Thursday, October 09, 2014

Conquering my Husband’s Sock Drawer

My sweet husband spent ten minutes – ok – it seemed like ten minutes when we had breakfast to eat and a light-rail train to catch – ten minutes looking for his matching sock. His drawer is full of varying shades of black socks. Yes, some have different textures, so there could be mismatched socks, but 10 minutes looking for socks. And his wife had a pair ready to go in her little hands 30 seconds into the search.

I could've nagged – uh – longer – but, I realized my husband wanted to be the "man who conquered" and so I let him alone to conquer his sock problem.

Of course when I got home and he was at his internship, the first thing I did after dishes and laundry was tackle that sock drawer!

Yeesh! I've been married for almost two months and here I am blogging about chores. I giggle to myself thinking, "That's what my stay at home wife/mom" friends blog about.

That got me thinking even more:

Ever since I got married, I have this drive to clean the former man-cave… ahem, Hubby and my house, and I get excited about cooking for my man, hanging his clothes up, and yes even going through and pairing up his socks.

Bri-Bri cooks and I do the dishes, but I also find myself doing more of the chores. This division of labor is largely due to Bri-Bri's internship taking place this fall. He is away from home 2-3 evenings a week and on Saturday mornings.

I knew I'd accept this arrangement because it needed to happen for practical reasons. My brain surprised me by thinking about household tasks or ideasd during downtimes at work, and I felt the same pride finishing chores as I did finishing work tasks. And I want to work just as hard helping my sweet husband around home like I do at work.


Where did this come from?


Well, even though my mom went to college during the feminist movement and my aunt was quite involved in that, my mom still asked me if I was ready to be a wife. "Are you ready to clean for Brian and cook?" I rolled my eyes and laughed.

"Yes, mom, but remember, it's the 21st century. The spouses usually share the work now." I grew up watching one of my aunts share home and work duties with her husband, and my cousins enjoyed having both parents involved in their lives while having active careers. Growing up in a single-parent home, I knew having a child and having a career was possible, and took for granted that would be my life as an adult.

In college, my role models in marriage because my 'Summitview moms' and 'Summitview older sisters' who showed me what life was like when a woman chose to make a career out of being a wife, homeschool teacher, and mother. Now that I think of it, I did have a blog post examining the position of a wife and mother as a career path.

During my time at Summitview, I came to respect that role as much as I respected a paying career path. Some of my friends at Summitview thought the pastors encouraged that role for mothers and didn't address two-earner households as much. Because of that, I began thinking quitting my job after having children was the right and Godlier thing to do.

Now that I am in the working world, I have examples of women who work hard in their careers and also are good parents to their children. I see examples of this in my current church, and I know some women who also stay at home with their children or have stayed at home with them when the children were young.

In addition to all these role-models, I have my natural instincts informing my feelings and actions. God binds a husband and wife together physically, so from that, I have a drive to be close to my husband and that probably motivates me to help him and make his life easier :) There is also that ever-present reward center of the brain that gets activated when my man tells me I did a great job with the dishes or for attempting his laundry or even sorting his socks. That reward system is further reinforced by a sweet kiss :)

This is the classic nature versus nurture debate. Do I want to be a "full blown" homemaking wife and mom because I saw examples of it for so long or because it's somehow wired into me? Is it a mixture of both? I can think about it and tease it apart to satisfy my nerdy mojo and that's perfectly fine. More importantly though, I need to ask God what should I do? How does He want me to fill those roles practically and how do support my husband in a spiritual way? The ultimate answer can't just come from what I see around me or the biology within me. It has to come from my Creator God who designed marriage and who united my husband and me for His purposes.