One topic I never tire of reading about is domestic duties. I love hearing how other couples divide up their household chores… I don’t really know WHY I find it so fascinating, but I do.
One blogger… I can’t remember who (damn memory!)… Mentioned a while back that she and her husband sat down and drew up a clear division of Who Does What.
It kind of blew my mind. Because my husband and I have been living together for seven years… And we NEVER did that. We just sort of fell into certain roles. Roles that we pretty much haven’t deviated from in, well, seven years.
Some things, we share. Like dishes. Sometimes I do the dishes, sometimes he does. Most frequently, we do them together.
Same with garbage duty. Whoever gets sick of the stench first takes the trash out. Sometimes, we’ll do that together as well.
Grocery shopping, cooking, and laundry are also typically joint activities, although we do them separately when the other person is crazed by work.
But there are other things that are strictly Mine or Husband’s.
- Bug Duty. My husband is the kindest, most gentle, most compassionate person I’ve ever met. He cannot stand the thought of causing someone pain. Even if that “someone” is a crunchy insect with ten thousand legs. (Actually, can something be an insect if it has more than six legs? Hmmm. Apparently there’s a multi-legged-bug-shaped hole in my middle school biology knowledge.) So we have a largely unspoken deal about bugs. I kill all the small bugs and spiders. If there is ever a cockroach (shudder) or something equally big and scary, my husband kills it.
- Veggie Chopping vs. Meat Prep. I am the unspoken vegetable chopper in our household. My husband is the reigning Meat Prep Dude. This is because a) I require my veggies to be chopped in a specific way – teeny tiny if it’s going into spaghetti or soup, julienned if it’s going into stir fry – and b) because I cannot stand raw meat of any kind. Just thinking about raw chicken makes me queasy.
- Toilet Duty vs. Vacuum/Dusting Duty. My husband, bless his heart, cleans all the toilets (“all” meaning “two”) in the apartment without complaint. In turn, I do the vacuuming and the dusting.
- Counter Cleaning. This task normally falls to me. Either because my husband has special vision that renders crumbs invisible or because I really love my bleach spray.
- Finances. My husband pays all the bills, looks over all our investments, watches our savings, keeps track of our credit card charges, etc. I know this is something I SHOULD be involved in… But I’m not. As far as I can tell, this involves a lot of badgering me to keep my receipts and track down receipts that I’ve stuffed into a dark corner of one of my many purses… And a lot of disappointed head-shaking when I admit that perhaps I actually LOST a receipt or maybe even threw it out.
- Phone calls. My husband HAAAAAAAATES making phone calls. When it comes to restaurant reservations and dentist appointments and scheduling car maintenance and asking our apartment office if we received a package, 99% of the time, I end up making the call. I do not ENJOY this task (and I make my displeasure KNOWN, do I ever!), especially when I ask the wrong questions or say something unclear and my husband tells me so after I get off the phone. (AFTER. When I can’t do anything about it. We are working on this, Internet!)
- Mail. Holy macaroni, Internet. We get a ton of mail. If it were up to me, I’d weed out the White House Black Market coupons and my paychecks, and the rest of the mail would just pile up on the dining room table until the Hoarders producers come knocking on our door. So my husband is unofficially in charge of handling the mail. If I get sick of The Pile, I will sometimes try to thin it out. But I am known for Inadvertently Throwing Out Something Important, so I only do this when I am completely overwhelmed by the Everest-sized mountain of junk. This task does come with perks: My husband gets to do a lot of shredding, which I think he secretly enjoys.
Well, this list makes it clear that I do not do much around here. I mean, bug killing doesn’t take up a huge amount of time. But veggie chopping, on the other hand… I spend a few hours a week slicing and dicing. So that’s got to balance out the mail thing, right?
How do you and your spouse split up the household duties? Is it by design, or did you just fall into those roles?