Posted by: cck | March 28, 2013

division of labor

I’ve known my husband for nearly seven years, and we’ve been mostly-happily married for almost six. The one consistent grumble/fight/war we have is the division of labor. K feels like he does more than most. And I feel like I do more than him. Who’s right?

I think we both are. Yup, K does more than many husbands and fathers I know. He definitely does more than his father. But, I don’t think that’s an accurate barometer of success. I read this article from The Atlantic about theories why men don’t contribute equally to household duties. It ranges from outright defiance to simply not knowing what needs to be done. In our household, we’ve tried everything from lists to charts to nagging. Nothing seems to work.

AllTheThingsIt’s hard being a work-at-home/stay-at-home mom and wife. Right now, there’s A LOT going on. We’re buying a house (gulp!). We’re watching an increasingly mobile toddler. We’re working on new projects at work. I feel pulled in so many direction – which is not to say K doesn’t – but I’m almost at full capacity. The article gives a list of all the chores in a household. It’s not talking about sweeping the floor – although that’s in there. Other things, like arranging activities, making sure birthday cards go in the mail, and managing retirement and college savings accounts are there too. It’s all the items that make a household run.

I’ve always thought that to make a household run effectively, you need to treat it like a business. It’s hard, because there’s very little praise and 401k. The peace of mind that comes from a well-run household is pretty much all the salary you’re going to get. I’m not bashing K – he’s an equal partner in almost everything. We just need to figure out a way to distribute all the things a little more evenly.

Isn’t that the story of life? Divide, conquer, adjust? And with that, let me get back to washing bottles and sweeping the floor. I have no idea where C3 finds the things she finds, but I’m pretty sure we can blame my poor sweeping skills.




  1. Amen. Of course everyone’s situation is different so this doesn’t work for everyone, but our current agreement is that as long as I’m working, we have a housekeeper. His job has him out the door at 6 am and often home later and when he’s home, E wants his attention until bedtime. Then we’re exhausted so bathrooms won’t get cleaned, floors won’t get mopped etc. I agree, though he does a lot, it’s still me who is keeping up with bills, paperwork, filing and doing most of the cleaning and straightening. He does a lot to help with E when he’s home and he helps in the kitchen, but those daily tasks alone are exhuasting. Hang in there and happy homebuying!!

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