Continuing off of my last post about Sister Julie Beck's conference talk, Women Who Know, I'd like to talk a little bit more about why it is that so many women feel overwhelmed by what they view their roles as being as a woman in the church, and no I'm not blaming the men (entirely anyway).
Conner Boyack has a post right now that talks about the role of men in the family. After reading from an article by Brent Barlow, he says, Barlow notes several trends that are still (if not more so) applicable 35 years later. One such trend is the diminishing of the role of fatherhood in the family. A prime example of this situation is found in modern sitcoms that revolve around a family. Whether it be The Simpsons, Everybody Loves Raymond, Family Guy, or Home Improvement, the father is portrayed as a witless buffoon. He is just another one of the children that the wife/mother has to look after and care for. If women are viewing their husbands as an extra child to clean up after and care for, no wonder so many of us are feeling overburdened and under-appreciated.
I'm blessed to be one of six sisters-in-law in my husband's family. While this may not always be easy for our mother-in-law, it is wonderful for us to get together and share joys and frustrations (especially where many are the same), over Thanksgiving the we talked about the need to ask our husbands to watch the kids. I talked about it more with my parents recently and they have experienced something similar. Fathers, when they have an activity they want to take part in, have a much easier time going and participating. Mothers in similar situations either end up taking children with them, or asking fathers to watch the children, because it is assumed that the mother is the main caretaker. In the discussions with my sisters-in-law we one of us mentioned how her husbands first thoughts when planning anything revolve around his needs, and he's not doing that to be selfish, at least not intentionally, while her thoughts revolve around how the activity will affect the children.
How do we get to where we are truly equal partners? Equal doesn't mean that we do all the same things. Connor quotes Elder Oaks saying, "The family proclamation gives this beautiful explanation of the relationship between a husband and a wife: While they have separate responsibilities, “in these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners". I think equality means that we recognize each other as having equal worth and value in our separate responsibilities (and by separate responsibilities I am referring to however a couple has worked things out for themselves).
I truly don't mean to male bash. I have a wonderful husband who does so much to make my life easier. I think, most of the time, we have things right. We're partners working together trying to get through life as easily and happily as possible. I do think that men and women need to be careful and make sure they are sharing the burdens and the joys that come along with raising a family in the church.