Being in an egalitarian marriage isnt enough to make up for this countrys scandalizing absence of support for women who parent
There’s a plaything stegosaurus in the middle of our dining room flooring. It’s been there for at the least a period. I’m looking at it as I write this, and it’s looking back at me, daring me to get up and throw it in the basket where it belongs. It was able to take two seconds. But the dinosaur knows I’m not going to move from this chair, because if I do I’ll start putting away coats strew over furniture, and then I’ll remember to start the dishwasher, and then before I know it I’ll have give-a-mouse-a-cookied an hour of peace while my partner is putting our two-year-old daughter to bed downstairs, and such articles won’t be any closer to done.
Being in an approximately same-sex wedlock- my partner, Charlie, is genderqueer- I occasionally seem a flicker of smugness when I see yet another survey on how straight men rely on their hapless collaborators to manage the day-to-day grind of running a household. But the schadenfreude is short-lived. Our divide of labor may be more equitable than that of heterosexual mothers, but equal doesn’t ever mean exhibition. Being their own families with two mamas- or a mom and a butch papa who made birth, in our case- simply means that twice as much people are being shortchanged by this country’s unconscionable lack of support for women who parent.
In hetero weddings, a major shortcoming seems to be that communication, at the least when it comes to household undertakings, is unidirectional- countless girls note that their husbands never do chores without being asked. I will acknowledge this is one place gay marriages kick ass up and down the block. You know that stereotype about lesbians and processing? When I tell you that Charlie and I have comprised hands and cried after differing about who are required to clean up the cat barf, please understand that, if anything, I am under-selling it.
As a fag couple, our marriage is an ongoing dialogue.( If you feel like I’m falsifying fag females, or exaggerating our love of processing, I hear you and your feelings are valid; let’s get a cup of herbal tea and talk it out .) Who is seeming burned out? Who needs something taken off their plate this week? What chores are hanging over our chiefs and emphasizing us out, and what do we each need to feel rejuvenated? In short, we are very intentional about the never-ending calculus of needs and resources that must be balanced to maintain our family’s stability.
But it doesn’t matter. In 2017, making a living, running a household, and elevating small children is too much work for two people, even if both are striving to pull their weight. Our age-old roommate moved out more than a year ago, and we still haven’t taken her disassembled couch frame out to the garage. There is never enough time to do all the things that need doing, even when you concur, as we did early on, that we can save ourselves from being annoyed by the house with the worst yard on the block if that mansion is ours.
By the time Charlie and I had been married a year and were discussing kids, I knew him well enough that I wasn’t surprised, as most people are, that it was willing to carry the pregnancy. I was a little surprised to learn myself announce that I wanted to work from home so I could be our children’ primary caregiver. The behavior my spouse and I split up the parenting work is informed by the fact that, somewhat unusually, members of the public who committed birth to our child is also the one with the very best job. (” Good chore” is, of course, relative- my partner makes above the median income for our nation, but we still wouldn’t be able to make ends meet without the additional fund I bring in freelancing .) That’s not often the example for straight couples.
In hetero households, it’s common for a couple’s” housework gap” to increase after they become parents: females typically take on the bulk of the cooking and clean during maternity benefits, and things never actually shift back toward congruity. Things have played out differently for us. As a freelance, I was used to being the one at home to start the laundry, and while Charlie recovered from a postpartum hemorrhage that left him anemic and exhausted, I became much more efficient at igniting French toast. These days, it’s my job to get up early and feed the felines because Charlie has already been up in the night to nurse our daughter.