Monday 10 September 2012
I have always been keen to break down stereotypes and dismantle gender roles.
But on the farm, it's difficult to free yourself from the inevitable.
The man in the yard with the heavy equipment, and the woman in the kitchen with the children.
There are good reasons for why we fall into this gender rut.
I expect there to be different circumstances for different people, but for us,
we seemed destined to reinforce the old school.
It's not that Kira couldn't run a chainsaw or the tractor.
But she would be more likely to get hurt than I would.
It's not that I can't cook.
But I have a hard time working in the kitchen with kids hanging around.
The examples really do go on and on.
If we tried switching roles, we could both manage,
but things wouldn't go too smoothly; even after some time at it.
I had my chance at filling Kira's shoes today.
She had her gall bladder removed at the hospital and so she left me in charge of the house and kids.
Including ten month old baby Meer.
Kira is now home safe, by the way. Sore, but happy to be home.
Despite my efforts, I couldn't manage to get any extra work done today.
The whole day was filled with corralling and managing small children.
I am fortunate enough to have some help from Auren as he is able to at least let the chickens and ducks out in the morning and give them some food.
But, otherwise, my hands were tied.
My greatest success was being able to prevent the house from getting completely obliterated.
It was tidy when Kira left, so I thought it best to keep it that way for when she returned home.
Feeding the little pink animals is no problem, except for the baby.
Meer did eat some lunch and that kept her going through a day without nursing.
Though, it's only good for so long until she gives up on my ability to properly nourish her.
It does help to be thrust into the role of your partner, especially if that only happens infrequently.
Getting a subjective dose of an alternate reality maintains your ability to empathize.
The expectations are high for all of us here right now,
and it doesn't help any if we don't understand each other's limitations.
The next few weeks will continue to enforce a fragile truce between gender roles.
While Kira recuperates, neither of us will be fit for full duty.
The pace of progress will be necessarily slow.
But I would exchange every moment of progress
for Kira's strong recovery.