When thinking of the term housework, even in today’s evolved society, it is sometimes known to be an activity that females in the family are generally responsible for. However, housework is not only defined by cleanliness and tidiness of a home, but also includes the up-keep, and maintenance. These are essential in order to keep the house in good condition. In my family, the men have become mainly in charge of the maintenance and women in charge of cleanliness. Housework should not be reserved for one gender, but rather combined by both genders. The break down of roles between genders will allow for better relationships in life. The act of housework can become a large issue in a home that does not have structure and specific roles. Growing up, my dad was away most of week and frequently went on long trips during hockey season, and the winter months. My mom played both roles of mom and dad while he was away. In the past, my mom has expressed over, and over again that she is tired of cleaning other people’s messes and trying to maintenance everything herself.
We would argue constantly about not picking up after ourselves, and leaving all the chores for mom. About 6 years ago we realized that it is very unfair, as well as time consuming, for my mom to be in charge of getting everything done. As we grow older, it seems that there is more laundry, dirty dishes, and things that need to be fixed. We decided to be consistent with cleaning, and managing the house as a family. Our relationships have been almost amazing ever since. As I have mentioned, housework involves both the cleanliness and up-keep of a home. In our family, we’ve found that the best way to get things done is to know our strengths and weaknesses, and divide up the work accordingly. My dad and brother are responsible for vacuuming, fixing things that are broken, cutting the grass, taking out the garbage, and most of the outdoor work that is commonly known as manly tasks. My mom and I are responsible for the dishes, laundry, and keeping the house tidy inside. We all help out with the preparation of meals whether it be setting the table, cutting up vegetables, or actually doing the cooking.
We do switch roles sometimes, but mostly stick with what we are good at, or don’t mind doing. The routine and contribution to housework from all of our family members has really changed the mood in the house over the passed 6 years. Just like finances can sometimes have a bad impact on a relationship or marriage, not contributing or working as a team to keep the place we call home in good order; can also impact a family for the worst. Working well with others and being a team player are skills that become very important as people grow up. They are skills that teach us to communicate, and be considerate. Growing children of both genders must learn balance, teamwork, and the importance of contribution. Being able to practice these skills in our home since a young age has helped my brother and I to bring the things we have learned into the real world. I have heard that boys who grow up with sisters do not usually get asked as often to do housework by their parents, and subsequently do not end up contributing later on in life. That was not the case in my home, and to be honest, I am very thankful!
Once we decided as a family that we would all contribute, we made sure that we stuck to it. Working as a team has personally helped me become an all around good worker, no matter what job has come my way. I’ve learned to consider and respect others opinions as well as communicate well with co-workers and any employer that I have worked for. For the passed three years, I have lived with two other roommates while going to school in Ottawa. Thanks to everything that I learned about contribution at home, I have made sure to make a good effort in doing my part, and cleaning up after myself at our house in Ottawa. I plan to live with my boyfriend within the next year, and it is nice to know that he was brought up the same way as I was. We have both learned the importance of contribution in a relationship.
Housework and contribution cannot solely be in the hands of one gender or another. It takes a combined effort to make a household, and relationships in life run smoothly. Relationships that include roles that are shared, and consideration that is given towards others, help avoid issues that arise from lack of contribution. Children that come from homes that make sure to divide up the work between family members also learn balance, teamwork, and the importance of contribution. These skills are important for everyone to obtain, and ensure good relationships throughout life.