In September 2020, I returned to corporate work for the first time in four years.
During those years, where my primary role was 'minister of domestic affairs', I picked up the kids 100 per cent of the time, managed any sick days 100 per cent of the time, took them to dentists and specialist appointments, planned and cooked dinner every night, made lunchboxes, tidied the house and did the washing every day.
I organised their little social calendars, bought presents for the birthday parties, took tinned food to the food drive, scheduled the parent-teacher interviews, made their hair into bonfires for crazy hair day, packed their camp bags, sent $2 coins and put them in casual clothes on the right day. And then I went back to work and still did pretty much all of those things.
Watch: If men lived like women for a day. Post continues below.
Before we continue, I’d like it noted that my husband is realllly good at his job. Like, top of his field, very dedicated, excellent provider. And in fact, he’s so good at his job that I do not need to work financially, but you know what? I’d like to, because I’m quite good at my job too and frankly I was feeling a little resentful.
Chatting with my mum in her kitchen over a wine a couple of months into my new working arrangement, I said, ‘I really just want to ask Simon to take on the mental load for feeding the dog, but I’m not sure it’s going to be worth it.’
She laughed and said, ‘Don’t even bother, it’s just going to be easier to do it yourself.’ While I knew she was right, I thought dammit, it’s his dog - here goes nothing.
Now for context, we have a lovely young Labrador who eats kibble for breakfast (good for teeth says vet) and rice, vegetables and pet mince or kangaroo for her dinner.
We could make life much easier by feeding her kibble only, but she’s in great shape with a glossy coat on this diet and both of us are pretty happy with that.
“Babe, I’m wondering if you could take on responsibility for feeding the dog,” I say one Monday evening.
“Yeah, sure. I feed the dog don’t I?” he says, confused.
“Yes, you do often feed the dog, but what I mean is, can you keep track of when she needs more kibble to be bought? Can you cook her rice and portion it out with her vegetables and meat? Can you make sure there’s enough vegetables and meat so that I don’t have to think about it?”