I grew up in the fifties and sixties.
Gender roles were almost absolute
Back in small town Iowa.
Daddies worked. Mommies didn’t.
Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!
Dad’s escaped from the drudgery of housework,
homework, cleaning, cooking, laundry, dusting,
gardening, painting, sewing, knitting.
My mother was constantly busy from five a.m.
Until midnight when she went to bed.
I watched my father go to work all dressed up
In shirts and ties she pressed and clothes she cleaned.
I watched him come home at six, eat his supper,
Lie on the floor, and watch TV until he fell asleep.
Gender roles were easy to understand as a child.
Moms worked constantly. Dad’s worked from eight to six.
I bought my parents’ ideas of gender roles immediately and completely.
Made it exceedingly easy for husband to move our family thirty times.
I could pack an entire house, three kids and six pets in three days.
When my husband returned from work the moving truck was filled up.
For thirty-five years my husband did not make his own sandwich,
Wash a sock, or dust a counter. Then one day I snapped.
I decided I was not going to cook, clean or dust another thing.
For the past twelve years my husband has washed the clothes.
He has made our meal about sixty percent of the time since 2008.
He has done all of the grocery shopping; and he seems to love it.
I have always despised grocery shopping, so I love it too.
Gender roles were established and absolute at our house - by me.
My daughters and their husbands take turns cleaning, cooking, dusting.
Their life is totally better than mine, but no one’s fault but my own.
I learned from the best of the absolutists - a mommy who worked nonstop, and a daddy who slept most of the time he was home,
I am sad it took me so long to figure out there was another way to live.
I truly was resentful and angry most of my life because I hate cleaning.
Cooking is my third less favorite thing to do, and grocery shopping....
Let's not even go there, okay?
Copyright © Caren Krutsinger | Year Posted 2020
Poetrysoup is an environment of encouragement and growth so only provide specific positive comments that indicate what you appreciate about the poem.
to post a comment