It’s Monday, which means it’s time for me to give Mr. Houseful his space. Today he gives us thoughts that….well you just have to read them.
There are plenty of differences we can’t point to between men and women. We can have exhaustive conversations about gender roles, social norms, sexism, gender bias, etc. This particular post won’t be about those conversations, even though some of my thoughts could be based on the above mentioned exhausted conversations.
As a man I believe that what happens in my house stops at me. If I adhere to the principle that I’m the “head” or “priest” of my house, then all failures are mine. What exactly does this mean? Well, to me, it means that if I come home from a long day of work (for example) and the house is in disarray, then it’s my fault that the house isn’t the way it needs to be. There may be plenty of reasons why it could have happened, but up to me to solve. I’m the head and as such I need to lead. My leadership must be by example. After all, how can I ask or expect anyone to do anything that I, myself ,am not willing to do?
I can’t say that I always succeed in this belief and my reasoning doesn’t always adhere to this principle. I do try though to do the best that I can for as long as I can. So if the house isn’t cleaned (again, example) and I’m also not willing to clean up when I get home from work, then how can I be upset when no one else wanted to clean up either. It doesn’t really make sense. Conversely, if I do end up cleaning up, I can’t, then, turn into a tyrant about how much work I do. After all, I signed up for this. It’s the price of being the boss.
There are exceptions to this though. My children don’t count in this scenario. It’s my job to teach them to follow directions, to ensure they understand obedience, chain of command, integrity, and responsibility. So they don’t get a pass. If I was to give them a directive, and I come home to non-adherence, then we have a serious problem.
Another exception would be bad balance. If one spouse is constantly contributing more to the home than another, it makes for a tough relationship. There are plenty of reasons why a relationship can become organically unbalanced. We are all human and bad habits can be so easy to pick up and terribly difficult to put back down. Our ability to work together definitely makes for a healthier relationship.
The moral to this story is that I really have no moral. When I come home from work tired and don’t feel like cleaning, I don’t yell when things are not in order… all of the time. I don’t yell about them all of the time. Sometimes I fail. But my wife loves me and that’s all that matters.
Disclaimer: The example of cleaning was used as a hypothetical for this post.