The title of this blog post comes from a conversation that was had in our house this morning. My husband had left for work before the kids were awake, and I was now getting them up and ready for school.
As I loaded the dishwasher I noticed the food trap needed cleaning out. Not the nicest of jobs, but still someone has to do it, so the kids chatted to me while I got on with it.
I’m sure similar scenes were happening across the world, but it was the conversation that followed that really made me think. It went something like this…
DS: Mum that is so gross!
Me: It’s the joys of being a grown up! Someone’s got to do it, and when you’re a grown up you’ll have to do things like this too.
DS: Mummies work really hard don’t they?
DD: You never know, in the future men might have to work hard too.
As my Darling Daughter said this I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry! To be honest, I still chuckle when I think back on what she said, especially when I think of my son’s reaction to her comment! However, at the same time, I still find it shocking!
Wrongly or rightly I felt proud that she viewed me as hard working, but horrified that she didn’t think her Daddy was working just as hard. I also felt sad by her perception of woman’s work and men’s work, however maybe I’m to blame for that.
It’s true that in our house, the children do see me do more than their father, but she didn’t remember that her Dad had gone to work before she was even awake! His contribution to the house was out of sight, and sadly out of mind.
As we celebrate International Women’s Day I feel I should remind my children that a woman has just as much right to a fulfilling career as a man. Maybe, for the sakes of their future marriages, I should remind them that everyone who lives in a house, has to help maintain the house. Or maybe they need to be reminded what a great partnership their parent’s marriage is?
Yes, I may well do more housework to enable him to do what he needs to do, but likewise, I could never do what I do without him! Whether it’s doing his share of the childcare while I’m working, or his endless support and encouragement as I follow my dreams, he brings so much more to our home than simply cleaning the dishwasher! In fact in the grand scheme of it all, cleaning the food trap was probably the easy bit!