I was sure I did half the home chores. I mean, I was a well-domesticated 21st century husband, wasn't I? Washed my own laundry, made the occasional meal, cut the grass, took the garbage out, did the dishes, drove the kids to training - in short, I did pretty much everything I thought I was expected to do. And you know what? I was quietly proud of my participation in domestic life. As far as I was concerned, I was a full-fledged player in the daily goings-on at the family homestead.
Jeez, was I in for a rude awakening...
I know. Most of you married women out there are already rolling your eyes. You can see it coming from a mile away. But I didn't. Call me naïve - call me opportunistic - but I was just happy to cruise along in my comfortable little life without analyzing our marital division of labour too closely. Besides, what with research and writing and travel and trying to keep my ageing body physically fit there just wasn't enough time in my day, I figured, to do any more than I was already doing.
Yeah right. And the IOC really has Whistler's best interest at heart. "Tell me another fairytale," I can hear the women in the audience saying.
When Wendy was murdered three months ago, I knew my life was going to change. After all, I knew being a single dad wouldn't be a cakewalk. What I didn't know was just how drastic that change was going to be. Suddenly I found myself up the proverbial creek without a paddle - or even a canoe. Every assumption I'd ever made about the realities of domestic life had to be seriously re-evaluated. Indeed, I was in awe of what I didn't know about the daily goings-on here. Or just how easy my sorely-missed spouse had made it look...
There I was, in charge of a home and looking out for two young women (who simply assumed I'd take over mum's chores seamlessly), with bills to pay, dental appointments to be made, floors to clean, laundry to be done, food to be purchased (and prepared!), school officials to meet, bank managers to placate, gardens to weed, garbage to be triaged and training schedules to be coordinated. Did I mention bills to pay?
In one fell swoop I inherited ALL the household chores. And it soon became evident that my "half" of the work had barely accounted for a third of the things that really needed to get done on a daily basis.
Sounds familiar? I'm sure it is to many Pique readers. But as a late-blooming newcomer to the world of single parenting, I'm still in shock at the unending list of "things to get done" in my current job jar.