We hear a great deal about the importance of raising 21st Century girls to believe that they can have it all – aspire to become a successful career woman, a model wife and a great mother. However I came across an interesting perspective this week on whether we are also raising boys to become supportive husbands of the future, capable of sharing the tasks needed to run the home, so their wives will indeed be able to have it all.
Many teenage boys I know appear to believe their home has a washing and ironing or cooking fairy. Cleaning and emptying the dishwasher seem to happen by magic, while they are encouraged to focus their attentions on making their parents proud through academic and sporting attainment, to start them off on that successful high flying career.
Despite also going out to work, mum often takes care of the lion’s share of the domestic chores as well as school runs and helping with homework. Are we, therefore, raising boys with an expectation that women are multi-taskers and will do everything for them?
Why not do a huge favour for someone else’s daughter in the future and introduce your son to a few household chores like washing up and stacking the dishwasher after dinner, doing their own washing, planning and cooking the occasional family meal while mum is busy working towards an office project deadline? Fathers too can play their part, presenting a role model where they help with homework, share the school runs or do the odd bit of hoovering.
Observing Mum running around after Dad doing all of the domestic chores and working full-time is not a good role model for sons or daughters. Sharing parenting and domestic tasks wherever possible should nurture a more balanced view.