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ok, how do you divide household labor and does it cause strife?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I've been thinking of this thread for a while, and a couple of recent threads pushed me over.

so, how do you divide labor in your household? frankly, I am not thrilled with how we do it, but I am very much invested in the idea that peace in the household is the most important thing, so I am willing to put up with some things that aren't perfect, in order to keep stress down and my family relationships smooth.

basically, I earn the money. when I am home, which is about 8 working days a month (taking into consideration travel and office days) I will try to take the kids to school, try to pick them up, wash them, read them bedtime stories. maybe half those days I'll make the kids dinner, and most days I'll make dinner for my wife and I. on the weekends, when not traveling, I will take my son to hebrew school on sunday, and then spend the morning with my daughters outside of the house. when we entertain, I will do the heavy lifiting in terms of cooking - the main courses, most of the sides. I will change the occasional lightbulb. iron my shirts and polish my shoes, take in and pick up the dry cleaning. that is basically what I do.

we have a lady who comes in once a week and will do most of the laundry and clean the house

my kids (9 and 4) clean up the living room and their own rooms


my wife does everything else - she is with the kids most days, drives them around, feeds them, keeps their stuff clean, washes dishes, does laundry that doens't get done by the cleaning lady, cooks food for herself and the kids when I can't (which is probably 3/4 of the time) handles all of our social interation - she sits on a few boards of non-profits, president of the PTA etc.

she has the whole stress of dealing with the kids all the time, I have the stress of being sole breadwinner. so, the laundry doesnt' get put away, the dishes don't get done every day, those types of things, and we don't argue about them.

how do you guys divide up the labor?
post #2 of 22
generally my wife does most stuff during the week as im out of the house 12 hours a day at least, and she works about 3 hours a day. so she does lunches, dinner, feeds the kids, dishes, dry cleaners, laundry an so on.

ill clean up the house a little at night, take out the garbage, change lightbulbs other DIY home stuff as well.

on the weekends we try to make it a family day and go out somewhere, 3 little kids in the house all day does not end well for anybody. ever.

this seems to work out well and we are both happy with it lately. sometimes as you said laundry sits for an extra day or something like that. but shit gets done eventually by one us (usually her) and we dont mind.

basically im a fat lazy good for nothing fuck and my wife is a tireless angel and an amazing, loving and caring mother whom i dont deserve.
post #3 of 22
I clean the bathrooms and kitchen and because I can't abide the thought of anyone else doing it, wife or cleaning lady. If my standards of copious amounts of bleach and scrubbing haven't been met, I will wake up in the middle of the night...

We use a pick-up laundry service, which cumulatively represents the best money Ive spent in my life.

Neither of us can cook.

Now that you mention it, my wife basically does nothing around the house...
post #4 of 22
my wife and i both work, same amount of hours, i suppose her job has more labor associated to it, as im in IT, and she is in art/design and moving stuff around and painting, etc. she comes home before i do and will do all the cooking. cleaning usually she does in the kitchen as well.
i could perhaps help out more but honestly im a bit lazy in the kitchen for instance, so she dont mind to do it all most of the time.


i do mostly laundry, bathroom cleaning, vacuum so forth but these items are like twice a month deals or less so it's not like i do too much honestly around the home.


i figure now that we own our own place starting a few weeks ago, i will have to be the one responsible for fixes (or finding someone to fix) items around the home and maintenance and so forth.


gift giving and social niceties(?) items like thank you notes, keeping track of social calendar, and so forth she takes care of.
we dont have kids so living and maintenance is pretty easy around the home and our bill for food and schedule to do things is not momentous. so that is fortunate for us.


i say when we go through big occasions like ..for instance, buying a house most recently, she was the one who spent most of the time looking for the home, but i handled the bulk of the escrow, with communicating with the builder, my bank, loan processors, broker, etc and filtered the less stressful things to my wife like "i need you provide me your paycheck stubs from this date" or "just sign these papers with me, i can explain anything to you as we go along or later if you need" because she is not good at those things and not to say im good at it but i can deal with these things better.


but when the move came, we had a bunch of movers who had no idea how to efficiently move stuff, so she directed them and so forth, while i kind of just watched them well i didnt really do anything. see, she is better at that stuff than me.


so it is basically kind of case by case. there are some things she's good at and without really saying anything , she takes on that role. or i take on the role when i can handle it.


ebay selling back in the day...well, she would always tell people "yeah we sell on ebay now" and basically it is just me finding the merchandise, discerning what is sellable, taking pics, writing the descritpions, and handling the transactions and shipping . while she sat near me watching her korean videos. lol. but that is fine. i still consider it 'both of us'


there's no strife or disputes but just one does what they can with us.

analogy is sort of like "if we have to cross a hundred miles of hot asphalt but my feet are too sensitive, she'll carry me on her back and walk all hundred miles for me...but when we come to a ledge and need to cross 10 feet of rope but she doesnt have strong arms, ill put her on my back to cross.."

the realization of this analogy for me makes me realize how really strong and flexible women can be. i mean, sometimes i feel im the mentally weaker one and a drama queen and she is the one emotionally supporting me up. (which is almost always 100% of the time in our case)

no one disputes, no one says this is 50%, yours is 50%, there is no accounting, really just doing what we can.

.

i think i talked too much but it's because i like this topic and glad to see clearly others have the same sort of harmonious type relationship


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pennglock View Post
I clean the bathrooms and kitchen and because I can't abide the thought of anyone else doing it, wife or cleaning lady. If my standards of copious amounts of bleach and scrubbing haven't been met, I will wake up in the middle of the night...


haha. this too for me.
post #5 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by in stitches View Post
generally my wife does most stuff during the week as im on StyleForum 23 hours a day at least

FTFY
post #6 of 22
My experience is probably not all that useful, but that will in no way keep me from sharing it. I work five minutes from home. I have no kids. I've never been married (although that will change in the next year). My current girlfriend practically lives with me now and I had one other previous live-in girlfriend. 1. She did not cook. Had no idea how to. So I cooked all the meals, did the yardwork, and occasionally the dishes. My girlfriend did all the cleaning and would occasionally wash my clothes. She always acted as if this was some huge favor for me, despite the fact that I'd been washing my own clothes since I could reach the knobs on the machine. It was odd. 2. (Current girlfriend) - she cooks probably four or five nights to my one. I do all the yardwork. We split everything else. I make it a point that when she's cleaning, I'm doing something for the house - cleaning too or some household repair. Works out well. I make twice as much as her, but she actually puts in more hours.
post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpooPoker View Post
FTFY

dik

Quote:
Originally Posted by FLMountainMan View Post
I've never been married (although that will change in the next year)



good luck
post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by sho'nuff View Post
i figure now that we own our own place starting a few weeks ago, i will have to be the one responsible for fixes (or finding someone to fix) items around the home and maintenance and so forth.

congratulations, brother.

++++++++++++++

we have in our employ a couple of ladies that help us run the house and take care of the kids and we are very grateful to them. of course, we also do our share of the workload but they're such big help to us. depends on where you are in the world I guess but if you can afford household help, I'd recommend it.
post #9 of 22
I think my situation is relatively fair. Mind you, my wife is a respected interior designer, so I'm not sure if that balance work load or power a certain way. Especially in regards to all things interior. I'm a therapist I get home from dead end streets and dirty homes, where I do actually make a difference on a good day. Dinner is waiting. I work infinetely more, crisis calls and my own fucked commitment to my clients. She makes more financially on a weekly/practical basis so I get it. However I love her and want to provide my share and do all 'man' things and othersuch. I gotz a good girl
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stokely View Post
I think my situation is relatively fair. Mind you, my wife is a respected interior designer, so I'm not sure if that balance work load or power a certain way. Especially in regards to all things interior. I'm a therapist I get home from dead end streets and dirty homes, where I do actually make a difference on a good day. Dinner is waiting. I work infinetely more, crisis calls and my own fucked commitment to my clients. She makes more financially on a weekly/practical basis so I get it. However I love her and want to provide my share and do all 'man' things and othersuch. I gotz a good girl
Post script- I'm not erasing this love note to my woman!!!!!
post #11 of 22
I procrastinate until she (the missus) doesn't let me get away with it anymore, then I do whatever she asks me to (by this time she has usually taken care of whatever needs to be done) and then I do what I'm being told
post #12 of 22
My wife and I both work 12hr days which is an utter ball-ache. She more often than not works much longer; she's a solititor in an American firm and they don't just take their pound of flesh, they rip it off your body strip by bloody strip. Props to her though, she holds up pretty well.

Problem is we both get home exhausted and can't be arsed to do anything. Whoever is back first cooks something quick. We unwind with a book or a dvd or something then bed.

Meantime the rubbish, laundry, dishes are all piling up. This causes un-necessary stress. We try not to argue but it is inevitable sometimes. Come the weekend we spend most of it sorting through the weeks shit so that we can start Monday with a clean flat.

I think children might actually make life easier Srsly though if anyone is thinking about the Law I'd for one advise against it.

Otherwise our shit is swell.
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by FLMountainMan View Post
I make it a point that when she's cleaning, I'm doing something for the house - cleaning too or some household repair. Works out well.

For some reason this is/was very important to the few live in girlfriends I have/had. I don't know if I have perceived a trend or it's just a n=little situation. Cleaning togethor is a planned occasion with lots of proverbial backslapping afterwards.

I tend to vacuum mop the house, and clean the kitchen, do more cooking, while she does more laundry and cleans bathroom and toilets.

Cleaning toilets has never been high on my priority list, there's always someone who sees a need sooner than I do. Come to think of it, about half of the toilets I've cleaned during my life were during the few days I was employed as a cleaner. I'm guessing the home caretaker cleaning the bathroom for my 87 year old landlady (starting out) the first four years living on my own has helped ingrain a certain laziness in that department that I'm sure was already there.

All technical repairs, malfunctioning computer related stuff, lightbulbs, bicycles, heavy lifting, etc are belong to me.
post #14 of 22
The help cleans the house for us both, she does the laundry, and I iron. Everything else is just a matter of who realises/sees it first.. And yes, i do take care of all the diy stuff.
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by IronRock View Post

Meantime the rubbish, laundry, dishes are all piling up. This causes un-necessary stress. We try not to argue but it is inevitable sometimes. Come the weekend we spend most of it sorting through the weeks shit so that we can start Monday with a clean flat

boy i know how this feels. it is tremendous stress. but when it is all done and tucked away you feel free as a bird.
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