Post authored by Margaret Wilkes, 20 year old daughter of James and Shannon Wilkes and Chief Food Officer, among other duties, at Faith Mountain Farm

I have observed that girls, by their nature and talents,usually carry their duties out in the home and surrounding environs, involvingthemselves in pursuits that are rightly theirs to do. We enjoy this “women’swork” and find great solace in carrying out the duties given us, the dutiessuch as preparing meals, beautifying the home, teaching children, pursingvarious handicraft skills, shopping for the home, ordering the days, and creatingvarious things.

Most females are notinterested in taking part in “Men’s work,” things such as mowing the lawn,building things, operating power equipment, shooting guns, splitting wood,etc.  However, I happen to believe thatit is not only beneficial for ladies to learn skills that are normallyperformed by men, it is very enjoyable. For one thing, I found it makes youappreciate and empathize with the work your brother or father or husband toilsthrough each week.  Another, it is awonderful change of pace from our usual sphere of work.
This past week I made good on a promise to do a bit of woodsplitting with my brother. Remembering how much I enjoyed splitting wood as achild was one of the motivations for this promise. It proved just as enjoyableas it had been when I was young. We split the logs until our splitter ran outof fuel, then he informed me that now I could pick up what logs I could andplace them near the splitter for the next workday. He then left to do someother thing, and I began scouring for logs I could move. I came upon fourgigantic ones, each weighing at least 85 pounds apiece. Thinking I couldn’tpossibly move those, I walked on until I spotted the sledgehammer and wedgesitting a few yards away. Immediately I was intrigued. Mimicking what I hadseen my brothers do, I placed the wedge in a groove in the wood and started byhammering it gently with the sledgehammer to keep it from falling over when Istarted hammering in earnest.  Afterseveral hits from the sledgehammer, the wedge really began sinking into thewood. Soon, across the stillness of the field, I heard a crackling sound thatwas soft at first, but grew into a loud symphony of crackling. Seeing the endwas near and breathless with delight at my success, I kept hammering furiously.Then, with a loud THWACK the log split in half and splattered in the mudnearby. I was hooked.  I did the same tothe 3 other logs, the last one taking the longest to split since it was ahardwood log. At one point I was so engrossed in my project I hardly evennoticed several cars with drivers ogling me as they rode by. What I sight Imust have been! Muddy all over, red faced, wild hair, and wielding asledgehammer with the determinedness of a madwoman. I did not care in theleast, for I was having too much fun! After the logs were all split into a sizeI could carry, I took them to the splitter one by one. It started to rain as Iwas carrying the last log, and thus ended my day on the job.
It goes both ways.  Puta man on laundry duty for a day and expect them to stand in awe for the nextweek of every shirt that miraculously appears, perfectly folded and pressed, intheir drawer. Put a girl on wood splitting duty for the day and she willappreciate each piece of wood put into the fire for warmth. Not only that, but youmay have to fight for the possession of that wedge and sledgehammer.

4 replies on “Girl’s Work

  • TJ

    Margaret, I love your insights and couldn't agree more! One of my favorite Duggar episodes in when the guys take laundry/cooking duty and the girls learn how to change tires/oil and do yard work. They all come home to appreciate one another and all the work involved in running the household. One of my biggest challenges in having so many more girls than boys (um… boy) is giving my son a "turn" making those pancakes! Love your writing! Have a blessed day! Tina Jobe

  • Angela

    We have done all the work here- all of us. I can really see how much easier it is to appreciate Scott splitting the wood when I have spent an afternoon doing it instead of him. :) While we've been doing our remodel of our house, I have learned just how much he works here and the things I find more challenging he does with ease and vice versa.


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