To talk about gender equality at home is one thing, how to really execute it quite another. It is not enough to have a good intention, but one must also have the right tools and respective information. With tools, I am not only talking about your power drill but also the dishwasher manual, the kind of light bulbs your lamps need, the spreading chart for the fertilizer cart, the pet sitter’s phone number – you name it.
Your partner may be a pro with the lawnmower, and your daughter may have learned how to launder her favorite t-shirts, but does she know how to clean the filter of the washing machine, and does your son know how choose the right settings on the fertilizer cart?
The big discussions and efforts in gender equality are both laudable and long due. For example the Ariel brand has created such a heartwarming commercial, every daughter watching it will feel her father’s hand proudly brush her hair – a wonderful inspiration. But – my niggly self asks – would this wonderful father and husband, sitting humbly in front of his washing machine, remember which brand of washing powder his wife prefers, if he had not been part of this commercial? Would he even do the grocery shopping next week?
My husband does the shopping and hauling (50/50 yeah!) – but remembering whether its liquid or powdered detergent, for silks and fines or blacks, that’s running low – rather difficult. Is it because “Men are from mars and woman are from Venus”, as John Gray called his book in 1992, or as Rebecca Shambaugh reported a few days ago on Huffingtonpost: “Decades of research and studies have proven that male and female brains are structured differently”.
Is there a psychological, gender-related explanation?
Although it is my experience that in stressful moments women tend to rush around and try to think of everything as opposed to men, who just seem to focus on the essentials, to hell with the rest, the simple explanation lays in the level of involvement and expertise.
Around our home, I’m the “expert” in the laundry room. Doing the laundry for many years it is only natural that I have gathered a lot of routine and my proper set of tools, read detergents. Some time ago my partner and I realized that he really dislikes doing laundry whereas I’m quite ok with it, so we decided that in contrast to cooking, hovering or bringing the little ones to bed, laundry does not have to be a shared task.
But what about these shared tasks? Often one of the partners does not have all the information to make it a successful job. He’s doing the shopping but doesn’t remember what kind of light bulb he should get for the broken lamp in the mud room. She is calling the plumber but doesn’t know the type of water filter they have installed. Their daughter offers to get gas for the lawnmower but suddenly wonders what kind of gas to get. Of course, this not only relates to couples and families, anybody with a busy day and a lot on their minds forgets this kind of little but important pieces of information.
This is why TheSmarterPlace offers a mobile home management tool to keep track of all these many pieces of information for everyone in the family involved in keeping up the house. Simply create your home, add your rooms and items and start taking the take pictures, scans, and notes from whatever is important.
The structure lets you attach all the needed information (manuals, documents etc.) directly to the item itself so your daughter will quickly realize, that on TheSmarterPlace she will find the manual for the washing machine in the laundry room, attached to the created item “washing machine” itself. And it’s exactly here where dad can find pictures of the detergents used in his home.
How are you sharing the load? We’re looking forward to your comments.