Who’s your MamaDad? Gender roles in a two-Mum family
Hi hello, fiercely feminist #mumofgirls here, and if you tell me these are girl toys and those are boy ones, I’ll ask which part of your genitalia operates them because what a load of horseshit.
Tell me something is a woman’s job, and now we’re really about to have words.
And yet, it’s baffled me for some time that within the confines of my dual card-carrying feminist, same-sex relationship, we largely conform to traditional gender roles.
I’m the Mum, and Alex is the MamaDad.
I do more of the grocery shopping, child feeding, toddler-induced cyclone tidying and vaccination-time remembering. Alex mows the lawns, fixes a broken toilet seat, and takes out the garbage - the latter occurring only after it’s been pushed down too many times and I passive-aggressively pretend to commence removing the overstuffed bag so as to elicit a limp ‘I was about to do that’.
I’m reading Annabel Crabb’s The Wife Drought, which is chock full of so many facts and stats illustrating the unequal division of labour in traditional hetero led households it'd boil even the most moderately feminist’s blood.
The book essentially revolves around the truth that ambitious, powerful, and successful men get wives, and women don't.
If women have big jobs and dare try to ‘have it all’ by mixing in a husband and kids, she still carries the majority of the physical and emotional labour of her household, and is destined to fail spectacularly on all fronts in the eyes of our patriarchal society.
In our house, many of the book’s observations ring annoyingly true. I carried and birthed our babies, so I took maternity leave and still work ‘part time’. That is, I cram a full-time job into four days so I can have a whole precious day a week to do 11,000 loads of washing and wipe a couple of gorgeous little arses, all while completing 100% of my previously full-time job for 80% of the pay.
Alex has worked and studied without interruption throughout our baby-baking years.
To her credit, though, she WAS the absolute best ever at massaging swollen, pregnant-lady-feet, told me I was beautiful and sexy even when I looked and moved like a waterbed with feet, and assured me with great sincerity that it wasn’t THAT gross when I pooped our babies out. Maybe some Dads with dicks do that stuff too, but she did it better.
Mostly, our roles shift with what's going on at the time. Am I, for example, having a mental breakdown this week? If so, Alex is your man. I mean Mum.
In the great big delicious mothering minestrone of the Fisher family household, we’re both key ingredients - sometimes different ones at different times.
For the most part, I’m the Mum who continues rubbing sunscreen into a whining toddler’s face while Alex pulls her pants down and flashes her bum for a laugh. Good one, Dad.
But she is unmistakably a Mother, and discharges her maternal duties with a calm, loving, patient acceptance that an anxiety-ridden #hystericalfemale like myself can only aspire to.
Together we’re a bloody good team, and I reckon our girls have hit the jackpot having two Mums, despite Alex's Dad jokes.
Now, excuse me while I go push the garbage down again and work out what to 'make for dinner' (*orders Uber Eats).