Female Friend Essay

Female Friend

These tasks include:               Percentage                              frequency

Cooking                         90%                                    everyday
Clearing                         90%                                    everyday
Laundry                         50%                                    once a week
Grocery shopping          50%                                    once a week
Child care                      90%                                     everyday
Elderly care                   n.a.                                      n.a.
Yard work                      10%                                    once a month
House-repair                   5%                                     once a month
Car-work                        10%                                    once a month
Paying bills                      0                                        none

Male Friend

These tasks include:               Percentage                              frequency

Cooking                          10%                                   once a week
Clearing                          10%                                   once a week
Laundry                           50%                                   once a week
Grocery shopping            50%                                  once a week
Child care                        10%                                   once a week
Elderly care                      n.a.                                   n.a.
Yard work                        90%                                  twice a month
House-repair                    95%                                  twice a month
Car-work                          90%                                  twice a month
Paying bills                    100%                                  once a month

1. What are their job situation? Is the mom a stay at home mom or working part-time/full-time job?

The persons I have interviewed are my friends.  The guy is working full time as a marketing manager while his wife stays at home to take care of their six-month old child.  The wife used to  work before they got married and had a baby.  According to the couple, they did not actually talk about the division of labor between them.  The things that the wife can do and are urgent, like looking after the baby, cooking, and clearing, fall on her shoulders because her husband needs to be at work.  The husband does the heavier tasks like doing repair for the house and the yard work.  Those tasks that they can do between themselves, like doing the laundry and grocery shopping, are done on weekends.  It is also their way of bonding.  They usually leave the child to their parents on weekends so that they can wash clothes, buy groceries and have time for themselves.

2. Is the father the major income earner in the family? Is the mother the major income earner in the family?

The father is the major income earner in the family.  The mother, prior to the birth of their child, was also earning a substantial amount of salary.  But the couple decided that the wife should stay at home until the child is old enough to go to school.  Since the father has recently got a promotion and an increase, the family can afford to have only one of the parents working.  Also, the couple had planned well for their marriage and family.  They already have set aside a savings account before they were married and that money is helping them with their household expenses now that the wife has stopped working.  Part of their plan is for the wife to go back to work once the child starts going to school because that would mean additional expenses for them.  Once the wife is back on the job market, they said that most of her salary would go to their savings account while the husband will continue to pay for all the household expenses.  The couple had also decided not to have an additional child until their first one is 10 years old to give time to properly save and prepare for an additional member.

3. Do they have discrepancies and disagreement about what they think they contributed?

The couple I have interviewed are very rational and have planned well for their family.  There are however, instances when disagreements occur.  The wife would sometimes ask the husband for extra money so that she can buy things for herself.  On most occasions, the husband would agree to giving the wife some extra for her needs.  But there are times when the husband  is not in a good mood because of problems in the workplace.  When this is the case, he sometimes complain that his wife should not be asking for money since he has a lot to pay for.  The wife would retort that she’s also doing the household chores on top of taking care of their child.  The couple would also argue over how their savings should be spent.  Sometimes, the husband would ask the wife that part of their savings should pay for the bills of his mother.  The guy would ask for this especially when his mother, who is unemployed, would ask money from him to pay for her bills.  Out of irritation, the wife would tell her husband that her parents have never been asking money from them.  The wife understands her mother-in-law’s situation but her duties sometimes would make her irritable.  Other than this, the couple gets along very well.

4.  Discuss why these discrepancies occur in your own opinion as well as sociological explanation. You are also welcome to add any other comment

Disagreements between married couple are normal.  These people are young and are adjusting to the pressures of their new life and new baby.  Money is also a sensitive issue in any family, especially when one of the parties’ in-law is dependent on either the husband or wife.  The wife probably feels that her mother-in-law should not be asking money from her husband because he is already married and has a child to take care of.  Her objection is often raised when their savings would be affected.  Stress could also be a factor in the discrepancies between the husband and wife.  Being a marketing manager, the husband is manning a department that requires a lot of energy and creativity.  Sometimes problems in the office could affect the husband even if his wife has nothing to do with it.  In the same way, the wife would find taking care of the baby the entire day as difficult.  Add to this the cooking and other chores she has to do.  Having worked before her marriage, she is still getting used to all the physical demands of being a mother.  So, when her mother-in-law causes her husband to dip into their savings, she’d sometimes get angry.