My husband doesn’t help

There has been a lot of discussion about equal rights between genders and a need to treat men and women the same.

I agree. There are women having their genitalia mutilated. Others can be killed for speaking their minds and others are simply not allowed to say no to their husbands. There is a lot to be done there.

In other Worlds, there are women being dismissed, ridiculed or simply getting less back for what they give to the community, be it their family, their work or the world at large. Bias, stereotypes, cultural legacies…it all adds up to getting less.

In yet other Worlds, women are portrayed as eye candy to sell more, maybe food, maybe sex, maybe a car or health insurance. It doesn’t matter what it is. There is supply, there is demand, there is a market for it. Who knows the impact that has in our society, in our children.

These are all real things happening on our planet, today. Not far back in history or space. Most likely in your neighbourhood and mine. To one extent or another.

It is a sad reality and I can only hope my boys will grow up in a different reality. Maybe even, be a part of that change. What they live and absorb at home will influence this. Hence, there’s no way to avoid the topic or pretend it doesn’t impact us. It does.

But there is the other side of things, as always. There is a risk of harming men as well. The danger of thinking, seeing or expecting them to be monsters, to be evil, dominating minds that are acting together against us.

And there are signs of it, in the different discussions on this topic. Sure, some men are horrors, but what good does it bring to make it a “we vs them”, or to generalize men? Or women? Or anyone, really.

A more subtle trend seems to be emerging, or at least I am noticing it more and more. Joking about men, how they are goofy, clueless and need to be told what to do. Most strikingly, I see a lot of this on mom and family forums. “My husband is good for nothing”, “My husband doesn’t help”, “as always, my husband forgot”, “men need to be told what to do, surely I can’t get mine to do anything around the house”, “why can’t men do X or Y?”, etc., etc..

It looks, for sure, less threatening than saying they are evil or horrible monsters. But it is also disrespectful, dismissive and unkind. I don’t know the stories behind the writers of these comments. Maybe all of them found out, shortly after starting a family, that the men they chose to spend their lives with, were not who they thought they were. How sad it must be to share your life with someone you describe to yourself and in public forums as useless.

These days, I am more tired than usual. Because of that, people have been asking me if my husband helps me at home, and with the kids. Thinking of all of this the answer is clear. No, my husband doesn’t help me. He doesn’t help me at all.

My husband and I decided to share our lives together, to keep making each other better, to start a family and raise children the best way we can. We also want to build and nurture our home. This is our life project, this is our purpose in life. We give it all, we do our best, to each other, every single day.

He doesn’t help me with the dishes or with the diapers. I don’t help him with work. We do things together, we add to whatever the other one is doing. There’s no helping, there’s constant giving, growing and creating together.

So, back to our kids. Hopefully, they will see this effort of ours. Mummy and daddy are not equal, they are balanced and they balance each other.

If they take this with them, wherever life takes them, they will have a very valuable gift. It will go beyond labels, biases and traditions. They will have learned true respect and kindness, collaboration and care. May we be able to always give them that.