marriage counselling. She’s got blonde hair and a nose stud? I barely remember my own families names these days so I’m never going to remember hers BUT I hope you know who I am referring too. Anyway her husbands work mate confided in her that he and his wife had started marriage counseling and that the counselor had suggested that time at home needs to be spent equally pulling your weight in the chores and parenting…. Ummmmmm say what? This was a conversation I definitely want to wegh in on! How is this something we need a professional to point out to us? I’m the SAHM for the majority of the time. I do the majority of my work at home and leave the house for work (demos, trainings, meetings, deliveries etc) on average a couple of times a week for a couple of hours each time. Before I became a Thermomix consultant I was the SAHM ALL of the time and never left the house for work purposes. My husband works in hospitality, he works 8-9 hour shifts, 6-7 days in a row. His work is tiresome! He also knows and respects that being the SAH parent is tiresome too. He knows that I don’t get a half hour lunch break. He knows that if I’m at my wits end I can’t just take a few minutes off the floor to calm my farm because if I try to hide for a minute or 2 THEY FOLLOW ME AND SAY MY NAME NON-STOP AND REACH THEIR LITTLE FINGERS UNDER THE DOOR ANYWAY. My husband respects parenting. He respects me.
When we first met I was working full time, he was job seeking. When we moved in together he took on the majority of the house work but with only 2 adults occupants and a cheeky house bunny, it wasn’t a lot of work. If I was home and there were chores to be done we would do them TOGETHER.
Bring a baby into the mix and suddenly the chores need doing more often. That baby grows and so does their mess! Bring another child into your home and the mess doubles (or triples depending on the kid!). The house stays clean for approximately 3 seconds before someone drops a bowl of cereal or has a toilet accident or decides to pull every single piece of clothing out of their drawers and wardrobes because they are playing shops and needed to buy 200 pieces of clothing! By the time my husband gets home I’m usually pulling my hair out, then having to take care of him on top of everything else with no offer of help would be enough to push me over the edge. It would also be a sure fire way to create a huge wall of resentment between us. Motherhood is all encompassing, even if you are not at home physically doing it 24 hours a day! So it stands to reason that if I’m giving my everything to our children and our home then most of the time I will have nothing left to give to my husband (unless you are a woman with a super sized cup who still has plenty to give. I applaud you BUT I still think you should be sharing your load, everything is not solely your responsibility Mumma!). Husbands, if you want your wife to have enough of herself left to share with you then you need to share some of that other work! Simple right!
Despite what the Government or our society as a whole might suggest, parenting is not a woman’s role. House keeping is not a woman’s job either. When one spouse is at work and the other is at home for some or all of that time, providing care for their shared children and home that doesn’t mean that everything should become their responsibility. Why should one partner work 9 hours a day and another work 24 hours? Is it hard work to work all day and then come home and parent and cook dinner or fold a load of laundry or stack the dishwasher? Of course it is! That’s because having a young family is hard work! Mums who work outside of the home are still expected to do all of this remember? These amazing little people we adore are a lot of work; they need us constantly at first, they make mountains of extra work for us at first, they don’t come with tea breaks or lunch breaks or RDOs but if we work together then that can only strengthen our families and our marriages. And one day when those little people have grown we will still have the strength in our relationship that we had to start off with.
The best way to baby-proof your marriage is to treat your wife like more than just the mother of your children and the keeper of your home. Be in it together because there is nothing sexier to a tired Mum than a husband doing the dishes or doing the bedtime routine so she can enjoy the first 10 minutes of peace and quiet that she’s experienced today. If you are home and the kids are calling out “Mum” every 2 seconds, feel free to answer those calls! You might not be Mum but you are Dad and that is just as good! Remember that the decision to become a family is one that you shared and sharing in all the hard work as well as the joy will only make your partnership stronger!