Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Division of Labor

It is remarkable and a bit shocking how instantly and completely Aaron and my labor divided as soon as we got to the country. Aaron works outside and on the infrastructure; I cook, do the dishes, and tend to the kids. In part, this is because I'm nursing and, to be perfectly honest, because I've been avoiding the ticks. But it also turns out to be easier. When we are in Brooklyn, both working outside of the home and both working to maintain our household, we regularly have to consult, negotiate and divvy up tasks. Even so, there things that fall through the cracks because each of us thinks the other will take care of it and conflict results. In Maine, with nary a boo about it, we fell into perfectly gendered roles and, wadda ya know, it all went smooth as Weleda Calendula Diaper Cream.

This won't last in such an extreme form. Just before we left for my parents, I started tucking my socks into my pant legs and marching out the door for planting (herbs), tending the nascent compost pile, and so on. Aaron got a turn watching the kids. Still, I don't think country living will be as fuzzy on the gender roles as big city living, especially not while Walker is still nursing. Look at our current situation. I'm here at my parents' diapering (the kids not the grandparents), playground hopping, and reading "Whoo! Whoo! Goes the Train" several times a day. Meanwhile, Aaron's up in Maine with no hot water, shooting at squirrels, hardware store hopping, and on Friday he hauled 3400 pounds of drywall into the house. And the fact of the matter is, I don't want to learn how to use a chainsaw and am on the fence about learning how to shoot, to mention two examples out of many. On the other hand, I'm happy to chop and saw wood and anticipate lots and lots of digging. (Man, do we have a lot of digging to do.) In short, I find I can't predict how stereotypical our roles will be once we have settled in a bit more.


  1. Well -- your blog post is hot button issue right now.


    and then to see some other sides in a quick read:


    Its interesting. You could definitely write to The Atlantic or The Times and I bet they'd be interested in hearing what you have to say. Given your major in college and your experience right now -- it would be fantastic to hear from someone like you.

  2. Thanks, Nomi! Interesting links, and certainly a topic I've been thinking a lot about.