A side, from the *dad* debate....

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Registered: 01-09-2009
A side, from the *dad* debate....
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Mon, 09-14-2009 - 1:35pm

A firend and I were talking the other day, and between our conversation, and this recent thread, I got to thinking......What is a realistic division of (house/family) work for family with a sahp/wohm?


Some of you have said that it's up to the person with the higher *standards* to meet those standards...but I wonder, where does one draw the line?

********
Ducky

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Registered: 07-17-2007
Mon, 09-14-2009 - 1:58pm

I think that every family has to figure out what works for their family.

In my house, every member needs to help run the house -all the adults and all the children.

Realistically, I do more than everyone else, as I have more time. But it does not mean I do everything.

DH and I have different levels of "neatness". One of the ways we have solved this is by hiring an every other week house cleaner. It helps in several ways. It gets the house clean. Plus, no one feels gets upset when the house gets "dirty" or fells like they have to be the one to clean again because he/she knows that it will be cleaned the day after tomorrow.

There are a few things that the vast majority gets done by me- like grocery shopping, meal planning, cooking, gardening, car maintenance. I do the laundry more than half, but DH will do it too. DH does the bill paying because he is anal about Quicken and is a techno geek- so most of it is done electronically. Those are examples.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-10-2009
Mon, 09-14-2009 - 2:01pm

I can only really come at this from the view of a two WOHP household, but I can say that in *any* household, you do what works for you. Just like SAH vs WOH and many other issues, there is no right/wrong, good/bad, fair/unfair ... there is just what works for

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Registered: 05-27-1998
Mon, 09-14-2009 - 2:24pm

Resentment is the line. Once a person is starting to feel that, then something needs to be worked out. It's just not productive to nag a person to do something, have him/her not do it, then resent the person because of it. It sounds like a small thing, but this is how marriages die. I hear this from my friends and I really want to say "Either suck it up and do it yourself or change your thinking about it."


My thinking has totally evolved as I've gone from WOHM to SAHM to PT WOHM. When I was WOH, I always had a more flexible schedule than DH, even though we both had really long commutes to work. He had longer hours and traveled every week. As a result, he did very little housework and it used to tick me off. I nagged and he didn't change. This is where the resentment thing started.


So, I figured this line of thinking just wasn't working for us as a couple, and I began to try to look at it logically. I *was* home more. I did have a less grueling schedule. I did care more about how clean things were. So I decided I would do the housework that really mattered to me and leave the rest until someone felt like doing it. So on weekends, he would fold all the laundry because I hate that job and only care if the clothes are clean.


When I became a SAHM, I ended up with more of the housework, but this, too, was logical. I suddenly had 10 more hours in the day than I'd had before. It was reasonable for me to do it. After a while, we decided to hire a housecleaner, so neither of us has to do any deep cleaning.


Now I WOH PT, and our division of labor looks like this:


Him: earn real money, mow lawn, do financial paperwork, occasionally do dishes, fold laundry, help with geometry and Spanish homework, counsel and dry tears


Me: earn crap pay, do most of the cooking, food and clothes shopping, cleaning up in between weekly professional cleanings, wash clothes, occasionally fold them, drive kids to various activities, arrange appointments, hire people for things like plumbing, electrical work, occasionally fold laundry, clean cat box, help with English, French, history, and biology homework, counsel and dry tears


Kids: make excellent grades, keep rooms tidy, do dishes, occasionally cook, fold laundry, vacuum after popcorn-throwing friends leave, strip beds and wash sheets, clean cat box, give parents gray hairs


On nobody's list: complaining about housework


On everybody's list: big projects like cleaning out the barn or closets


The key is that no one resents anyone else. We all hate housework, of course, but because our division of labor is logical for our family, it works. And the cool thing about losing the resentment is that you can make the decision to do that all on your own. IOW, you don't have to wait for the other person to change. You can just decide, I'm going to look at this differently.

Avatar for mommy2amani
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 09-14-2009 - 3:06pm

Our roles around the house have evolved as our family has changed.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2009
Mon, 09-14-2009 - 3:06pm
In your friend's case, the fact that there is resentment and frustration means that things are not working. I think, like everyone else here, that each family tends to figure out what works for them and does it. I think the key is that each person respects the other people in the home enough not to expect that one person will do all the scut work and not be appreciated for it; that everyone works to make the work as easy as possible. I do almost 100% of the laundry in my family, but I expect that the other members of my family will respect and appreciate my labor enough not to send me on a hunt or wild goose chase for their dirty clothes. They will put their things in the hamper, and on good days, empty out their pockets and even turn things right side out. My husband and I tend to split meal prep, but I expect that I will come home to a tidy kitchen, not one where snack remains and dirty dishes are strewn about. I usually end up washing the dishes and loading the dishwasher right now simply because the kids get done with cross country so late that they need to get immediately to their music practice and homework. But I expect that they will clear the table and push their chairs in and scrape their dishes and bring them to the sink. Stuff like that.
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Registered: 04-14-2003
Mon, 09-14-2009 - 3:12pm

i’m one of the people who raised the issue of standards, but i didn’t mean to imply that it is automatically up to the person with the highest standards to do the work, but rather it is up to the person with the higher standards (hs) to recognize that just because hs’s partner’s (ls’s) work doesn’t meet hs’s standards, when ls does something, ls deserves credit for doing it--ls shouldn’t be not only denied credit for doing the work but also subject to a torrent of harping and hounding about what’s wrong with it, as so often happens. that approach is simply wrong on too many levels.


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-09-2009
Mon, 09-14-2009 - 3:42pm

Yes, to pretty much all of you so far, lol.

********
Ducky

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Registered: 08-22-2009
Mon, 09-14-2009 - 5:49pm

I see household chores and taking care of kids as two separate things.

During the years that I was a SAHM for the most part I did the majority of the household chores. But not all. DH was always very good about stepping in when needed.

Btu it was different when it came to the kids. We were equally responsible for the kids during the time we were with them.

At this point in our life (empty nesters both working full time) the chores are pretty much equal.




Edited 9/14/2009 5:57 pm ET by emptynester2009
Avatar for turtleemom
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Registered: 07-25-2007
Mon, 09-14-2009 - 5:55pm

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-22-2009
Mon, 09-14-2009 - 8:02pm

In my first marriage, I did just about everything -- with the exception of the lawn and taking out the trash.

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