Cleaning Up House: A husband and wife affair

Pink v. Blue

So, I've been trying to keep up with the laundry and the kitchen but it's impossible with 3 kids, a husband, school and work. Yes, I'm calling it impossible and anyone who is able to do it is amazing in my book. 

I remembered reading in the "Mommy Myth," this book I love about how modern men are nicer about women not being the domestic divas of the past. But really all it meant is that men were more okay with having a messier house and a happier wife. 

Didn't mean they went 50/50 on the cleaning up department just meant some of these progressive minded men let the wife slide just a bit. UGHHH.  

What do you guys think?

When I was a single parent and Isaac first started coming around I remember him washing the dishes for me a couple of times, sometimes I'd say thank you because I was genuinely grateful. 

I also reminded him often that I had washed the dishes at least 1000 since the time I had my first daughter until then so one time of pitching in to help didn't mean he was an outstanding person or that he was saving my life.

Honestly, some days I get pretty annoyed when people tell him, "OH wow what a great man", "Flor is so lucky she found you," because it gives other men a free pass that refuses to hold all men at the same standard.

Shouldn't all men help their wives and be understanding? Shouldn't they all be held to the same criterion or should we be okay with thinking there are a few good men and the ones who aren't "good" are normal? 

Why can't men normally be all these great things that make me lucky for finding Isaac?

Am I hearing this right? Cause if I am, I am not trying to raise my sons to think that this is the way the world is and I should be okay with him being a "normal" man.

In retrospect, maybe we should think if maybe that's the reason so many abusive and inconsiderate men are veneered in our mainstream culture. 

I mean it is normal to treat women badly? Are the very "few" men (which I don't agree with) that are "nice" to their spouses, girlfriends etc seen as not normal?

What do you think Isaac?:

Hmmm good topic to begin this blogging experiment, especially since its one I am very interested about. You bring up a lot of good points. Mainly the fact that, and contrary to popular belief, men do slack off when it comes to cleaning house. I am the first to admit that when I see a huge pile of dishes I instantly get negative physical reaction that resembles extreme exhaustion (I believe the medical term is "Laziness"). 

Now that, that is out in the open. I want to answer a little more seriously. I do, do (?) the dishes. Its my chore and my responsibility. I am conscious of the fact that you are always busy, that you have mom work, homework and Flawur Media work to do. I try to keep my mind trucha so that I can see times when I can do more to do my part. Its in the realization, that I am trying my hardest to do my part, that the big fundamental flaw is with men. We are not raised to think that we have to do those things. 

Women do those things that men have to go out of their way to do. 

Patriarchal society does create gender roles and enforces them at all times. 

Both men and women are subject to images bombarding them with what they should be doing and what they shouldn't be doing. I remember how against Nati getting a baby toy I felt. Why is it cool for her to play like she got to take care of this lil baby but if Andrei was walking around with a baby doll and a stroller people would look at him funny? 

 Should men be held to higher standards? Yes! 

It has to start with accountability at home and action on a larger level. Andrei and Adrian are going to learn from me, the way I learned from my father. I will do all I can to make sure they are more aware of their male privilege than I was growing up. I will also teach them the responsibility that comes with being a man of color. 

But, that's not all talk. 

They have to see their dad doing the dishes, folding clothes, putting the clothes up, cooking dinner, doing their sisters hair, sweeping, moping, crying, laughing, swallowing his pride, saying "I made a mistake.", saying to his wife "I love you and I'm blessed to have you."

Is it normal for men to treat women badly? I don't know. I was always told to respect women, to open doors, to be polite, never hit a girl. Now with that being said I still left the woman of my dreams alone for 7 months while she carried our son and raised our two kids while I was just wallowing in my own self-pity. 

I think men are selfish and prideful. Its two characteristics that we carry into our relationships.

Every time I hear someone say something positive like that about me I cringe. Not only because I know it annoys you but also because its not cool when people think you aren't capable of doing something. 

Almost the same feeling I get when some ignorant, racist people complement me on how articulate I am when I speak :/ I am a good guy but not because I wash dishes on occasion. 

I can't tell you why I'm a good guy but I can tell that a new man is possible, but it requires humility, love, patience and faith.


thepascuas said…
I love this subject , i totally get what both of you say.
Isaac im glad you are a sensitive guy and were raised that way, there is no weaknessn that , im also glad that you are planning to raise the cute boys that way.
Flor i totalky comprende, i get those comments too, and it has bothered me in the past.
Recently sam and i were talking about how we would like diego to be . And we want him to be the "old fashioned way" . Manners respect get you places for sure. We mentioned my lil brother in this conversation and how he is the guy all momslike for their daughters because he is polite , helpful and the "good guy" type, just like sam. We both expressed how its sad that opening a door, sayng thank you, helping is now viewed as an extra, and how it should be somethng guys / girls should still do. Its sad that the simple things of life or basic thngs are truly viewed as extras , and when not done its just because they are "men , boys" or "times have changed" I also think as a society we support the idea because its easier.
Every person in the family is responsible for a home , its part of living there .
I love this post, too! I am going through the exact same thoughts as you, Flor. I have 3 kids, a full-time job, and am a full-time grad student also...and the house is the first thing I give up trying to keep up. I just haven't had the conversation that you've had with Isaac...but I need to. We need to figure out something to make it all work. I am inspired by you two. We are ALL going to be all right... thank you.

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