In her book, Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg, suggests that for a partner to be a true partner, he must be treated as equal and capable.
Some mothers can’t hand over parenting responsibilities because their way is the only way! Everything is else is just sloppy.
It comes as no surprise then that children (and husbands) become highly dependent on the mom, and expect to be waited on hand and foot.
On the other hand, there are mothers who are eager to share the domestic responsibilities, but it is their partners who refuse to take them on. Husbands are stuck in the gender-biased role of women being solely responsible in running the household.
Fortunately, my friends and I believe that our partners are equal and capable. And our husbands, to their credit, have shown that they are more than capable!
A month ago, my friends and I met up in Europe. We took a week off from work, left the kids with our husbands, flew to Amsterdam with a side trip to Antwerp.
We were celebrating our friend’s wedding and we wanted to do it in a special way. Since we no longer live in the same city, spending a week with each other is as special as it gets.
The trip lived up to my expectations—good food, exceptional accommodations, excellent museums, but most of all, remarkable company.
Decades ago in the college cafeteria, we talked about philosophy classes, boys, and school orgs over Mongolian BBQ. Now in bars, we shared stories about our children, gossiped about ex-boyfriends, and discussed food and travel, all while drinking cocktails (or mocktails depending on who you ask).
This reunion has been a long time coming for us that aside from soaking in the beauty of the place and admiring pieces of art, we chitchatted about everything—kamote, what meat to use in kare-kare, impromptu date in Baguio, first date in Union Square, fashion, packing, paddle brush, and the list goes on.
But this lovely reunion would not have been possible if my husband, actually, all our husbands, had not agreed to take on our household responsibilities.
For that, we will always be grateful!
Taking a week off meant that my husband had to make breakfast, drive the kids to school, and make dinner. All these while doing his regular parenting responsibilities of preparing the kids’ lunches, picking them up from school, helping them with homework. All tacked on to his regular work.
To all my Fuimos a Amsterdam friends, hooray for sharing domestic responsibilities and supportive husbands! Next up, a two-week European vacation with the family!