ATLANTA, GA – A local dad is being hailed as “the next Sully” after sources close to the family confirmed what may be the greatest single act of 2017.
Around 2:05 p.m. EST on Sunday, local tax accountant and father of two, Stephen Bradshaw, 30, reportedly began taking clean dishes out of the dishwasher and placing them into the family’s kitchen cabinets.
“I’m just stunned,” said Meghan Bradshaw, stay-at-home mom and nine-year wife of Bradshaw.
“I had just finished putting our kids down for a nap and was getting ready to mow the lawn when I heard this strange clinking sound coming from the kitchen. When I ran in there, I thought for sure that one of my kids had gotten out of bed. But then I saw one of the most amazing things I could have ever imagined: My husband, yes, my husband was actually unloading the dishwasher.”
Mrs. Bradshaw’s eyes filled with tears as she recalled the event. “I can’t believe I’m so lucky to have married such an amazing man.” Atlanta’s mayor, Kasim Reed, has already publicly applauded the efforts of Bradshaw and plans to present the keys to the city to Bradshaw later today.
This is how it feels to be a husband and father who actually does his share of the work that comes along with: a) being married, b) having kids, and c) living in an enclosed space. This is how culture treats dads who do what they should already be doing. This is how unfair life is to my wife.
I went the satire route here not to make light of a very real issue, but to exaggerate a ridiculousness that pervades our culture. Women of today are still caught between the old 1950s expectations – that they should do the child-rearing and house-cleaning – and today’s reality – that they participate in the workforce (nearly 60 percent do).
So when any husband comes along who actually does something around the house or with the kids, going against the cultural expectation of his “role” in the family, he is thanked, applauded, and even hailed as a hero.
This is obviously incredibly unfair to millions of exhausted, hard-working moms out there who do all of that (and more), but get no thanks. The good news, however, is that families who actually share household duties reap major benefits:
When dad does chores, he improves his daughter’s aspirations
According to a 2014 study in Psychological Science, when dads do chores around the house, their daughters are more likely to be open to occupations like engineering and science instead of falling into more stereotypical occupations for women.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with my daughter growing up to be a teacher or a nurse. But it’s really cool to think that my doing chores around the house shows her that no jobs are gender specific and that she can consider any life path.
When dad does chores, he erases unrealistic expectations on women
When my daughter gets married one day, I hope that the current cultural expectation is simply a thing of the past. When I do chores around the house, I’m teaching my kids, the next generation, that husbands are expected to do their fair share – or even take the lead if Mom has a more demanding job than I do.
When dad does chores, mom and dad have more “adult time”
According to a 2015 study reported by Medical News Today, men who do chores have more frequent and more satisfying sex. Need I say more?
When dad does chores, he gives mom a much needed break
If you’re a mom, and especially if you are a new mom, you are tired. (There’s even an unnecessary study to prove it!) When I do chores, I’m giving my wife a much needed break. When my wife gets a break, she is happier. And when she is happier, I am happier and the kids are happier. End of story.
If your husband helps out, let him know you appreciate it. He needs your encouragement. On the other hand, if you’re a wife reading this whose husband “doesn’t get it,” consider reading this article: How to Get Your Husband to Help (Written by a Husband). It might give you some unique ways to approach him about doing more.