dads, fathers, gender roles, recession

Photo by ColoradoLilac

Interesting article "How the recession is reshaping the American family" over on The Christian Science Monitor about changing gender roles, as a result of the economic recession.

Are you and your spouse's roles shifting in this tough financial downturn?

The American family is facing many hardships in what's called the worst recession since the 1930s. With widespread job loss, affecting twice as many men than women, many fathers are around the house more right now, which is making room for some household role shifts. Men who used to be the breadwinners are, by circumstance, taking on more housework, more childcare, and more of the day-to-day.

The article points out that while some laid off dads are unhappy taking on new or slightly shifting roles, others are trying to look on the bright side. While the financial hardship of job loss is real and grueling, these fathers also get to spend more time with their kids and families. Families are being pushed to live more minimally, in some cases, than ever before. Living on love can take its toll, but it can also be rewarding in small ways.

I know things have definitely shifted in my house since my husband's layoff and subsequent job change and my switch to full-time work. We're sharing the morning drop-offs now, and he's handling a lot more of the lunch-making, dinner-making, grocery shopping, and heavy chores than I am right now. That way, I can juggle working at home, managing the household and the family schedule, handling the kids' afternoon pick-ups, extra activities, and sick days, and doing the finances, which fall to me. It's a work in progress, and there have been meltdowns (mostly mine), but we're working on a system that works for the "new" us.

In the current recession, have you and your spouse's roles had to make a shift? If so, how is it working for you and for him?