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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Dad Role

In every family with children, there comes the inevitable determination between spouses of Who Does What? and What Do (and Should) We Expect From Each Other?  I find that harmony in the house is more closely attained when duties are distributed based on skill and enjoyment level, rather than a simple 50/50 split. That may sound strange, but there can be creative ways to work together as a couple without either feeling oppressed, depressed, or suppressed.  Here are some examples from our household:

1. Our laundry room is in the basement. So is my husband's "man-cave". Ergo, while he watches NFL, NBA, and ESPN he is also watching LOADS.  Basically, he does nearly 100% of the laundry in the house, and then dumps it in the living room for me (and conscripted children) to fold and put away when we can.  It saves me from having to dash up and down the stairs to keep up with the changing of the loads, and he doesn't mind because he is still able to have down time.

You've seen the laundry pic.

2. Brian likes running errands. The bank, the post office, etc. is not a chore for him. He also likes to show off his cute children.  I, on the other hand, only like to go grocery shopping and I don't even know how to get to the post office (I'm ridiculous, agreed). It's not hard to see how this works out: he runs errands and takes whichever kid(s) he feels like with him while I get to stay home. Win-win.

The Errand Machine.

3. My baby loves me. She likes Daddy, but really, she prefers me at this stage.  Because of that fact, Brian does not enjoy watching the baby for extended periods of time because she is high-maintenance for him.  I respect that as much as I can, and try only to leave the house when the baby is sleeping. While this is not always possible, I really attempt to accommodate him in this. After all, he doesn't mind watching the other six children--and the baby will grow up!
Whatever, Mom! I NEVER cry!

4.  I do the majority of cooking for the family and all of the baking. However, Brian does enjoy making meals for the family when he has the time and energy.  Whenever Daddy decides he's cooking, I shelve my dinner plans for a later time.  He makes great ribs and pot roast, and in the summer, is a grilling machine.  Make sure the hubs has some cool appliances--it just may tempt him to cook more! Check out grills, a deep fryer, or a rotisserie for some man-friendly gifts.

Brian made this delicious roast the day after Christmas in his rotisserie!:

5. Cleaning--Brian handles "his" zones: the basement and the bathroom in the basement. I usually cover the rest of the house, with chore assistance from the children. If the kids are not doing a good job, I enlist Daddy to back me up. It's amazing how they instantly obey him! I have mixed feelings on that.

6. Bedtime--I handle the baby (per usual), and Brian, unless he's working, supervises the showering and dressing of the other 6.  We really encourage independence in the children, so all but the 2 year old can pick out pajamas and get dressed by themselves.  The older boys help Gabe in the shower to make sure he's washed up, and Dad gets him dressed.

Anyway, just thought I'd share a little of the division of labor that makes our house function for survival!

Easy Rule #4215:  The family is a team and needs to work as such. But, just like a team, every member needs to work according to his/her talents and skills for maximum satisfaction and performance!

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