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Monday, October 08, 2012

Duplicity of Roles - Every working mom's story

Learned about this concept while attending my favorite elective in college (Gender Issues in the Philippines' Society). Heard about it from friends immersed in feminist studies.

Simply put, gender-based roles are defined/redefined as societies evolve. Once upon a time, when women were homemakers and men were breadwinners, homemaking and raising the kids were all motherly chores. Men spent their days working, expecting sumptuous (warm!) dinner at home, alcoholic beverage, massage and great sex to end their day.

Roles were clearly defined. And then women started working. Dual-earning households became an emerging norm. Everyone got confused. With both husband and wife working, who's going to cook? Who's going to clean the house? Who will attend parent-teacher meetings?

With gender-based roles deeply ingrained in the human psyche came the tendency for the now-employed wife to still take on majority of homemaking responsibilities. Before (or after) work, she still wears the hat that requires her to cook, and scrub, and clean, etc. Society, in-laws, and in some sad situations even the husband, frowns at the wife who's not able to fulfill her motherly chores.

Gender-free utopia has the wife and the husband splitting "motherly" chores. But day-to-day, in real life, things come up and it becomes difficult to say - objection, duplicity of roles!

I don't know how to end this post. I just remembered how I resolved, before I got married, that I will strive but cannot promise to be the perfect mother and wife. I have to deal with guilt and feelings of inadequacy, that's all there will ever be. I'm not your superwoman. I'm just a wife, a mother and an employee.

I will raise the children, if you pay all the bills.

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