Posted by: Terri | October 17, 2012

It’s NOT just about women…

 

It really drives me crazy that issues like a flexible work day and dealing with children are considered “women’s issues” — my husband is just as involved with our children as I am.  I haven’t been traveling as much as I usually do, so I have taken on more of the “shuttle” duties, getting the kids to their activities, etc…but when I have events to attend, or when I go out of town for a conference  next week, the fact the Mike has a flexible work day is just as critical as it is for me.  We both end up working in the evening, after the kids go to bed, so we can keep up with our various projects.  As a professor, I usually end up editing my lectures the night before class and posting my notes.  Mike often has conference calls with colleagues in Asia.  I actually do the cooking in our house, but only because I don’t like to do the dishes, so Mike takes care of that.  But dinner wasn’t the issue when I had a 9-5 job and the kids were in preschool, it was picking the kids up on time. Now that they are in school they have multiple activities that I take them to — I tell folks that I can’t schedule anything between 4 and 7 — that’s when I become the “mommy shuttle” and sit down with my kids, and usually my husband, for a family meal and review of the day.

I can’t help but think that if more men would speak up about their need for a flexible work day, this wouldn’t be an issue for women.  In academia, parental leave became more important as the model of the male professor with the spouse who took care of the household came to an end.  My male colleagues with children are all glad that they have flexible schedules, and some have even put their career on the back burner for their more successful wives in academia or the private sector.

Issue like birth control and healthcare shouldn’t just be women’s issues, either.  Men who care about their mothers, sisters, daughters or wives all have a stake in these issues. It’s crazy that more men aren’t speaking up and supporting women in their fight to maintain funding for critical healthcare for women — we will all suffer in the end.  It’s time for men to speak up and show that women aren’t the only ones who care about these issues.

About these ads

Responses

  1. While I was watching the debate for President of the United States, I was taken aback by that comment. As I sat on the couch with my wife, the first thing I said to her was “apparently the only place for women is in the home”. The majority of us hardworking people are not blessed with extraordinary wealth from our parents. We don’t get to go to the most expensive schools. We have to work our way from the bottom to the top. In today’s society, both spouses have to work to make this happen.

    This is simply nonsense that women are the only one’s who need a flexible schedule so they can get home to take care of their kids and cook dinner for the family. My wife and I both work full-time. We both have to work to pay for our student loans (which gave us both good jobs) and the bills to take care of our family. When we get home from work, I cook while the other watches our 10 month old. When I am done, we switch. She eats and I watch our son. I get up in the middle of the night to take care of him while my wife watches him when I nap on the weekends. It’s a balance.

    As a family man, I also need a flexible schedule. I never expect my wife to be the only one to come home from working hard all day to spend the rest of the evening taking care of the household and our child. We both take care of our son and in turn take care of each other. Issues that impact my wife, impact me. Women’s issues are not just women issues. They are family issues and we should all be making sure our women are taken care of. It’s good for us all.

    twitter: @joshdavis9207

    • Thanks so much for your comment Josh — these are exactly the reasons that I wrote this post!

  2. Thank you! As a father, I do have a flexible schedule teaching at a university, while my wife (a CPA) does not. I take the kids to and from school, I deal with the cooking and a lot of housework. My wife has a stressful job, and in order to allow her to have quality time with the kids she can’t come home to a mess or demands to cook dinner!

    My pet peeve has been magazines like Parenting who talk about “what mom’s need” as if dads were in another universe. The comment about going home to cook dinner was far more telling than the ‘women in binders’ bit that got so much play. We’re in a world where women are becoming equal to men in the work force and both spouses have to work. It’ll never be fair to either side if we can’t get rid of the idea that the issues are true only for women.

  3. Thanks Scott — really appreciate your comments. I saw an article recently that complained about the fact that we talk about “working moms” but never about “working dads” – this whole discourse needs to change!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 42 other followers

%d bloggers like this: