Responsible parenting and leadership are a start. In between reaching for the sky (Toy Story rocks).

Screw the darkness. I prefer the lightness of Pop.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Barefoot and pregnant? Daddy K says no way.

I have to thank my mom for instilling in me a balanced perception of sharing household chores. There were no traditional gender roles when it came to "pitching in". My sister and I both pitched in. We had to. My mom was an infamous list maker. And not just the kind who made lists for the sake of making them – she followed through on all lists, crossing off each and every item until the paper was a raggedy mess.

And we weren't done until they were all crossed off. (Mom always said if she needed chores done quickly and efficiently, my sister was the go-to girl. If she needed a thorough deep dive but painfully slow chore-doer, I was the go-to guy. Pretty much carried that one with us through time.)

I've never had a problem carrying my share of the load around the house, and while I know I'm an anomaly of sorts, I don't get why more men aren't doing more (thanks again Mom). It's not always equal between Amy and me, but we're both interesting cases because we don't share traditional roles that aren't traditional to our sexes.

One of the new the daddy blogs I'm following, Rebel Dad, referenced a fantastic article by Lisa Belkin titled When Mom and Dad Share It All. I highly recommend that all parents read it.

Some interesting research facts: in heterosexual relationships, woman still do more household chores than men 2:1; and when it comes to childcare, the ration is 5:1. Those ratios are more even in gay and lesbian relationships, but even then, there's always a skew in favor of the dominate mate.

But the heterosexual workload ratios haven't changed much for over 90 years. So much for those old Virginia Slims ads – "You've come a long way, baby – not." The economic dynamics are much different for the sons and daughters of the feminist movement; most couples have to both work to make a living, buy a house (that's now incredibly devalued) and raise children. The workload-at-home imbalance can be unbearable at times for women (and even some men).

The above article also shares many different examples of how couples cope and share the responsibilities – and how some situations work out better than others. It's given me a lot to think about for us as we prepare for parenting, working and balancing life.

Another great article titled Rebel Dad, referenced a fantastic article by Better Fathers: Courtesy of the Sexual Revolution:

Little attention has been paid to the impact that women's liberation has had on men. The unacknowledged truth is that men have been transformed too. Today, men have more freedom, flexibility and choices -- in the most meaningful ways.

Barefoot and pregnant? None for me thanks. But I'll definitely mow your lawn, vacuum your house, change your diapers (well, not yours silly), dig your ditches, knit your sweaters and share in the living and loving of parenting and partnering with Mama A.

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