Changing a diaper is not a heroic act

When my children were little, their father would be praised for changing a diaper by our relatives and friends, if they ever caught him doing it. “What a great father!” They would look at me in admiration for being so fortunate. A diaper changed by a guy was considered a heroic act. And that hasn´t changed.

It didn´t matter that I had bathed them, made food for them, done the laundry, played with them in the park. That´s the least a good mother would do.

It is not only expected that it is the mother´s job, but she is supposed to do it everyday without fault and no complains allowed. A woman is judged and punished if she misses to change a diaper, or the food is not ready on time, or the laundry doesn´t get done. Unfortunately, we are the toughest judges of our fellow homemakers.

The list of domestic “obligations” imposed exclusively to women since forever is endless. You need to be a woman and a mother to know it. There are not enough hours in the day to get them done and it never stops.

It is understood that child bearing duties and managing a home is the job of the woman. It does not matter if the woman works outside of the home or not. Domestic work is still considered to be our responsibility. It is not seen as work, it is not compensated, it is not appreciated, and for the most part, it is not shared with the man of the house.

How long are we going to continue to think like that? How long are we going to teach our daughters to learn how to cook and clean while their brothers don´t even pick up their plates from the table?

I know women who fall in their own trap and justify it by saying that they do it better than their husbands and carry all the weight of the housework because the men “don´t know how to do it”.

Other women just take all the burden because they don´t want to fight and they know that things won´t change anyway. So they keep doing it resigned to their fate.

You don´t need to be a NASA scientist to learn how to change a diaper or prepare a meal. You just need to appreciate the time and effort of a woman. You need to understand that we have the same right to relax and have time for ourselves as men do.

When are we going to stop seeing women as the battle horse of the house? The administrator/housekeeper/cook/cleaner/schedule coordinator/driver/tutor etc, etc, etc. I could go on and on with etc’s.

Every year more women join the labor force in high positions working long hours, but when they get home, they go back to the Stone Age. The woman puts on the apron and goes back to being the servant of the house, while the man relaxes and does as he pleases.

I know very few cases where the share of the load is split evenly. I admit there are some cases, but very few. And the way it is positioned is that the man is “helping” the woman. I remember making an effort to ask the father of my kids in the sweetest way possible (it wasn´t very sweet) to “help” me with the housework. As if it were my responsibility and he was just giving me a hand. Like a parachutist falling in “my” territory: the house and the children.

It is not like that! What I´m about to say is obvious, but apparently not for many: Taking care of the children and the housework is the responsibility of both men and women (when we are talking about a heterosexual couple). Cleaning, grocery shopping, keeping up the house, cooking, caring for the children, dress them, bathe them, feed them, helping with the homework, drive them, everything, absolutely EVERYTHING is the responsibility of both parties. I don´t understand why this is not the norm. We are living in the 21st century!!

There is no scientific evidence to proof that women are better equipped to do the job. It´s a tradition that we need to end if we want to build a fair and balanced society. And it is the only way to have couples that work and healthy families.