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18 WT 028:  Families - The Ever Changing Rolls! "Post - Pandemic"

July 13, 2021  Patrick Heller / Janet McCue

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18WT 028:  Amidst the usual shenanigans, our hosts talk about families and how they really got together and multi-generational households becoming a thing again. They laugh a bit about how it would be if all of Patrick, his siblings, all of their kids, and pets’ all moved into one household together. Their parents would need visiting hours to keep the sanity.

Patrick is all tangled up in his microphone and has it all over the place and swearing about it. A few jokes about business up top and party down below as they get going on Episode 28 as Patrick swears for the second time already. He considers moving his mic to be hanging from above like a disc jockey does. Somehow this brings on singing.

And then they get down to a little business as they discuss the definition of the function of families in America. Janet continues with the definition which is, the physical maintenance and care of family members; addition of new members through adoption or procreation (let’s have sex people, not just hallways sex); the socialization of children (that’s a rant for later on); social control of its family members; production, consumption and distribution of goods and services; and affective nurturance (love). You gotta love your family Janet says. Patrick asks who? He says he is not the only one who asks that question. Janet replies with she is a real big one on you have got to Love your family, but you do not have to like your family, because you were born into the same family, you do not even have to tolerate them.

Patrick pulls the middle child card. Hand me downs and all that, Janet tells him to talk to her brother David. Patrick talks about fire in her eyes. He recants with the baby of the family in a small family makes out, especially like where his sister is the baby and the only girl. So she made out well, in his opinion.

Janet says she would have one big compound of McCue’s if she could have her way. The duo then discuss bringing family together and snow plows’, tractors, oversize lawnmowers, and the joy of living near your family. And this is when Patrick stops and says Welcome to the Show today! Smash the like button, please leave us a review on your favorite podcast player. And tell Janet either cover her bra straps or wear long sleeves like normal. Janet stops to ask Patrick to lean his head down so she can look for the ding-a-ling bell to smash the like button. Which brings on more nonsense between them.

And finally we find out that there was a study by BYU in Utah about the American Family. They have done the study for 6 years, 2021 will be year 7. This brings on where is BYU and how does Janet know it? Patrick Google’s it, Janet is right, and we continue our show!

 In the study there were 3,000 respondents, they found that when you have multiple stressors on your life, such as economic or relationship distress. Or you were not used to everyone being home at the same time, all the time; (this brings on jokes about their family being 24/7 the last few months, but back to business) you become much more likely to have experienced trouble from coronavirus.”

For example, compared to those enjoying financial stability, those facing an economic crisis were twice as likely to agree with the statement, “The coronavirus pandemic has increased stress in my marriage.” So if you have a job and your friend doesn’t, the friend without the job has more stress. Patrick makes her repeat this several times.

She call him a dude and talks about him being a deer in the headlights. As she coughs, Patrick brings up that more people are living with extended family this year (25% in 2020 compared to 20% in 2019). Some people lost their jobs, some people ended up with a lot more hours because of lack of work structure from home. The pay stayed the same, but now you were taking care of your kids all day too, so a 9-5 became an 8am-8pm and then some.

They say that men are adjusting to their new work/life balances during the pandemic, with just 40% saying that they are struggling with new household roles. Now that they were home, men were “helping out”.   Although men believe they are dividing household tasks evenly with their partners, women overall think differently, many saying it’s closer to a 65-35 split with women doing more. And this is where it gets interesting in the conversation.

Our hosts tried to get ahead of their schedule and take Sundays’ off. They got a little ahead and then due to Janet’s health (not covid), got behind and ended up working Sundays’ to make up for being behind again. In other words, life got in the way like it always does. In some way or shape many people who began working from home during the pandemic ran into this. Now that the pandemic is longer term and the vaccine is out, people are still struggling.

But what the study is talking about is the division of chores. Patrick feels that the family keeps the house take care of.

There is a structure, like with their pugs, the divide and conquer, Janet does the early morning walk prior to sunrise. Patrick does the evening walk after sunset and Kyle does the midnight “run”. All the little extras as needed are in the back yard and fast as fast can be.

When Patrick was first off work, (Kyle has his own chores, as any person over 10 should), Janet has always done the rest since Patrick worked. Patrick always picked up slack when Janet had a migraine.

Janet feels she does the majority of the work. He now cooks more, and he helps with dishes and the girls (the pugs), and laundry as needed. It is all of the other things that Janet (& most women) feel get missed. Patrick calls her cleaning, “spring cleaning”. She does a deep clean all the time. She is the one that sweeps and mops and dusts and all. They continue their argument laughingly. Janet likes a clean house and yard, and they agree to that. Patrick has improved as he has been off longer. He is still amazed by their washer and dryer that sings (and dances) and is remote controlled by Janet. It has a 24-hour delay on it also and Janet loves it. It is a smart washer and dryer, like the fridge. 

Ok, back to the study, 56% reported that they appreciate their spouse more because of the pandemic.  You either got divorced or fell in love more. It made people see what each other went through even more. 80% of parents said that parenting is important to their sense of identity, compared to 71% in 2018. Previously they may not have seen or appreciated the role because it was get the kids up, feed them, take them to school, go to work, come home, get the kids, feed them, help with homework, get them in bed and start over the next day. Now they see their children’s struggles also, parents are the teachers or teacher’s aide at least. Keeping that child in front of the computer could be a challenge.

Some teachers had up to 40 students in their on-line learning classes. How do you keep track of the kids that way? It is simply not possible to do so. Patrick reminds Janet about all the video platforms crashing in the beginning.

Back to families, the pandemic made people think. The number of single adults has risen from 30% to 37% in recent years. Also, many single adults reported struggling with loneliness in pandemic conditions. Going through the shutdown alone, must have been a real struggle.

73% of couples reported talking about political and social issues together, compared to 61% in 2015. That is a big difference, a lot of people didn’t talk about real issues.

Only 22% of Americans believe that most people can afford the cost of raising a child, down from 30% in 2015. It used to be that you got married and had kids, became grandparents early. Now, people are waiting to get married if they do. People are waiting to have children if they do. People buy homes together before they are engaged or married.

Janet gives the example of her nephew Tony and his wife Jen, they go married, bought a house, traveled, etc. Did everything they wanted to do before they had children, that way when they did have kids, everything was settled. Janet explains to Patrick that this is a new concept. People used to get married, have kids, rent a place, then buy when they could afford and dream of vacations on retirement. That has all changed, for the better in her opinion.

She brings up that now people live together, in sin Patrick. She makes a little jab at him and laughs. Because someone forgot to ask someone for permission. He talks about marriage problems, and she talks about roommate problems.

Something else she is not used to, and Patrick is driving her nuts on, is people buying homes together before they are engaged or married. Patrick looks at her like she grew a third eye. So she smacks him. Anyway she asked him that question and it only took 5 minutes.

Another study she looked at showed that many families have gone back to three generations under one roof. She asked Patrick if his family had done that, he replied yes, all of his siblings and their kids and pets were under their parents roof at one point. That used to be the norm, and it is going that way again.

His family always was good about not being defined as someone you are related to. This is normal now according to many people, especially millennials. The video’s Janet could have recorded at his parents house would have made them rich. Many people live with several friends that they consider family. His daughter is doing that, people do have friends they feel that way about even if they don’t live with them. Or a couple might have one or even two friends that live with them. They have known several couples that did this.

The new arrangements are nice, especially if children are involved, the extra people take on the role of helping in childcare. It can be a great arrangement if they live as a family. Another advantage of multiple individuals under one roof but not related is taking on the duties of a family in household chores, cooking, shopping, and taking care of each other. They have actively worked on teaching Kyle about the cleaning, shopping, cooking and adulting as they call it. Something to help him out in his future.

Maid service isn’t cheap, Patrick will charge Kyle even more; hourly plus mileage.

They talked about holiday’s at Patrick’s parents and how the house was full, and it was wonderful. Janet considers that a dream. They continue with families are now blended, (e16) and now Americans are now more likely to see their race as an important part of their identity by about 40%. Our hosts feel it is with BLM and Asian Americans being attacked. Americans are identifying with race even more.

Families continue to change, and people move others in and out of the apartments so fast now. Janet’s old neighbor Diane would introduce someone as family and two weeks later say they were dead to her. Another neighbor was the same way about fiancée’s.   There were 5 single women in a one block area and this one neighbor moved guys and their kids in and out regularly. It was an easy strike for a guy with kids.   Janet felt bad for these women, they were looking for something that didn’t exist. One was just lonely, and one was looking for prince charming.

Families became close again during the pandemic and it isn’t over. That is the one good thing that came from this.

Families have changed and continue to. Janet feels that the biggest loss to her as she has grown up and moved through life is that family has grown apart. Janet could totally live near all of her family. Patrick says he would even try it with his family too.

Janet continues about a childhood friend who’s family vacations together every year. The siblings all go to Florida every year and during the summer they have a campground that all of them have campers at.

Our hosts continue to discuss families being close and how family reunions were missed by both of them. They were able to have a family BBQ one of the last times Janet’s father made it to town before he passed away.

Now that things are trying to get closer to normal, they agree that families are trying to get together and enjoy a reunion.

Families have changed and Patrick’s sister is convinced that Janet is a Heller. She says no, because they aren’t married and there is a lot of laughter and discussion about Patrick and Janet’s brothers. They then continue to laugh about living in SIN as Janet says.

Final thoughts on the ever-changing rolls of families in America…Janet says put it on air and don’t call his sister. See how long it takes her to find out. If Patrick got down on one knee he could get up as long as Kyle is there to help him get back up.

They finish up asking for reviews wherever you are listening today. Patrick double dog dares the listeners to leave a review and Janet asks for a swear word count on Patrick.