I watch a lot of HGTV. I really enjoy seeing all the awesome transformations of rooms, houses, yards that can be done in 30-60 mins. on seemingly endless budgets. I gather ideas for the day that our family wins the lottery or gets a huge inheritance from someone or that the Church starts paying its employees the same amount as movie stars so that we, too, can do great renovations and upgrades to our home.
But, in the midst of all that painting and remodeling are commercials for cleaning products, preparing meals, groceries, childcare, etc. And, often these commercials depict the men of homes as complete morons. You know what I’m talking about – the whole “I don’t know where the dishes go, so I can’t empty the dishwasher” or “I don’t know how to turn on the vacuum, so I can’t help clean-up” ridiculousness shown in ads.
And, I am sick of it.
I get that there are often traditional roles within the family (not all families as not all families are traditional, but generally speaking). In our house, for example, I usually cook dinner – not because my husband is incapable, but because I actually enjoy it. My husband takes care of most of yard duties – not because I can’t mow the law, but because I spent 15 years of Saturdays “building character” by mowing the lawn at my parents‘ house, and he doesn’t mind doing it.
But, that doesn’t mean my husband can’t or won’t do home chores or that I can’t or won’t do yard work. My husband has never put a diaper on our son’s head or spilled his dark-colored drink all over the living room carpet or broken the washer when trying to do laundry. He often does the dishes and <GASP> uses the right kind of soap! We take turns bathing our son (and, alternately cleaning poop out of the tub). He will cook dinner when I ask and will keep our baby occupied when I don’t. And, if really necessary, I can mow the lawn.
Men are not idiots who can’t help around the home or with the children. But, the money-machines of advertising are giving men an excuse not to actively participate in family life. As a result, society in general gives men a “Get Out of Jail Free” card on being part of their family because they’ll “just mess things up.” “Go, sit on the couch, have a beer, and watch football,” the ads tell us. “You don’t need to be part of the family because you were away at work all day.”
I am calling BS on this. I’m not saying my husband shouldn’t enjoy some relaxation after a hard day of work or that beer and football are bad (I live in Alabama…do you honestly think I have issue with having a beer while watching football??). But, spouses have to work together to run a household and thus, have a happier home and marriage. When my husband and I work together to get dinner cleaned up and the baby bathed and ready for bed, we are able to relax in the evening because the chores are done. Our mutual sharing of the home duties results in a quicker completion of the tasks. We appreciate one another more, speak more words of thanks, and spend less time worrying that “I did more than you.”
I hope that advertisers soon ease up on the “men are dumb” campaign. And, I hope that we ladies will loosen our grip of control on everything having to do with home and family. We need to be okay with things being completed the “Dad Way” and be happy with “done” as opposed to “perfect.” Ultimately, we need to let the men of our lives be the capable heads of the household that they are meant to be. Because, God didn’t create doofuses, He created men. And, we need to treat them as such.