Monday, March 22, 2010
How do I best serve my family?
I recently wrote a very short, very cursory article for website dedicated to working moms. I was trying to offer a 101 of why some men might not be as involved with their kids and domestic duties as some moms would like. In brief, I made three points—1) We are at the office all the time because it is in our genes to provide for our families 2) We can compare the housework we do, not with the work of our spouse, but with the work of our fathers 3) Maternal gate keeping chases some men away. (To read the short article, click here.) This wasn't a "one size fits all" article. This was intended to be a "if your husband is doing this..." article.
The responses have been fascinating—I’ve been called everything from “bang on” to a chauvinist pig. What has surprised me, however, is how many people have disagreed with my first point—men are hardwired to provide. Now, when I say “provide”, I mean in the traditional financial sense. I am a firm believer (and have based my business on the point) that men need to broaden their definition of “provide” to go beyond a strictly financial one (this is in no way to bash hard working, responsible, breadwinning dads, but rather to better understand them.)
I know we have a lot of at home dad readers on this blog, who have done just that—they realize that they have so much to offer their children and their families beyond just a paycheck. They are leading the evolutionary process.
Having said that, I’m guessing if you asked the average working father what are his two greatest fears concerning his family he would say, in order:
1) That someone gets sick, hurt or dies.
2) That I will no longer be able to “provide” for them.
There is a reason that more men than ever are saying that their work lives interfere with their family lives. Men are becoming more involved dads, and more is expected of them on the home front than was of the previous generation. They want to spend more time with their kids. However, there is still a pull (push?) from society and our genetic make up that says we are best serving those we love by earning money. We feel guilty being away from our kids like never before, but still feel we are doing the right thing.
Do you feel genetics and society still puts pressure on you to earn? If society still portrays women as sex objects, do they portray men as "money objects?"
I’d love to hear some of your thoughts..