Happy Tuesday, friends! For awhile I’ve been wanting to have some more discussions here about life issues. Just things that come up for me as a working mom, but that probably most people deal with. So let’s do that, let’s talk it out.
Today I want to talk about household division of labor. I find homemaking and domestic routines fascinating. I am always trying to find more efficient and simpler ways to do things around the house so that we can enjoy the fun part of our lives more. I actually thought about analyzing this after I read Nora’s post almost two years ago, ha, but I’m just now getting around to it. This is how we do things at our place.
Work: We both work full-time outside the home, Monday through Friday, 8-4:30. Pretty straightforward.
Childcare: In the morning it’s mostly me since I’m a morning person and David has to leave early to avoid traffic, although if I wake him up early he will watch them while I get some things ready. I drop the kids off at daycare on my way to work. Almost every day I pick up Liam and David picks up Meredith around the same time (we’ve found it works best this way). We tag team with them all evening, but David tries to take over while I get dinner ready. Mostly we’re in it together right up until bedtime.
Food: I cook us breakfast and pack us lunches every morning. The kids are fed at daycare (of course I do send bottles for Liam). I cook dinner for our family almost every night (or we have leftovers), but David always cleans up the entire kitchen and washes the dishes and bottles every night. He also does almost 100% of the grocery shopping (and other errands when needed). I hate having to leave the house for routine stuff like that, and he doesn’t mind at all. I do give him a specific list though.
House Cleaning: As I mentioned above, David does the dishes, tidies the kitchen, and he also has to clean his bathroom (he uses the “guest” bathroom and all his mess is contained there) every once in awhile. The rest of the house I take care of, although it’s easy to do because I declutter and surface-clean all the time out of habit. On Saturday mornings I go through my routine of sweeping the floors and wiping things down, etc. Cleaning is therapeutic for me.
Laundry: I do mine, the kids’, and the sheets on Saturdays. I do Liam’s diapers every day or every other day. David and I both throw in the towels whenever they need it, and he usually does his own laundry (but I frequently put it away).
Yard: We outsource our yardwork because we don’t have the equipment and our guy is cheap and has become almost like a friend to us. Every now and then something needs to be done in between his visits (like raking leaves or cleaning gutters) and David takes care of it for the most part.
Home Improvement: Any decorating is my domain and I wouldn’t want it any other way; David pretty much gives me free reign. As for maintenance, David takes the lead but sometimes we get help from our dads.
Cars: David takes care of our cars probably 90% of the time. The other 10% is just me getting gas or mentioning that it’s probably time for an oil change.
Communications: I do most of this, although David is in pretty good contact with his family. We all live very close and see each other often so it’s not difficult. Most everyone reads my blog anyway so they at least stay up to date on our lives. I am usually more on top of our schedule so I am the one to organize birthdays, etc.
Activities: Most of our activities are family- or church-related, but I also hang out with friends on my own or with the kids. David is always willing to watch the kids for me whenever I need it, and he does this often (for long runs, Bible studies, or book club, for example). He also told me I don’t really need to consult him before making plans for us, that I should just make the plans and tell him about them. I try not to push my limits though. ;)
Finances: It’s a joint effort, although I keep the spreadsheet of bills and am the one to actually pay them. We have a joint account and nothing separate. We both check our balance daily and talk about it all the time.
I pretty much like the way we have things set up, although thinking this through has shown me a couple areas I might like to tweak. It’s been helpful to type it out like this.
How about you, what are your responsibilities versus those of whomever you live with?