Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Division of Labor

As I was pulling a tarp over one of our burn piles this weekend, I started thinking about household duties and how other couples split them up.

At our house there aren't distinct chores that I am in charge of as opposed to my husband. I do most of the yard work, but husband sometimes mows the lawn.

He does most of the vehicle maintenance, but I did replace the wipers on his Jeep.

We both do the laundry and dishes, if it needs done and one of us has the time, we do it.

I have realized that this isn't always how other couples function.

A few weeks ago our UPS driver pulled in the driveway as I was outside washing my car. He made a comment "I'm going to let my wife know that ____' s wife washes her car!"

I wonder if he would fold laundry like my husband does, perhaps then she would wash the car.

That made me wonder how unique our arrangement is. Could it be that even now, in 2008, household chores are gender defined? Or is it a matter of convenience?

I do admit that there are some things I don't do, simply because I don't have the strength to do them. Running the chainsaw for example (well I would but husband is afraid I will cut my arm off), or running the rototiller on the garden, it pulls too hard and I would end up over the bank.

Some people were shocked when I built an electric fence by myself (except for the pounding in of a large grounding rod.... ). I didn't do it because my husband wouldn't, I did it because I wanted it done and knew that I was capable.

So what is it like at your house? Are you stuck doing chores you hate just because of your gender?


Michele (Rocky Mtn.Girl) said...

My husband does the laundry but he won't do bathrooms. LOL and that's ok. I love doing housework and I'd rather do it because I know I do a better job otherwise he'd zip through it too quick.
Hubby takes care of cleaning the car and the repairs because it's what he does for a living so that's how it works out anyways.
Every morning though, hubby will make the bed for us otherwise it wouldn't be done... we shared the gardening when we had the house because we both loved getting our hands dirty ... LOL... so I think all in all we share it all in what we like to do as individuals, not in what society thinks genders should do. We never seem to nag each other about the chores, it always works out.

I hope your MIL is improving and I will pray for continued healing.

You are a good friend.

Huckdoll said...

I'm really bad because I prefer to do things my way - so they get done right. Horrible attitude I know :)

The only time I relied heavily on Baby Daddy was in the weeks following the c-section with the twins and I didn't really care how things were taken care of, just that they were getting done.

That said, he does do all of the manly stuff ie. garbage, household maintenance and every Saturday I go into work for the entire day - he has the girls and does all of the household stuff including dinner duty, bathing the girls, etc.

It's a pretty good arrangement that I'm satisfied with.

Mama Zen said...

The only chores at our house that could be called gender specific (I guess) are mowing and grilling. Those two tasks belong to my husband. Car maintenance, on the other hand, is mine.

Taddie Tales said...

Ha Ha - well now that I dont work I've taken it all on except I refuse to mow the lawn (call me a girly girl). D still dumps the diaper pail and gives the girls their baths. I think that's how he bonds .... I can and pretty much do all the DIY around here. But I call the pros for plumbing and electric. You're brave girl - I wouldn't touch an electri fence with a 10 ft pole..... HA!!

Hugs - Lindy

Julie B said...

There isn't too much assigned chores around here-we used to have an agreement years ago that whoever cooked, the other one cleaned up...but lately my husband has been doing both :) Everything else, we both do.Things just get done, and one person will do one thing while the other is doing something with the girls.
Now, with outside work, my husband mows only because he has yet to fix the brakes on it, and with my luck, I'll end up in the ditch :) He tends to the garden more, as he kind of took over a few years go and uses it to relax. He also does the car stuff, although I have no problems washing/cleaning etc.

Interesting topic!

Nap Warden said...

I often wonder why it never crosses Husband's mind to do the laundry. Why do I always do the laundry?

Corey~living and loving said...

ooooooooooooooooooo very interesting topic.

sigh....I feel like I do everything around here. fault in many ways. I dont' allow hubby to touch the laundry. The rest, I wouldn't mind him helping on, but he just seems to ignore it all. He does clean up after himself though, so that is good.
great post idea Autumn.