It seems that there’s a natural hesitation among men to engage in any activity that’s determined to be primarily for women. We don’t really craft, we generally don’t clean, and we don’t spend time with mom groups. The problem with distinguishing between activities for men and women is that we might really miss out on something that could be really good for us.
I don’t personally believe in gender specific activities. I have absolutely no problem with dads staying at home to care for the kids (I do!). I don’t mind women being into sports or hunting. It doesn’t matter to me if a man enjoys shopping, romantic comedies (also guilty), or anything else that we consider to be for women.
The fact is, as men, we can do anything we want to. It’s only the limitations that we allow others to put on us that guide our behavior. Some of those limitations are healthy, but many are arbitrary. If your wife does something, you can do it too!
Here’s the perfect example. Alison, Benedict, and I went apple picking twice this year. We decided to convert our bushel and a half of fiji apples into both apple butter and apple sauce. I didn’t really know how to prepare the apples (peel and core) for cooking, so I let Alison take point. She got pretty busy and our apples were in danger of spoiling, so I pulled out the recipe, asked her for guidance, and made a batch of butter and sauce myself.
The simple fact is that as men, we’re crazy smart. We really can do almost anything that we set our mind to and, with practice, can become skilled at it. Our limitations come from within. Imagine how much your wife would enjoy receiving a knitted blanket from you for Christmas. After all, can your wife ever have enough blankets?
Pitch in and help when you can. This is perhaps the most important part of teamwork, being able and willing to assist. If you love something, if you have a talent for a particular skill, regardless of whom society says that skill is for, put it to use for the good of your wife and your family.
You’re a man. You can do anything and it becomes a manly activity because you’re doing it.