Can a man be the proverbial housewife? To take care of things that society has reserved for women? Sure he can! Is it well-received among people? Probably not yet, because after all, it loses its “masculinity,” an image expected by most. But I hope that it will change someday, and I’m going to help with that a bit.
We recently had an interesting example at home of what our relationship looks like. Or at least how we share daily responsibilities. Well, the evening came and my wife was getting ready to go out. She had a party at work that day, unfortunately I could not go with her. At that time I was ironing clothes, wearing a dress. I realized that I was a typical “housewife” from the fifties, that is, the wife takes care of the house, cleans, irons, etc., while the husband enjoys life, meets with friends. Only with us it was the other way around. And I didn’t feel bad about it, on the contrary. I like to do something useful at home, I like to feel satisfaction that the day was not wasted. I don’t want to be a typical couch potato and just sit in front of the TV/console/computer. I break out of the typical image of a man in a relationship.
Another interesting example was replacing a faucet in the kitchen. I was getting on with it, unscrewing the old one and getting the new one ready. Then my wife came home from work and wanted to help me. She helped me so much that she actually took a seat under the sink and took care of everything herself, I didn’t bother her. She has a knack for plumbing, at least she looked like she did, she enjoyed it. The problem was that I felt worse, my mood was down, I “lost my masculinity”. And I busied myself pulling clothes off the dryer. As befits a “housewife”. It was the first time we had swapped roles so emphatically, and I didn’t quite accept it yet. At least I think that’s the fault of society’s expectations, when it’s the guy who has to take care of the plumbing in the house, not the woman. In retrospect, I look back on this situation with a smile and if it were to happen again, I would have no problem giving this job to my wife.
And what does our everyday life at home look like? A little different than in a typical Polish home. I work remotely all the time, I do not waste time going to the office, I do not stand in traffic jams. As a programmer my work is lighter (I don’t have to work physically), I like it and I don’t feel very tired at the end of the day. My other half is different. She drives to work every day, sometimes she is ten hours away from home. This is more tiring for her. Additionally, by the second/third weekend she has to go away on family purposes. I am at home more often and I have more time and energy to take care of the house. That is why I iron, do laundry, clean. I love to cook, the meals are mostly prepared by me. And the best thing is that I enjoy it all. I do not feel bad about it, I do not feel inferior. On the contrary, I am happy that I am responsible, hard-working. Of course, it is not that my wife does nothing at home. She cleans, takes care of flowers, bakes delicious sweets, takes care of many other important things. Additionally, she is more precise than I am (I have to work on it). But I do not require that she is the only one who takes care of household chores, because she is a woman. We live in a partnership, we are both equal at home and share everything, pleasures and responsibilities.
Living alone in an apartment for a few years has taught me that it’s not hard to take care of the house and it’s worth keeping clean and tidy for your mental health. Of course, I prefer to do all these things in a dress, but it’s not that I associate these duties with being feminine. It’s just that I am me at home and can dress how I want, and since I feel better in a skirt, why not make myself feel better while cleaning?