Today I bought myself a treat. It made me sad. I know treats are supposed to make you happy but this one was a sure sign of my age and maybe my “lot in life.” Ok. It was some new dish washing supplies. I was so excited for the scrubby wand with the soap built into the handle that I did dishes as soon as I got home. Isn’t that just a terrible narrative. I’m mostly joking but also trying to make a point.
When Melinda and I got married we had so many discussions about what our roles would be in our marriage. Stuff like, “I hate laundry and you hate cleaning bathrooms so you fold laundry and I’ll always clean the toilets.” I was going to be the enforcer dad and she would be the nurturing mother. I would provide the funds and she would homeschool the children. Hilarious, right? Absolutely. I wash dishes now even though I’ve always hated it. I do it because in an RV you have to conserve water and I don’t trust anyone else to wash dishes in the manner required when your home has a 25 gallon waste water tank. Roles are important but they change.
You hear a lot these days about roles, especially gender roles. In my experience the roles we play in our families have far less to do with our gender or preference and everything to do with circumstance. As our life has changed over the past 10 years of marriage we have had to adjust roles many many times. The idea is teamwork. We are in this thing together and with four kids we are almost outnumbered. (We are smarter and bigger so we aren’t completely outmatched.) We don’t have time or energy to fight over who has to do what. We can’t wait for someone to do something because “it’s not my job.” Nothing would ever get done.
So, whoever is reading this, mom or dad, you need to know your role. Not a prediscussed job that you must accomplish but an actively evolving role that is always helpful and always selfless. Throw your years old “arrangements” out the window and just serve your family.
Author: Michael Prince
Michael Prince co-authored “What’s in Your Pocket? A parent’s guide to protecting your children online.” with his wife Melinda. They have four kids and live in an RV anywhere in the USA they see the need for an internet safety expert. Michael is leading the conversation in the American Church about family online security. He and Melinda founded BecauseFamily, a ministry that exists to inspire and equip parents to be the first influence in the lives of their children, in 2013. Michael is also a geek and loves Star Wars, Doctor Who, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and strategy board games.