It is a topic I had been pondering recently, but I have to credit Ivy for really pushing me into writing it now, with her post at Home Ec-101 about “Do Not Let Your Sons Be Victims of Learned Incompetence.” Â It was a comment that I find quite funny. Â Why? Â Well, I guess it is because I, and it seems most of the Daddy Bloggers I read break many of the stereotypes that are often associated with husbands. Â Â I won’t speak for others, so I will just cover myself. Â I cook, I share in the cleaning at home (we each have designated rooms), I can do laundry, I would load the dishwasher, but I AM the dishwasher in our home, so it is really not applicable.
But that is not really my point (I don’t think). Â There are times I wish I could see what TheWife would blog about (assuming she was under the thought that I was not reading her blog). Â I would love to see the “other side” once in a while.Â
There was a piece about “fair” journalism recently (though I can’t remember for the life of me where), talking about how, you could almost spot the most unbiased political articles, simply by seeing who is criticizing it. Â The most fair articles will claim “bias” on behalf of the other side. Â And, I believe to some extent that is true in our day to day lives. Â Which is why I found Ivy’s article both interesting and amusing. Â
In comments, I shared a couple of little little story from my home life. Â My father would always “try” to load the dishwasher, but it was never quite up to my mother’s satisfaction. Â She would always have to “restack” the dishwasher. Â In my own life, if I don’t vacuum the living room carpet in the style and fashion that my wife prescribes, she doesn’t consider it done. Â So, I vacuum, she then re-vacuums. Â So, I have admittedly said on several that I wasn’t going to bother any longer. Â (Granted it is a veil threat, but that is not the point either). Â So, here you read how I am not going to bother because she is being a pain about it, whereas if TheWife had a blog, I could read about how she wishes I could just learn how to use a vacuum properly. Â
Another one in our house is, I am always asking TheWife where things are. Â In her virtual world blog, I can see the complaints of how I am so forgetful, and I never know where anything is, or even better, how I never put anything where it belongs. Â Here I would be complaining how she always moves things or puts things is illogical places so I can never find anything. Â In the end they are the same scenarios, but two totally different points of view.
Of course, there is one other factor that I would be remiss if I didn’t add on to this, and that is about expectations. Â (And again, these vary from home to home, so I am just going to use some oversimplified stereotypes, just for the sake of examples.) Â Men have (or had) certain expectations I guess of women, such as the “Hey Hon, what’s for dinner?” Â (Again, doesn’t apply here since I do at least 1/2 of the cooking). Â Or heaven forbid a man ever picks up a rag and dusts something (except perhaps the television screen before a big game). Â And the woman will complain about such things, but never actually ask him to do such tasks. Â The other side holds true with expectations as well. Â A woman that can juggle 36 tasks around the house, cook dinner, and bake for the PTA, somehow can’t figure out how to put some oil on a squeeky hinge. Â The chances of them actually taking out the garbage is also near ‘nil. Â These aren’t tasks that the other “can’t” do, but things that are… well… expected (for right or wrong) from the other person.
So what’s my point? Â When you are frustrated with your spouse/partner in such situations, stop for a minute and look at it from the other side. Â Believe it or not, they probabaly are doing just as much as you, but you believe you are getting the worse end of the deal, and that more is expected of you. Â And if that isn’t enough, then talk about it. Â Like Ivy who finally got her son to load the dishwasher. Â The situation can be fixed with a little communication. Â If you spouse wrote a blog that they thought you weren’t reading, what would they write/complain about that you do?