Hubby and I do not have what you would call a “traditional” marriage as I think most people define it. This might be evidenced by my previous post concerning the painting of the windows. You can read about that here: https://pegbur7.wordpress.com/2010/01/18/baby-heres-your-sign/
I think we started out pretty much traditionally (other than the fact that HE cooked our rehearsal dinner). I cooked most of the time, did the laundry, he took out the trash, etc. But somewhere, along the line and through the years, our roles reversed, meshed and sometimes became blurred.
When our first two were little I was a stay at home mom and I cooked and cleaned and ironed and did the grocery shopping and he worked and did the yard work (well, most of the time). Although I do remember one particular incident with mowing the grass that he got upset with me over. See, we had one of those push mowers. And I’m not talking a push mower with a motor. I’m talking a real push mower with the blades and no motor. I can’t remember the whole reasoning behind buying that dinosaur unless he was thinking it would keep him (us) in shape because it was more of a physical work out. And BOY was it! If you’ve never used a REAL push mower, I challenge you to try mowing a backyard thick with foot high grass. OH, did I mention that at the time I was NINE MONTHS PREGNANT?
Yeah, he got a little upset with me on that one. I remember it was April 20 and we were living in New Orleans and I was VERY pregnant with #2. She was due May 5. So I was literally 9 months pregnant… The reason I was out there with a football in my belly pushing a mower around the back yard is that my dad’s birthday is April 21. And I REALLY wanted to give my dad his grandchild on his birthday. Plus the grass was like a foot high and I had gotten tired of asking hubby repeatedly to mow the grass so I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone and get the grass cut (by doing it myself) AND throw myself into labor! And hubby was NOT mad because he was worried about me… he was upset because he was afraid of what the neighbors would think!
He sat inside in the air-conditioned living room watching TV and yelled out the back door for me to come inside. I thought maybe #1 was awake from her nap and crying for her mommy. I get inside and he says “What are the neighbors gonna think if they see me letting my pregnant wife mow the grass?’ DUH….. that you don’t WANT to? Poor baby. That did end up being the last time either of us mowed the grass at THAT house because we ended up moving two weeks later, the day after I got out of the hospital, from there to Georgia.
Slowly through the years, he started taking on more of the cooking duties. And I can’t even remember when that happened or why. I think it’s partly because he enjoys cooking. I cook because it’s a necessity. I don’t really enjoy it. I CAN cook and I DO cook… occasionally. But I think it started with him “correcting” my cooking (which just totally pissed me off) or “suggesting” how I should cook and being the slightly stubborn and slightly hard headed woman that I am, I just started telling him that if he didn’t like the way I was cooking he could do it himself. Plus since he likes it and I don’t it just seemed logical and natural for him to do it. Now, when we go to a gathering and I cook something, everyone just automatically assumes it was hubby and not me. The standing joke in our house (maybe it wasn’t a joke?) was that whenever I’d start pulling out pots and pans and food our girls would invariably say “Oh, God, Mom… you’re not gonna try to COOK again, are you?” I don’t have to TRY, thank you very much.
And then somehow things evolved to where, when something around the house would break, like the vacuum cleaner or something like that I would be the one to fix it. When things that “traditionally” were handled by the man needed to be done, I did it. Frankly, for a while there, I think I did mostly everything other than the cooking. And then, I’m not sure what happened… I think I just got TIRED. I was no longer a stay at home mom. I was also working outside the home fulltime and it finally just got to be too much.
Now, I think things the last few years have been better evenly distributed and things work for us the way they are. We both cook (even though he probably still does more), we both clean, we both do whatever needs to be done. But that in itself is not “traditional”.
What about your family and you and your significant other? Do you have traditional roles? Or do you buck the system?