‘He-cession’ affecting husband and wife roles

April 12, 2009 at 8:22 pm 5 comments

I’ve read an article in The Winnipeg Free Press about how this failing economy has been referred to as a ‘he-cession’ (recession) because it is the men who are mostly affected. Most of the companies that are downsizing are those in the male-dominated industries such as: trades and transport, including construction; manufacturing; and natural resources. The women, as a result, now make up a large percent of Canada’s labour force. And of course, this affects the family dynamics.

There is now a role reversal between husband and wife. More women are bringing home the pay cheque and more men are staying at home and taking care of the family.

It’s not as if there isn’t already an ongoing war as to which spouse/parent is to do this and that chore. But whether the husbands like it or not, they have to step up in doing most of the work only their wives used to do. For some men, it is hard to do things they were not doing before.

Let’s take for example Isabel and Hector. When he got laid off from work, she had to work the extra hours to make up for the loss of income. Hector didn’t mind cooking and doing his share in cleaning the house. But he had a hard time accepting that he had to do the grocery shopping and the laundry as well. They did end up doing the groceries together but he just wouldn’t do the laundry. She was so frustrated, so she started picking out his clothes out of the pile and didn’t do his clothes. He wasn’t too happy about that at first but after a few confrontations, he understood how she was already tired and exhausted and she just couldn’t manage to do all six to eight loads of laundry every week.

It’s tough. But with the changing times and things happening that are beyond our control, we have to learn to adapt, to be flexible and to be tolerant of each other.


Entry filed under: Roadblocks, Working mom. Tags: , , .

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Kyels  |  April 13, 2009 at 7:08 am

    Recession is bad everywhere and I hope the economy while thrive by mid of next year if not all of us will be more than badly hit …

  • 2. bw  |  April 13, 2009 at 7:43 am

    It is tough and the reason why many men lost their jobs is manufacturing is the hardest hit and most men work in this sector than women. But as you said, whatever works is a must do in this recessionary environment. I’ve heard of children going back to parents’ house so they can share the mortgage. Some siblings share the house together to save rent money. I hope this will be temporary but it is truly difficult times for those affected 😦

  • 3. bing  |  April 17, 2009 at 9:17 am

    i just could not understand why men could not go the grocery stores or do the laundry if it’s the wife who’s working for the family. that is false pride and selfishness to me. or maybe this is because men can’t perform multitasking?

  • 4. haze  |  April 23, 2009 at 1:23 am

    Recesssion is everywhere but in my place it’s the women who’s more affected. Maybe that depends on the company like Engineering job (mostly are men). I really hope that this will end very very soon for the welfare of everyone ! Have a nice day there 😀 !

  • 5. Belle  |  May 10, 2009 at 12:12 am

    hi Irene, Happy Mother’s Day!

    In our household, I am the one working, my husband is retired. Most of the time, I do the cleaning, once in a while, I make him vacuum clean the house. I do the laundry 100%, and when I get overly tired, I make him help me fold the clothes, kasama minsan ang sermon. To make himself valuable, he spends a lot of time in the garden, which is fine with me. Our garden supplies us with fresh greens all year round, even during winter.


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