Cristina, a lovely lady I got to know through blogging, wrote a post where she shares some of her thoughts about how much, and when, husbands should help with homemaking duties. Even though I'm not married yet, I thought I'd say a few words from my perspective - and all you ladies are very welcome to drop by Cristina's blog and share your thoughts as well, she will deeply appreciate it!
Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while probably know that I believe in the Biblical roles of man and woman: generally, a man is to be the breadwinner, while the woman's primary duty is to take care of her husband, children and home. Within this general division, each family finds an individual balance that suits them.
While I think the home is primarily a woman's realm, it doesn't mean I believe the husband (or sons) should never lift a finger to help the wife and mother. Sometimes, indeed, it's very difficult to manage without help. Women are physically weaker than men, and at certain seasons of a woman's life this is felt even more acutely, for example during a difficult pregnancy or after giving birth. A husband who loves and honors his wife isn't supposed to think it's beneath him to mop the floor when it's difficult for her to bend, or to cook dinner when her feet won't support her for longer than five minutes.
An observation I made - and this is something that was confirmed by other ladies - is that men often simply don't notice junk, clutter, dirt and dust. I know I'm painting with a broad brush here, but I'm convinced that's a trend with men - they simply see things differently. Studies proved that women are geared towards noticing details (and a very big part of homemaking has to do with paying attention to details!). Men are built differently. Most men won't think about dinner until they are hungry; many of them won't go shopping until the refrigerator and freezer have been empty for weeks. This can often be a source of tension.
I believe that if a homemaker feels that at this season of her life she needs more help, she should calmly, gently and pleasantly talk it over with her husband. From my observations, many men will take out the garbage if asked - but the same men won't notice an overflowing garbage can for days if they aren't reminded about it. For a loving, kind and generous husband this will be a way to honor and support his wife when she most needs it.