Author Topic: Who is expected to help?  (Read 4806 times)

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Library Dragon

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Re: Who is expected to help?
« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2013, 10:07:04 PM »
I my bio family women did it all and men watched football.

In DH's family mom cooked and the boys cleaned up.  This carried on into adult years with the exception of one brother who never helped.

Very similar in our home.  I get a bit crazed and it's easier if everyone is out of the way.  DH and sons clean up.  I don't really like my guests to help prep or clean.  I would rather have a sink of dishes wen everyone leaves than miss chatting after a meal.

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AuntieA

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Re: Who is expected to help?
« Reply #16 on: September 22, 2013, 08:46:33 PM »
When BF and I cook together (except big breakfasts, which I do), we both have our parts. In KidSis's house, everyone pitches in on both cooking & cleaning. My nephew is a phenomenal cook, and he enjoys it. BIL usually does chopping, finding serving dishes, etc. New nephew-in-law is, I hear, not that culinarily-inclined, but I am sure he does his share of cleaning up.
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miranova

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Re: Who is expected to help?
« Reply #17 on: September 22, 2013, 08:49:24 PM »
My FOO family is very traditional, which has always gone against my feminist-leaning beliefs. For major holidays, the men sat in the living room while the women did all the work. Even the childcare was left to the women!

This was my ex's family, and it was infuriating.   The men didn't even have the grace and decency to acknowledge that they were being served the whole day.  Not a single thank you, even.  I had a melt down after one particular Thanksgiving....I wasn't even the host, I was supposedly a guest, and I worked my TAIL off all day long and my ex FIL did not even have the courtesy to acknowledge any of it.  I blew up at my ex (he didn't lift a finger either of course, because he wanted to "visit".  I guess it never occurs to these men that the women might like to visit as well?  Or that visiting can be done WHILE you work?). 

To be honest, this is also how my current husband grew up, and definitely what his family expects, but I'm not ok with it, and luckily he sees how illogical and unfair it is, especially since we both work full time, so he has changed his ways and done a 180 from his upbringing.  I've never seen his father cook a meal (not even in the microwave) or wash a dish.  If his mother travels alone and leaves him home, she makes up a bunch of meals ahead of time, or he will visit a different relative every night and expect to be fed dinner.  I can NOT understand this level of helplessness.  I keep my mouth shut in terms of their relationship but it still causes friction because MIL is basically jealous that her son will cook and clean for me.  She thinks I should do it all because SHE had to.  She's made PA comments before, in MY home, expressing surprise that her son is helping with the cooking and cleaning.  I don't even know how to respond to that, because my first instinct is to say "are you jealous that you didn't get this kind of help from your husband?" but I know that would be incredibly rude.  What she's really doing is criticizing me and implying that I should "let" him go sit down, and I'm not taking that bait.  She has also criticized us for having joint bank accounts ("don't you want to have some of your OWN money, dear?") and things like that.  I just.....ugh.  I can't imagine coming right out and saying that to someone.

lowspark

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Re: Who is expected to help?
« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2013, 10:13:17 AM »
In my family no one is supposed to help. The hosts, host, and the guests are just guests. For a casual dinner, maybe people help - usually its by age not gender with teenagers or younger adults being the ones expected to step up and help the 'hosts', but for holidays and stuff, whoever hosts pretty much is expected to take care of it all.

But then I live in NC with very small kitchens and dishwashers as standard. There really isn't room for people to help in the kitchen or a need to help cleaning up.

I live in Texas, where we all have reasonably sized kitchens,  ;D but we do it the same way in my family. Whoever is hosting does all the work, whoever is a guest does nothing. How it's divided among the host couple/family is generally decided among that family but as far as I can tell, everyone pitches in according to their abilities.

I mentioned in the other thread that I don't want guests to help me when I am hosting and by the same token, I don't like jumping in to help if I'm a guest. So this dynamic works best for me.

metallicafan

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Re: Who is expected to help?
« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2013, 03:45:40 PM »
My family, strictly traditional, my mom did everything.  Although, I now have to give my father credit, because he has taken over cleaning the basement every week.  My mom no longer hosts because she is elderly and can't do it anymore.

My in laws, also strictly traditional.  My MIL hosts plenty of family dinners, and of course, myself and my SIL are the main helpers.   But, my DH helps clear the table and has loaded the dishwasher until MIL has shooed him away.  ::)
Even my FIL helps a tiny bit once in a while.  But, to him it's up to the women mainly.   BIL always sits on his rear end and does nothing like a king.  I get annoyed sometimes that it's just expected, but I would never refuse to help my inlaws. They are very very good to us.


daen

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Re: Who is expected to help?
« Reply #20 on: September 23, 2013, 05:24:32 PM »
At family gatherings, it's fairly traditional, and it's mostly women cooking. My husband has shaken that up a little, as he loves to cook, so he gets involved. It's most noticeable in the Thanksgiving fajita supper, because I was the head cook for that one. Now we do it together, and call in whoever we can trust with a knife to help with prep. We're getting better at pulling in more of the guys to do their part.

When it's just my husband and me visiting either set of parents (or them visiting us), everyone helps set and clean up.

weeblewobble

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Re: Who is expected to help?
« Reply #21 on: September 23, 2013, 07:03:01 PM »
My family is pretty even.  Mom and my DH do most of the cooking. (They work together beautifully. :)) I help when it is determined I am not a threat to myself or the food.  My dad does almost all of the cleaning up.  He seems to see it like some sort of science experiment, how can one man stack the dishwasher to maximum efficiency, resulting in washing all Thanksgiving dishes in one load?  I wash and dry what's left

My husband's family... eh.  My husband is a great cook, so he helps his mom a lot before the other relatives show.  After dinner, the women clean up and the men go to the couch to relax and visit.  (Except for my husband, who doesn't trust other people to wash his roasting pan.)  I really hated it when I first joined the family, but I realized it was a generational difference.  The wives don't complain about it and as long as my husband didn't take on the "women's work" attitude, I should stick to battles I could win.

cwm

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Re: Who is expected to help?
« Reply #22 on: September 24, 2013, 11:21:42 AM »
Dad's family, when grandparents were still here, it was fairly evenly split. My grandpa sat and watched TV, but that was how he always was. Nothing was going to change that. Dad and uncle were in charge of the main courses and heartier side dishes (meats, beans) and my grandma and aunt 1 did the deviled eggs, cole slaw, all the finger foods, and set up the tables. Everyone pitched in with cleaning, usually the grandkids did the dishes afterwards. It was an efficient system.

When grandma died and uncle took over hosting, it was still pretty much the same. Dad and uncle did the main dishes, aside from aunt 2's chicken dumplings. Aunt 1 and mom and I took over with the deviled eggs and slaw and finger foods, but uncle and aunt 2 did all the cleaning. Nobody else was allowed to, we were guests.

At mom's family gatherings, it's all potluck buffet with paper plates, so there's no real division of labor there.

In my friends group, I've noticed that for actual in-house meals, the women do the cooking and the cleaning up, the men tend to man the barbecue. Since we split fairly evenly barbecues and actual meals, it works out.

I will say one thing, though. Whenever I'm in a kitchen cooking, I'm also cleaning. When I made dinner the other night, my boyfriend was shocked when he came home and it was ready, and half of his pots and pans were clean, too. He's the type of person to set something down and let it heat up, I actually cook from fresh and figure if I'm going to be in there, why not make everything easier on myself. I've found that I don't know many males who have that mindset, it seems to be a predominantly female mindset to clean as you go. Has anyone else noticed this?

mime

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Re: Who is expected to help?
« Reply #23 on: September 24, 2013, 12:52:58 PM »
At family gatherings when I was a kid, the girls and women worked in the kitchen while the men relaxed and the boys played. I found that so frustrating. I think my grandmother enjoyed enforcing the traditional roles (she actually seemed to take pleasure in saying 'this is what you girls should be doing').

It was the same with my in-laws. I didn't like it any more as an adult than I did as a kid, but I'd sure look like a SS if I didn't help out! Then BIL#4 started to change things. When he married into the family, he helped with clean-up alongside SIL. That got the ball rolling and BIL#3 and DH now join in. It sure took a long time to get there, though!

Yvaine

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Re: Who is expected to help?
« Reply #24 on: September 24, 2013, 01:20:06 PM »
I will say one thing, though. Whenever I'm in a kitchen cooking, I'm also cleaning. When I made dinner the other night, my boyfriend was shocked when he came home and it was ready, and half of his pots and pans were clean, too. He's the type of person to set something down and let it heat up, I actually cook from fresh and figure if I'm going to be in there, why not make everything easier on myself. I've found that I don't know many males who have that mindset, it seems to be a predominantly female mindset to clean as you go. Has anyone else noticed this?

Nah, I think it's more of a confidence thing. I'm a bad cook, and I known the ideal is to clean as you go, but I'm always too paranoid about the cooking process to look away from it too long. I worry that I'll get elbow-deep in dishes and something will burn/boil over/explode.  ;D I'm sure, rationally, that it would be fine, but I can't stop obsessively checking the cooking if it's something that can be checked. While my BF is an expert cook and much better at cleaning as he goes.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Who is expected to help?
« Reply #25 on: September 24, 2013, 01:31:29 PM »
I will say one thing, though. Whenever I'm in a kitchen cooking, I'm also cleaning. When I made dinner the other night, my boyfriend was shocked when he came home and it was ready, and half of his pots and pans were clean, too. He's the type of person to set something down and let it heat up, I actually cook from fresh and figure if I'm going to be in there, why not make everything easier on myself. I've found that I don't know many males who have that mindset, it seems to be a predominantly female mindset to clean as you go. Has anyone else noticed this?

Nah, I think it's more of a confidence thing. I'm a bad cook, and I known the ideal is to clean as you go, but I'm always too paranoid about the cooking process to look away from it too long. I worry that I'll get elbow-deep in dishes and something will burn/boil over/explode.  ;D I'm sure, rationally, that it would be fine, but I can't stop obsessively checking the cooking if it's something that can be checked. While my BF is an expert cook and much better at cleaning as he goes.

Not in my sister's house. Her DH is the clean as you go and my sister is "every bowl and pan must be dirty at the same time" so even when she is doing the cooking, her DH will come in and clean as she is cooking cause he's like me and can't stand a sink full of pots and pans or dirty ones left out on the table. Now that I think about it, my mom wasn't a clean as you go type cook either but I think it's because she was always in a hurry to get dinner out and she didn't want others in her way trying to clean as she cooked. My dad was a clean as you go type.

Dragonflymom

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Re: Who is expected to help?
« Reply #26 on: September 24, 2013, 02:54:25 PM »
In my family for family gatherings in my home, I cook all the side dishes (I'm the family vegetarian :)  ) my husband cooks the meat and does clean up.   We serve the food on paper plates.  Usually my husband and my mom do the dishes, the kitchen is too small for anybody else to pitch in.

In my parents' home, Mom does the side dishes and puts the turkey in the oven, Dad carves the turkey, my husband and I serve drinks, everybody helps clear the table and do dishes.
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EMuir

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Re: Who is expected to help?
« Reply #27 on: October 01, 2013, 04:58:19 PM »
This was a huge issue for me when I was a teenager in the 80's.  The women would cook and clean up after, while the men went into the living room and visited.  But I always made excuses that I was living at home and the other people were guests.

It went on until I left home and got a job and returned home to visit.  After supper I went into the living room and sat down with the men to visit.  When my mother called me to do dishes, I commented that the women shouldn't have to do dishes all the time and guilted my older brother into helping.  That started a tradition of my brothers helping with dishes as well. 

It wasn't easy to do, but I really felt it was completely unfair.  Being adult now, I realize that part of the separation was due to the fact that the women liked visiting together, and being in the kitchen was just an excuse. So it probably wasn't as cut and dried an issue of fairness as I thought.


Promise

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Re: Who is expected to help?
« Reply #28 on: October 01, 2013, 05:18:36 PM »
I have no problem with women helping in the kitchen if they want to and the men sitting. Women like to talk about different things generally then men. Our brains are wired to converse - differently than men. I don't have a problem with working and talking. That said, I think it's appropriate for women to suggest to their men to assist in helping, particularly if it's a family gathering and there's a lot of clean-up. My FIL always helped with dishes after family gatherings. When I have dinners, my husband generally helps with clean-up as well. I don't think it's anything to get irritated about. Look at it as an opportunity to talk with others while keeping your hands busy. It's a social thing. If you don't want to help and would rather sit with the men, then do so! Or you could assign the men jobs to do. "Jacob, would you take these cloth napkins to the laundry? Phillip would you rinse the plates before we put them in the dishwasher?" I doubt if anyone would say no.

PastryGoddess

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Re: Who is expected to help?
« Reply #29 on: October 01, 2013, 05:35:21 PM »
At my aunts house where we hold most of our get togethers, the kitchen is open to the family room where most people congregate.  So usually everyone chips in to help clean up since we all want to visit with one another. 

Typically children living at home are used as stand-ins for their parents to help clean up.  Adult children are treated as adults and are expected to chip in without asking.