Family life

Do you have "pink" and "blue jobs?

Need a drain snaked or a tub resealed? Just call our Run-at-home mom

By Jennifer Pinarski
Do you have "pink" and "blue jobs?

Credit: Sean Dreilinger via Flickr

Much of my marriage and relationship with Mr. P is very traditional:
  • I took his surname when we got married.
  • I do the majority of the housework, laundry, meal prep and child care.
  • And most obviously, I left my career to raise our children.
But there are tasks I take on which are definitely more “blue” than “pink.” In our nearly 13 years together, I’ve:
  • emptied mouse traps
  • insultated our attic
  • installed lighting
  • talked to more mechanics, electricians, contractors and plumbers 
  • hung drywall
  • snaked drains
This is especially surprising having married a very mechanically inclined and detail-oriented man. And while I did many blue jobs before I started my job as a SAHM, I seem to do even more of them now that I’m at home with our children full time.
I don’t enjoy talking to plumbers and auto body shops. Sure, they are interesting but it’s always me who ends up talking to them because of a mess that Mr. P has gotten us in to. I have to explain to the plumber that it wasn’t my kielbasa casing that jammed the garbage disposal or that it wasn’t me that ran into a concrete parking lot barrier and caved in the front of our car. Being sent to Home Depot to look for tub caulking or screws is really not fun, because I most often have both children with me and they love to race up and down the aisles and more than once they’ve run head on to a pillar or climbed scaffolding they shouldn’t be. (I’ve now turned this into a game where they need to find a person wearing an orange apron and it’s now win/win for everyone. Well, the only person that doesn’t win is the poor staff person our kids find, because then they have to listen to me describe some obscure plumbing part while trying to break up the fight that my kids have started over the last Goldfish cracker).
But there is a clear upside to all of these blue jobs I’ve found myself doing. Because I have the time to do them, projects actually get done on time. No disrespect to Mr. P, but his full-time job is to work and provide for our family, not to fill cracks in our foundation to keep the mice out. If we were to wait until the weekends, when he has time to do these blue jobs, they’d pile up. I would much rather he spends his weekends playing with our children rather than painting trim or weatherstripping. And if I hide inside the bathroom while resealing and recaulking the shower, especially if I turn on the exhaust fan, I can almost drown out the sounds of the battle over the last Goldfish cracker.
Do you do any blue jobs around the house? How do you decide if you take on a home improvement job or if your partner does? 

Photo by Sean Dreilinger via Flickr
This article was originally published on Jan 27, 2012

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