My grandparents were a significant influence in my life. My grandmothers were the kindest, smartest ladies and one of them was the most understanding and playful woman I ever knew. I wanted to be like them. I still want to be like them. My grandfather was a pillar. He took his role as father of the family very seriously and he played it perfectly even as a great grandfather.
Now my grandparents were traditional. The man made the money and the woman did the cooking. That was their roles in their marriage, in the family responsibility. That being said, my grandfather would not prohibit my grandmother from working. In fact, she worked right by his side in many of his businesses. And my grandmother always welcomed my grandfather helping her out in the kitchen and cleaning the dishes.
However, as I reflect on their defined roles and I compare them to what we have today I cannot help but think maybe they had it right?
Photo: couple_walking.jpg by Hotblack, www.morguefile.com
Today, life seems to be very tough for the modern day family who share their family responsibilities. Because let's face it, whatever is shared is hardly ever shared equally. Someone in the relationship feels the pressure more than others and this seems to place a strain on it.
So, what I am suggesting as food for thought is maybe our grandparents had it right by defining the roles. Now that's not to say women should go back to the kitchen and not be entitled to work and men should be the sole bread earners. What I am suggesting is maybe, each person in the relationship set out what they will be responsible for. At least that way as couples, and as family members, we know what is expected of us.
I sometimes think if my husband and I defined our roles - say for instance he cleans the house and I do the cooking, and he pays electricity bills and I pay for shopping; then there's less pressure on both of us and expectations can be met more often.
We could extend this to our children, even starting at a relatively young but also appropriate age. Perhaps this way, everyone can feel like they are contributing to being a family.
Life is tough when the lines are blurred. Expectations are raised and at times not met. But perhaps our grandparents were right. If we defined our roles, perhaps we would know what's expected of us and perhaps... just perhaps... responsibilities would be in fact shared more equally.
All of that being said I can note this, I like the way things are done in my household. We all contribute. I am probably a lot more hmm..how can I put this diplomatically, lets say I am more thorough than my husband in the cleaning department but I do like that we share our roles. I only wish he was as good at it as I am.