During the ’90s while raising my children, my mother was carrying her own burden of mommy martyrdom. I would listen to her angry reflections on life as a stay-at-home mom, all that she did and all that she sacrificed. She did it all while my father did it all at work. He was a corporate workaholic, disengaged from household management while my mom on the other hand didn’t ask for help but dutifully did it. This was another lesson by example, reminding me that if I didn’t engage others in household management, I might end up bitter and angry like my mom.
What did we do with our boys as they grew? A combination of sharing my mom’s message, “If you do something to help out, do it from your heart,” and assigning simple tasks. I don’t believe we were as good with the follow-through with the chores. It seemed what we did prioritize was schoolwork and rep sports. Luckily for us as a couple, we have shared duties and we have both asked for help when needed. Yes, we have tended to follow traditional gender chores, which if doing again, I would adjust. We have also reminded ourselves that life isn’t always even. Bottom line is that our boys have seen a collaborative relationship example to follow should they start a family.