‘He-cession’ affecting husband and wife roles
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.