Friday, January 11, 2008

Sharing the load

I work 20 hours a week at my out-of-the-house job, and the other half of my job is taking care of my son and the house. Our house is pretty small, so I've never insisted that we hire cleaning people. So I guess it's my own fault that I'm doing all the cleaning.

Yesterday, I found a list I had written a long time ago with all the household tasks on it. Finding that, combined with watching Supernanny the night before, gave me the incentive to type up the list of tasks and to call a house meeting after dinner.

I presented the list to my husband and son, and asked that they choose some tasks that they will promise to do. There was a lot of grumbling. My son took a look at the list, and announced that he wasn't going to do any cleaning in the bathrooms (I thought this was pretty funny, actually, since he is king of the missed toilet). Reluctantly, he agreed to a few tasks. My husband agreed to do several of the tasks, but this kind of discussion always makes him uncomfortable. I think he feels guilty that I do the lion's share of the house care (and food preparation), but then he also feels unappreciated for the things that he does do around the house (although when he puts the dishes in the dishwasher but leaves the pots and pans and other kitchen cleaning to me, am I supposed to be appreciative?). On the other hand, his job brings in the lion's share of the salary. So it's hard to figure out what is equitable.

Just for laughs, here is the list:

House Chores List

  1. plan (make sure have ingredients) and cook dinner
  2. clean up after dinner (put away leftovers, put dishes in dishwasher, wash pots and pans, counters, etc.)
  3. check grocery list to see if things need to be bought (milk, juice, etc.)
  4. general straightening up around house and putting things away (pick things up off floor, clean up crumbs, etc.)
  1. grocery shopping
  2. laundry (when hampers are full) including folding and putting away
  3. dusting (bed frames, windowsills, etc.)
  4. sweep kitchen floor
  5. empty wastebaskets, take trash and recyclables to dump
every other week
  1. wash kitchen and bathroom floors
  2. vacuum downstairs and upstairs
  3. clean toilets (2)
  4. clean bathroom sinks (2)
  5. swiffer wooden floors
  1. clean windows and mirrors with Windex wipes
  2. clean cars (crumbs, windows, etc.)
  3. clean carpets if dirty

When I see it all written out like that, I can understand why I'm tired! I'd be interested in hearing how others deal with this issue. Ironically, BipolarLawyerCook wrote something about this issue just yesterday. Is it something in the air?

P.S. Here is a post I wrote on this topic last year.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good for you for putting your foot down.