One of the hardest things to navigate in a marriage and family is “division of labor.” Do both spouses work outside the home, or does one stay home? Who takes on the bulk of household chores and grocery shopping? Who does most of the transportation of kids, and who pays the bills? Is it really possible to divide all these things equally? It’s a LOT to figure out, and for many families (definitely mine!) the answers to these questions changes with the seasons of life.
One Texas dad, TikTok-er J.R. Minton, is going viral for putting his family household-chore dynamic out there, loud and proud, on his TikTok channel. Minton, who shares four kids with his wife Brittany, says it plainly: “I don’t help my wife cook, I don’t help her clean, do laundry, take care of the kids – none of that.”
Say what now? At first glance it seems he’s pretty bold for admitting this archaic way of life. But then Minton goes on, explaining, “Because I do what I’m supposed to do as a father and a husband: I cook. I clean. I do the laundry. I take care of the kids. I can’t ‘help’ my wife do those things because they are my job too. Change the way you speak, change the way you think, and grow the f*** up and be a man.”
And with that, it all becomes clear: Minton is calling on husbands and dads to get busy and do their part at home where division of labor is concerned. I applaud him for doing so, though I think it’s sad in this day and age that he felt that he needed to put the message out there, because some men still don’t or won’t do these things.
I am a child of the 80s, and both of my parents worked. My dad, however was a teacher and got home from work a good two hours before my mom did. He cooked us dinner every night and had it ready when she got home. He took care of us in the summer when he was off work and my mom was still working. Then, and to this day he does the dishes immediately after dinner. He was, and is the best! I can honestly say I never knew men not working around the house and doing heavy parenting duty was a thing until I was probably a teenager. My own husband works full time out of the house while I’ve always worked at home, and though necessity has dictated that I be the main child care provider and chauffeur after school, he has always, always, made our kids’ lunches and taken them to school before work. And he’s never shied away from diapers, cooking, housework, or anything else that needed done for our family to function. Of course, neither have I! Because teamwork makes the dream work!