Do We Share Household Duties 50/50? It's Complicated.


We do this dance in the mornings in our house that is intimate and sweet and works - most of the time.  We used to be structured and other mornings waking with Bodie, but when Dan's travel picked up, he just started getting up with Bodie when he was home.  Because time the three of us is limited I tend to emerge fifteen minutes later so Dan and I can have coffee while Bodie has his morning smoothie and Peppa Pig dose of the day.

Last week, some clothes got dirty on Dan's watch, and he left them in a pile in the sink and mentioned casually that he left them there since "You [I] like to do that thing with clothes."  "That thing? You mean pre-treating?"

It felt like the 1950s just hit me in the face, and my pride in our modern couple ethos fell apart instantaneously.  I seethed for maybe five hours that day, playing it over and over in my head that I had somehow set my husband up to think that I enjoyed scrubbing dirt out of the knees of my kids' clothing.  Now any psychoanalyst will tell you that's just a sophisticated way of passing the buck - he doesn't like laundry, and I've assumed that responsibility.

After the five hours, it occurred to me that the dishwasher was empty.  Because I hate emptying the dishwasher, so my husband does it in his spare minutes before hopping in the shower.  He doesn't necessarily point it out.  And of the nights we cook dinner, he handles every one.  And taxes, bills, and all the other things that I admittedly have said that he "enjoys."  

Today, a guy showed up to put a wall up down the center of our living room. While I was having fun picking out the items for the nursery (more on that soon), Dan had handled the logistics of actually making sure there was a nursery. 

I can't do the math on any given day of 50/50.  For every bill Dan paid without me knowing, I'm filling out paperwork he couldn't be bothered with for Bodie's first day of school.  And our home works.  The only wrinkles in our rhythm appear when we (I, really) try and take a fine tooth comb to the contribution line items.  Which to be fair to me, doesn't happen too often, only when I'm looking at a pile of shit waiting for me in the sink.

So maybe the math or metric isn't 50/50, and it's more about how you feel and if you feel like you're getting a lousy deal, address it but maybe sit on it for a few hours and acknowledge what your partner is bringing to the table.  

How do you feel about the division of labor in your home?  Is this something you discuss proactively as a couple or did you fall into a routine that works (or not)? We'd love to hear. xo

Featured Image via Dan Gold on Unsplash