He works full-time, I stay at home. He's the handyman when something breaks, and I'm the one who knows the kids' shoe sizes and keeps them clothed. For the most part, he takes out the garbage and mows the lawn while I do the laundry and clean the bathrooms.
(Neither of us iron, though, and I'm 100% okay with that.)
In spite of how 1950s our domestic arrangement might sound, I see us as equal partners.
Not because we're doing all the same things, but because we're working together for the same goal: raising a family.
With us becoming a more enlightened society, I've seen a lot of equality-in-marriage articles like "My Husband: 5 Reasons I'm Not Lucky to Have Him" and "Why I'm Done Asking My Husband To Help Me Out" (mild language warning on this one) that might be missing the point.
I get what these people are saying: when Phillip and I are both just sitting around and a poopy diaper scent wafts through the air, it shouldn't automatically be my job to go sniff it out just because I'm the mom.
But then the articles somehow arrive at the conclusion that we should just stop thanking dads altogether, since parenting is already their job and nothing special.
Since when did doing your job, especially a job as hard and potentially dirty as parenting, become unworthy of praise?
If mom changes diapers all day without a thank-you but then dad gets praise for changing one on the weekend, something does need to change. But the answer isn't to stop thanking dad, it's to start thanking mom in equal measure.
But, as the articles point out, isn't it so sexist for a wife to thank her husband for doing an occasional load of laundry, as if he's doing her some kind of personal favor?
I don't think it is.
Because if we're really teammates in the joint effort of raising a family, then every time one of us contributes it is a personal favor to the other. One spouse doing a load of laundry means the other doesn't have to, and that deserves a thank-you.
I just can't agree with a mentality that says husbands and wives need to keep score of who does what in order to be equal.
As the stay-at-home one I'm the main caregiver, but I'll be the first to admit that plenty of nights, I'm drained and Phillip puts the kids (yes, all 5 of them) to bed by himself because I just can't do it.
He makes dinner on the nights when he comes home from work and I'm standing zombified in front of the fridge with a package of frozen ground beef and murmuring, "I don't know what to do with this."
Sometimes I just need to zone out and write for a little while and he's walking around in the background cleaning up the detritus of the day.
I'm glad he doesn't demand I put in my fair share all the time, and I try to do the same.
Part of marriage is picking up the other person's slack sometimes without a grudge because you're on the same team.
The other part is remembering to say "thank you" a whole heck of a lot.