Friday, May 9, 2008

Mothers vs. Fathers

Last week we had FHE at Andrew's parents' place and his sister Emily gave a lesson, a lesson that demonstrated how very little we actually knew about each other.

She gave little quizzes about all of us, asking what our favorite colors are, what kind of food we like, what we do for a living, and so on.

Answering Andrew's questions were easy. I got almost everything right. And so did everyone else. He is a very predictable person.

Answering my questions were harder than hard. I don't really have a lot of "favorites." So much depends on my mood. Mexican or Italian? It depends on the day. Blue or pink? It depends on my mood. I took the longest on my own quiz.

Answering everyone else's quizzes was so-so. I didn't get a lot of the questions right but neither did anyone else.

Anyway, that's not really what this post is about. What it is about is how mothers and fathers differ.

I noticed that for both Karen and myself, everyone wrote down "Mother" as occupation, in addition to secretarial work. Karen works as a secretary, and we both do contract work for Harman Music.

It is true that being a mother is a job, I think. Goodness knows being a mother takes up the majority of my time every day.

But no one wrote down "Father" as a job for Reid or Andrew.

It was interesting for me to see how we view those roles. Mothering, we all seem to believe, is a full-time job. Whether you work full time or stay at home all day, being a mother is a job. Your children always need access to you via phone, via email, via sitting on your're always a mother.

But fathers are fathers when they come home from work, so isn't that like a job for them, too? Why don't we recognize them as such?


Crys said...

That's because fatherhood is a party! When my Jason comes home the kids are so excited they start running around in circles and squealing. They both want to cuddle with him for twenty minutes. They babble on about all the good things we've done. We eat dinner. Then while I'm doing dishes and cleanup they play with toys and get on pajamas. We read scriptures and they go to bed. How can that be a job? It is way to fun. Its more like a hobby :)

Daddy Parks said...

I quickly realized while trying to post a comment here that my words need to be quite carefully placed! =) I think it may have to do with the commitment with the outside-of-Mom work.
Explanation: Father's often think of their work as a career; something they're bound to for years to come. It is common I think (at least in the LDS community) for Mother's to think of their work (not Motherhood work, but outside-of-Mom work) as temporary; something they will do until.... There's often a clearly defined "exit" for them from that job (though the timing of that exit isn't always so clear). For Father's, that exit is much more vague and seems like an eternity away. By then, the kids will all be grown and they start listing "Grandfather" on survey's asking for their occupation.
Anyway, that's my $.02