Husbands Doing Chores and Babysitting: It’s Real Simple

Last week I was reading a magazine and watching the ABC Evening News with David Muir when something caught my attention — a teaser for a story about how men would do more chores at home if women “let” them. Well, that pretty much set my hair on fire, so I sat up, put down my Atlantic Monthly and turned up the TV.

Evidently, REAL SIMPLE Magazine had done a survey of (I assume) its readers and found that women don’t have enough time for themselves because they do too much of the housework. In fact, 49% of the women said they don’t have enough free time. Fifty-two percent say they have less than 90 minures and 23% have less than 45 minutes and 4% say that they don’t have ANY free time. And, of the women surveyed, women are twice as likely to trust their kids to do chores instead of their husbands and 17% delegate chores to their children while 9% delegate to their husbands.

Okay. At this point I’m screaming at the TV. And at the REAL SIMPLE editor AND at David Muir, who started to use vague terms like “experts believe” and “researchers say” when he was referring to a magazine survey. Let’s not turn it into hard science, David.

Besides the lazy reporting (and using a magazine survey as “expert research”), I had A LOT of problems with this entire presentation. Let’s start with the fact that we’re blaming WOMEN for not DELEGATING CHORES to their husbands! Does anyone else see a problem with this? Are husbands babies? I didn’t marry my husband to have another child in the house. Why do we women have to delegate chores to perfectly able adults who live in the same house? Does a husband not see a pile of dirty dishes in the sink just a well as we do? Does he not notice if the floor needs to be swept? As an equal partner in a household, the male actually can wash dishes, change dirty diapers, sweep a floor or take out trash without having the female delegate the job to him.

Yes, we delegate to children because we’re teaching them to be a part of the household and to do chores. Sometimes we may even pay them to do extra chores. But a couple living in the same household who respect one another should be able to look at what needs to be done and do it. I’ve never heard a woman say, “Well, I never gave a thought to mowing that lawn until my husband delegated the job to me.”

Then David Muir and the REAL SIMPLE editor started talking about the children. OK. I will admit that some moms, including myself, can be a little guarded when it comes to dad dealing with the babies, especially at the beginning and especially if you’re breastfeeding (one thing that men can’t do). It’s difficult for some of us to let go and let dad do things his way. HOWEVER, that is not to say that husbands need to be asked to change diapers, play with their children or basically parent their own children. It’s unbelievable to me that anyone would say that a man is “babysitting” his own children. Do women babysit their own children? Again, women, it is not your job to delegate to grown men.

So, ABC News and especially REAL SIMPLE magazine, you should be ashamed of yourselves. Are we living in the stone age? I can’t believe that women didn’t complain about the way this survey was worded and apparently just accepted the results. I know that women are being attacked at every turn these days, but do we have to be put in our place by a women’s magazine, too? Please. I’m not taking the blame on this one.

Categories: Editor’s Blog