As a stay-at-home mom for the last 15 years, I’ve always taken on more of the household responsibilities. I do the grocery shopping, I cook, I do clean. Sort of. The hubby has always been awesome about pitching in where he can, but it mostly fell to me as the one who was home all day.
Now, though, we’re both home all day. I’m working as much as he is, but I was still doing the bulk of the work around the house. It just never occurred to us to have a conversation about changing roles. Apparently, we’re not alone — a recent study indicates women take on more at home, even in non-traditional couples.
It seems that even as the role of marriage changes, stereotypical gender roles do not. That is definitely true in my own house, though I never thought it would be. I do the laundry. He takes out the trash. I cook. He grills. In December, I kind of had a freak out moment about it. Specifically the school dropoffs.
I was still doing the bulk of it, while he slept in. Of course, he got up to work pretty much as as soon as we left, but in my head, he was sleeping while I was shuttling our girls around. Once I let him know it bothered me, he took the girls to school every day that week.
They’re back in school after this week, and we’ve gotten into a pretty decent system of trading off that responsibility. Then it hit me — we really need to discuss the rest of our household chores. It doesn’t have to be all on my shoulders anymore. He’s all about helping whenever I ask him to, but I shouldn’t need to give him a honey do list every day.
Since we both have equal time to give these days, we can find a better balance.
Our plan is to sit down this weekend to go over the regular household chores — daily, weekly, and otherwise. We can each take on the things we don’t mind doing or keep the chores we do best (He’s not allowed to do laundry; I don’t iron.), then divvy up the rest. There will be plenty of daily things, like unloading the dishwasher that will just fall to whomever can get to it at the right time.
But I think splitting the bulk of our responsibilities will help me breathe easier and, in the long run, be far better for our marriage.
How do you divide the cleaning at your house?
Photo Credit: Flickr user: schnappi