Commitment-Phobe: Women’s work
Church helpers: where are the men?
A woman’s work is never done. Is that an old-fashioned concept? If so, why is so much work at church assumed to belong to the women? When I first started going to church, I was asked to join the kids’ church team. I declined. I already spend my whole week with my child, and church is an opportunity for something different. Why would I want to spend my precious church time looking after many other people’s children? I love children. I love my daughter. But I am not really a children person – at least not by the time Sunday comes round again. But that’s just me, right? What interests me is why I was asked to help out in that way, and not my husband.
And then there is Christmas. I love Christmas, I always have. I will admit that it has been harder work since becoming a mother. For some reason, Christmas is busier now than ever before. I don’t party as much, or at all. I don’t drink as much. But now I have become the unofficial caretaker of all gifts pertaining to the family. ‘What shall I get them?’ Don’t worry, I have the answer! You don’t know what to get me? I can sort that out for you too!
I know that both sexual politics and my need to feel that I am helpful have a part to play in this. But I can’t help noticing the role that church life plays in helping to make ‘the most wonderful time of the year’ the most stressful time of the year. In our church, there is choir practice for Christmas carols. We also have a Christingle service, with lots of stabbing sweets into oranges to be done. There is wreath making, an Advent labyrinth and the crib service…
This is an extract from an article that was published in the December 2018 / January 2019 edition of Reform