First of all, I want to say I have the best parents in the world. No one/ nothing could replace them. Dad I’m not knocking you in this post either if you read it! Please call me with your opinion after you do! (Because I know you read my post) LOL
I remember growing up as a child and wondering why I only saw my Mom preparing meals in the kitchen. For years I thought my father didn’t know how to use the stove. I saw him prepare coffee in the morning or reheating food but I never really saw him prepare a meal in the kitchen. It would take a lot of effort to mess up a kettle of boiling water. As a baby up until my teenage years my father was home in the day while my mom worked. He worked nights. So I know he helped prepare meals in some way. I don’t remember having a fully prepared meal by my Dad until I was seventeen years old. My mother stayed in New York to work and my Dad and I relocated to Florida. Most days we just went out to grab a bite to eat. Then one Sunday my Dad decided to make a pot of roast beef. I swear it was the best meal I ever had. I loved it until I realized that I was having roast beef every time my Dad cooked. I complained…we went back to store bought rotisserie.
My Dad is a great parent. Along with my mother he raised six children. We always had food on the table, shelter over our heads, running water, lights…you know the necessities. Even till this day we have been living the “American dream.” We even have a white picket fence. If we wanted something or needed anything for the most part it was given. I commend my parents; we were literally a hand full of work. Along with my mother my older sisters cooked and cleaned. My Dad and brothers were in charge of the yard and cars. I’m the youngest so I helped out doing whatever I could (or I did what I was told to do). I guess the work around the house was evenly disputed men outside women inside.
But, I always wondered who invented the rule that said women should take care of domestic work such as cooking and cleaning, and why my brother and Dad would only do work outside. It baffled me as a child…So much that sometimes I was outspoken about it, followed by a “mama don’t play that” subordinate ass whooping. Pretty much the rule in my home was “do what you’re told and everything is gold.”
History tells us that domesticity was “celebrated in the postwar years” (Dicker, 65). In A History of Feminism Rory Dicker explains that “women were asked to make their families and homes the center of their lives” (Dicker, 65). My mom did that. She really placed us before everything she did. My father did that as well. Yet, my parents had different roles in the way they took care of the family and household. Society subjects us into these roles as spouses. Now that my parents are retired, they kind of evenly share the work around the house. If my Mom doesn’t want to cook my Dad prepares dinner…Rotisserie anyone?