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50/50 relationship

November 3, 2009

This post is all about my husband. I have to gush for a moment here.

I have been feeling so incredibly blessed lately. Each day that passes, I realize what a treasure my husband is. He is just, like, the greatest thing. I take him for granted way too much, but I really do think he’s just awesome. Ok enough gushing…

So Sharon Meers and Joanna Strober have written a wonderful book called Getting to 50 50. You may have picked this book up or heard about it because it’s been getting a lot of press. The concept is that two working parents will “have it all by sharing it all”. Even if both parents aren’t working, the concept of sharing responsibilities still applies here. Meers and Strober explain that no one wants to feel trapped in a role and no one wants to come home to a boss. If both partners are lovingly engaged in the family life (all aspects of  it- child rearing, cooking, cleaning, bills, yard work, etc), there will just inevitably be less nagging, irritation, and resentment.

I went back to work recently part-time. Kyle works in the evenings and so it works out well that when I’m at work, he’s at home with Evangeline. He is a fantastic father. I realize that a lot of dads are not so much into the baby stage even if they do love their kids to pieces. I am not married to one of those men. Kyle adores Evangeline in all her wonderful messy baby-ness. He’s so great with her and can usually get her to sleep faster than I can. He’s gentle and nurturing…the perfect caretaker. I am so blessed that this arrangement has allowed Evangeline to be with a parent at all time instead of at daycare or with a nanny.

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Kyle is also not-your-average-husband in that he does dishes, laundry, cleans, and cooks (even if it is Top Ramen) in addition to the outside “manly” chores. I do a lot of it too, but he’s so great about seeing something that needs to be done and doing it. I feel so lucky to actually be in a truly 50-50 relationship. We both work, we both care for our child, we both do house stuff.

Kyle always makes fun of me for being sensitive about feminist issues and nit-picking about everything being equal. Something about the idea of being stuck in a “role” really freaks me out. I’ve always known that I would be happiest in the kind of relationship where we worked together as a team and not assigned to traditional duties.

That being said, there are exceptions. For instance, I have yet to mow our lawn. I know how to mow a lawn but Kyle really enjoys doing it. Kyle has yet to make an actual well-balanced meal for us*. He knows how to do it but I really love cooking. These are things that fit into “traditional” male and female roles, but we also genuinely enjoy these daily tasks.

I guess, like everything, it’s a balance. I try not to freak out (Kyle would tell you I’m not exactly getting an ‘A’ in that department) about who did the dishes last. I am really working towards building the kind of relationship that feels equal and like a partnership without obsessing over every detail. I am a work in progress. My goal this week is to tell him every day how much I appreciate him and how happy I am in our 50/50 relationship.

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*Kyle read this before I posted and gently reminded me that he has indeed cooked nutritious meals for us, the last being my birthday. He made delicious stuffed pork chops, tomatoes, garlic bread and salad with bacon wrapped stuffed jalapenos. Sorry, Kyle. How could I forget this amazing meal!!!!’

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 5, 2009 8:06 am

    Yaaaay Kyle………and Elisabeth! You are both hard workers who love each other, so that covers alot of ground.
    Sounds like to me you’re headed to more of a 100-100 marriage. That’s our goal, and it cuts down on the counting :).
    Reminds me of this-
    Philippians 2: 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

  2. November 7, 2009 8:49 pm

    He sounds like a great guy!

    My husband is the exact same way. He cooks, he cleans, he does laundry, he changes the baby, he gives baths, etc. He even mops the floor and scrubs the toilet. We don’t divide things up on paper. We just naturally both contribute – out of love – because we both want what is best for each other and for our family as a whole. I am so grateful for his presence in my life. We make an amazing team!

    • November 9, 2009 11:40 am

      Exactly Stephanie, it’s not about making a list of who is doing what, it’s truly about serving one another for the greater good of the family as a whole. Sounds like you are blessed to have a great husband!!

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