Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Division of Labor

Vintage half apron from SuzAnna's Antiques

A recent study revealed that couples who share housework equally, have a significantly higher divorce rate than those where the woman does the majority of the housework.  In addition, women who did more of the housework did so of their own choosing and were just as happy as couples who took a more modern approach to household chores.  In our own home, we take a very traditional approach to homecaring tasks.  My husband handles the outside work.  And, I (along with my Mother) take care of the inside. 

Inside of our home, I take care of the cooking (including meal planning, shopping, baking, canning), daily cleaning tasks, most of the dishwasher loading/unloading (my Mother also helps with this), pet care, maintaining the calendar and appointments, taking care of clothing needs for the children, decorating and making things pretty around the house!  My Mother does the great majority of the laundry, sewing and all of the ironing because when she moved in with us, she made it known that her way was the only and best way!  So, I just make sure she has all the laundry supplies she needs :)  Outside of the home, my husband handles lawn care, car maintenance, gutters, garbage and home repairs (doing them himself or hiring out).  He also handles the finances and bill paying, discipline of the children and has the final say on major family decisions.  Oh, and squashing bugs and reaching things that have been placed on the top shelf and pushed all the way to the back!  There are a few areas where roles are crossed. The garden is outside and that's primarily my little hobby.  My husband is much better at organizing.  So, he usually organizes the pantry, closets, the kids' toys, even the refrigerator.  And, he prefers to make his own lunch.  Which is usually a combination of leftovers from dinner and his own creations.  Child rearing, of course, is something we both actively take part in!

Even though I work outside of the home, our approach to homecaring has never struck me as being unfair.  I grew up watching my own Mother work and maintain a home.  It just felt natural to me to take on the bulk of the housework when I became a wife.  Call me old-fashioned, but it works for us!

How is housework handled in your home?

Mary Ellen



  1. Those statistics are very interesting. I do most of the housework and love it! I'm very traditional as well. He does help with cleaning chores some as I need help--can't seem to get everything done by myself! We share outside work. He pays bills and runs a lot of errands for me so that I can be home more.

  2. Oh my, this makes so much sense. I think that women who demand and expect their husbands to share in the house work equally are somewhat selfish and lazy, just my opinion, no way trying to offend anyone. But thanks very much for this post because now I won't feel so bad doing most of the housework.

    I think it's only fair especially if you have a husband who is a great provider. When a man goes out there to work, he has to deal with a lot of stress and sometimes stupid people. If a man is a good husband/father/provider then he shouldn't have to come home from a long days work to hear about who's turn it is to do the dishes or make dinner.

  3. This is interesting, I'll have to dig more to see just who they were polling? Full disclosure, I actually am a divorced single mother, and one contributing factor (though not THE REASON) was that my husband just flat out wouldn't help domestically, even though he had more "free" time. It certainly created an adversarial atmosphere. Nothing like having to clean up his mess as well as mine and our son's, while he sat on the couch.

  4. Me:
    Housework and all cleaning
    meal planning and cooking
    washing up and clearing up afterwards
    All Laundry
    Car maintenance
    Gardening including heavy stuff
    Handling finances
    paying bills
    making all phone calls
    making all decisions
    sorting out all problems
    Making sure car is serviced regularly
    Arrange MOT
    Arrange any work to be done afterwards
    All pet care

    Go to work

    now don't try to tell me that's fair !! he was just a lazy *****!

    Actually this was all some time ago, I'm now on my own - can you guess why ? answers on a postcard please !