Times have changed. Gone is the notion of the stay at home woman. The average woman these days has a career, in addition to taking care of the home. (And as I’m typing this, I’m waiting for dinner to finish, drying my hair and completing my lesson plans for tomorrow). This was something that I personally struggled with when we first got married. The thought of trying to build a career (and being fully vested in it) as well as building a home was no less than daunting. When Wesley and I got married, I was teaching full-time and was in school full-time. I barely had enough time to sleep, let alone cook dinner every night. So when he would get upset that things around the house weren’t done, or we were eating take out one more time, I would also get upset. Why couldn’t he just understand that Iwas busy? Why was he putting me back in the 1950’s?
Then after the umpteenth disagreement, we sat and really hashed out what our expectations were of our roles as husband and wife. The expectations we both had were based on how we were brought up. In Wesley’s family, the women took care of the house. No question. In my family, the women worked and brought home the money. My mother was as single mother, so a strong, working woman was my model. We decided to agree on the roles both of us would have. I would assume the household duties when I could. When I was busy or had deadlines, he would pick up where I left off. It wasn’t fair to him to have to do it all by himself. We both cook, clean and do laundry. And this works for us.
When I agreed to become Wesley’s wife, I agreed to be one half of our unit. So using work and life as an excuse to get out of that wasn’t ok. I promised to take care of him and our family. And the same for him. If this means that some days, work goes on the back burner so that I can make his favorite meal, then so be it. If it means doing a little more planning on the weekend, so that during the week I can be “present”, fine. These are the compromises you make when you love someone. And you do it because it makes them happy, which makes you happy. Meeting the needs of your partner (or at least trying to) is crucial in maintaining a relationship. But that’s another post. 🙂