It's come to my attention in recent weeks just how many of my friends pack lunch for their husbands to take to work. In fact, I , so far, have not found another friend who does not pack a lunch for her husband. Me, being a non-lunch packer, always assumed I was with the majority. I am actually shocked at my findings. Before this week, it had actually never occurred to me to pack a lunch for Spencer. He knows how to make a lunch as well as I do. If he wants to eat , he can make it. He's capable. I actually rarely make him lunch when he's home. Lunch has always been a do-it-yourself meal at our house.
I don't know how many of you know this about me, but I have quite a feminist streak. Enough of a feminist streak that if I lived during the Victorian Era, you can bet I would have been out marching with the rest of the suffragettes carrying my "Votes For Women" sign. I love staying home with my children. I know it is important, but it was a big internal struggle for me. There was one point, during my college years, when I was really excelling in school, that I considered the work force over child raising. I had so much going for me and so many people encouraging me. I regularly find myself jealous of Spencer off at school, furthering his education and have more than once considered letting him stay home and becoming his sugar momma. I had a hard time giving up my maiden name. My first year of married life, I hyphenated my name on all my school work. It wasn't until I was pregnant with Parker that I finally had my name legally changed for the sake of my children.
I won't continue to go into very much because a lot of it will probably make me very unpopular and bring up some hot button issues I don't really care to debate. When I was engaged, a middle aged man said to me (and I think I remember it word for word because it irritated me so bad), "Congratulations. You know what that means? Three meals a day. You'll be making him three meals a day for the rest of your lives." Oh no you didn't!!! You didn't just insinuate I'm in charge of cooking because I'm a woman!
Maybe it was that comment that subconsciously turned me off from packing Spencer's lunch. I don't think I learned that at home. I grew up in a fairly traditional family. My parents for the most part fulfilled the traditional male/female roles. I don't know mom...did you ever pack Dad's lunch? I only remember him going out to eat. I know she always helped in the yard, but I don't really ever remember my dad pushing a vacuum. And his idea of doing the dishes was usually assigning out jobs to me and my brothers (at least he included my brothers). He did make the occasional Saturday night omelette's. Regardless of the fact that they carried the traditional roles, my brothers and I all had both inside and outside chores and I certainly never felt suppressed as a female at my house. My parents had a very loving, cooperative, and healthy relationship. I don't remember my mother being any sort of a feminist, but I think she has picked up a little bit of it in recent years.
Spencer's family was similar in this regards....a traditional family life. Yet somehow, when we married, we never completely fell into those traditional roles. I luckily married someone who didn't expect me to fulfill the traditional woman's roles in a household. I actually hate the word expect in regards to roles of husbands and wives. If Spencer ever expected me to do anything, I wouldn't do it for that very reason. Luckily he doesn't expect me to pack his lunch. Because we all know that isn't happening.
I have never felt that dishes, cleaning, cooking, and children are my sole responsibility. I tend to do more because I'm home more often, but not a ton more. Spencer definitely vacuums more often than I do. He makes dinner (and reads the recipe blog) as much as I do. And in the same way, I know how to fire up a grill, patch walls, work a compound miter, mow the lawn and kill spiders. We work together both indoors and out. I realize most of you who pack lunch for your husbands do it out of love, not expectations. But I don't feel I love my husband any less because I would never dream of packing his lunch. We share responsibilities out of love for one another.
I could write about gender roles forever. Just to keep the record straight...I truly love being a woman...especially in today's world. I fulfill MANY traditional female roles and love every minute of it. I have never once wished I were a man. And I am more than grateful to be a wife, mother, daughter and sister. I just don't feel it's my role to pack Spencer's lunch.
I am highly interested in every one's thoughts on the subject. PLEASE post comments. I'm including two polls on the side of my blog. Please place your vote...and a vote for your husband (blogging is one woman's role I take great pleasure in fulfilling). I'm anxious to see the findings.