Family vacations. Sometimes they take come in the form of visiting special places for fun and relaxation. Or maybe they are wonderful holiday pilgrimages to see family and friends.
My wife and I just got back from our 11 state Holiday Tour and the whole thing has got me thinking about the different family roles we take on.
I’m not talking about the traditional formal roles that fall to each of us such as husband, wife, mother, father, bread winner, etc. But after nearly 9 years of marriage I’m beginning to see some patterns in our informal roles each time my wife and I get ready to go on a trip.
For example in the whole 55 hours we were in the car together, I was the driver. Now it’s not a case of “I can’t let the little lady drive.” We were married later in life and my wife drove for many years before I came on the scene. She does just fine. I just like driving so I do most of it when we are together.
On the other hand, my wife was the navigator. It’s a role she has gotten very good at over the years. Of course we had some bumpy times when we first started working together in these roles. I was a navigator airplanes in the Navy and I was used to working in that role with pilots so I had some definite ideas how the job should be done. But she’s almost got me trained now.
In addition to navigator, she is the primary packer, snack manager, drink server, and main phone talker.
The role of car loader falls to me.
And we share the roles of radio operator and rest stop chooser.
Back at Home
We also have some informal roles when we are home. I get yard maintainer, although she provides weed pulling support. She is the food preparer although with our schedules I often take care of my own eats.
I am the technical/computer person in our family and I bring in the bulk of the income. She is the bill payer and keeps the checkbook up to snuff.
We’ll help each other out in their roles too. For example trash removal is my role but if I get too jammed up she’ll pull the bag from the kitchen and set it in the garage for me to take out to the trash can outside later. She is the cat manager but I’ll feed them, give them fresh water or even clean the litter pan from time to time as required when she gets busy.
None of these roles of ours are laid out by any formal rules or traditional societal norms. They are just the way things work out best for our family.
Recognizing these informal roles helps us share the load and get things done a little more smoothly. It also helps us not feel guilty when we see the other person doing their part because we know we have our own roles to fulfill.
They aren’t hard and fast roles, but they make family life a little better. And that’s The Way I C it.
What are some of the roles that play out in your family?
Chris Cree is a regular contributor here at Successful-Blog and he helps businesses fuel growth through blogging with his consulting business, SuccessCREEations.