Over my life, there have been strides towards equality, and this past year has seen plentiful discussions of “breaking the glass ceiling” with Gov. Sarah Palin taking a run at the White House. Throughout her vice presidential campaign, I couldn’t help but wonder if a female Vice President would make any difference for the “average woman” at all. It seems to me that women still don’t have equality in their own families and the only way to make wide sweeping changes in attitudes is to begin in the home. This is the place where we formulate our ideas and raise our children with the beliefs and values they take into the world. For every ONE women close to shattering the glass ceiling, there are thousands more whose possible successes have been thwarted by the sticky floor at home.
Super Woman is Super Burdened
Women work outside of the home and have many choices. But why is it that so many of these women still carry the major burden of housework and childcare? Yes, men are doing more, some even do more than their fair share, but for the many women I know, this is not the case.
How is it women are expected to have successful careers when they are so taxed at home? I know very few husbands who miss work to stay home with a sick child. It’s usually the wife’s career that experiences the ongoing burden of accommodation. Or how is it that if a woman chooses to stay home and raise her children that the expectation is that she is on duty 24 hours a day, particularly while multiple children are young and very demanding? Should she not have daily scheduled time off as well?
Men are Missing Out
I believe men who are not equally involved in the care of their children and home are missing out. They’re missing out on better relationships with their children and they’re missing out on potentially mind blowing relationships with their wives.
Let’s Commit to Understanding
Using this blog, I’d like to open up discussion on all the roles we “play” as husband, wife and parent. Relationships are never one-sided and they are always complex – no two stories will ever be exactly the same. Achieving equality is not as easy as saying, “do 50%” or “take responsibility.” Men and women must truly understand and respect each other before both will adopt equality in the home and ultimately benefit from it.
Every Voice Matters
Please take the time to offer your thoughts, comments, concerns and achievements. I want input from men and women. I want to know your thoughts, and your fears. I want advice from couples who have found a balanced relationship.
Equality doesn’t have to be a lose/win scenario. Through the open discussion of ideas and concerns, we can find the balance that will benefit us all. Now let’s start to discuss – EVERY voice matters.
Note: I’m taking down my website The Sticky Floor and moving the existing content over here. This was originally published on December 29, 2008.