There is book I would like to find on women homesteading in the west. I can't remember the title. I think of it often as we prepare for winter. I've been hearing recently about women's roles involving caring for children and the home. This is generally understood to involve cleaning, cooking, laundry and the like. But when the home is a homestead like ours, caring for the home often includes some pretty heavy labor: building a road, cutting gardens out of forest floor, and hauling in wood and water. Gender roles that leave out the strength and power of women forget the heavy tasks that often did, and occassionally still do fall under "housekeeping".
I'm not trying to imply that my "work" is harder than my husband's. I know it isn't. I've done enough hard labor to know his work can be absolutely exhausting. The labor I do, on my own land, at my own pace, is often challenging, but it is not a job, it's my life, my land, my home, my family. The freedom that comes with this labor is too satisfying to be considered work. But the visible roles are somewhat similar, out here I do build, haul, labor, and create. He does the same, together we make a home that is beautiful and full of joy.