Partners do what needs to be done, end of story
We’ve all heard the stories, either firsthand or through friends, of a partner who refers to watching his children as “babysitting” or refuses to help around the house because they work or feel as if it is “woman’s work.” Men are amazing, intelligent, capable creatures but there are some men (and yes, some women as well) who, for one reason or another, aren’t willing to share in the physical or “mental” load.
John Hoxie shared a poignant message on his Facebook page aimed at partners who feel as if they are somehow deserving of being taken care of without actually taking care of those they love. Hoxie said he was sitting with a friend at home and said, “I’m going to wash the dishes and I’ll be right back.”
Hoxie said his friend gave him a funny look and said, “I’m glad you help your wife, I do not help because when I do, my wife does not praise me. Last week I washed the floor and no thanks.” Hoxie quickly replied, “Actually, my wife does not need help, she needs a partner.”
Hoxie explains that when he is contributing to running the household, he’s not “helping” his wife — he’s taking on his fair share. “I do not help my wife clean the house because I live here too and I need to clean it too,” he explains. “I do not help my wife to cook because I also want to eat and I need to cook too. I do not help my wife wash the dishes after eating because I also use those dishes. I do not help my wife with her children because they are also my children and my job is to be a father.”
Hallelujah, and thank you, fine sir. I have chosen a partner who does not hesitate to do whatever needs to be done. Sometimes he carries a bigger load and sometimes I do. It’s not a contest. We are not keeping score. We’re parents and we have a family — there are responsibilities that need to be taken care of. But I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been told how “lucky” I am for all that he does, regardless of the fact that I also have a full time job and fully participate in all that is our life together. Why is that an expectation of most women?
His friend’s expectation of praise is also puzzling. Being an adult means taking care of all the things that come with adulting. And while it would be fun to have balloons drop from the sky and a marching band sing, “We Are The Champions” every time we vacuum the floor, we probably shouldn’t hold our breath.
“Perhaps you have been taught that all this must be done without having to move a finger? Then praise her as you wanted to be praised, in the same way, with the same intensity,” Hoxie writes. “Give her a hand, behave like a true companion, not as a guest who only comes to eat, sleep, bathe and satisfy needs …
“Feel at home. In his house.”