This morning, as I mentally started my to-do list while sipping coffee in bed (yes, this is the big luxury of my maternity leave: my husband brings me coffee in bed so I can fuel up before my feet even hit the floor…swoon) I heard a tease on NBC’s “Today” show about the changing perception of household chores in reality and in the media.
The story went on to show a series of commercials that show men doing things around the house that the anchors deemed stereotypically “female.” Like feeding the kids:
Or nursing the kids to health:
I grew up with two working parents and they both pitched in when it came to chores. Mom would clean the dishes on Monday, but Dad would do them on Tuesday. Dad vacuumed and dusted while Mom did the laundry. Or vice versa. (Truth be told, nobody in our house liked any of the chores, so they all sucked. As an adult, I get a perverse satisfaction from cleaning counters. I have no idea why I find it so soothing.)
So in my mind, there was never any question about how it would be when I shared space with my own significant other. Luckily for me, I never had to fight very hard — we clean up after our own messes and split the other stuff.
It’s not always equal — I only recently learned to do laundry correctly and I still can’t stand taking out the trash. Lucas prefers not to organize (papers, mail sorting, stacks of clutter). Sometimes I’ll have time during the week to sweep, clean bathrooms and cook but he’ll be slammed with work. Other times, I find myself booked every night of the week and he’ll take over the jobs.
These days, I feed the kid and he changes diapers. I take middle-of-the-night crying and he kicks me out of the house on weekends so I get a break. It’s give and take, like everything else. I make the shopping list, but he grocery shops.
Don’t get me wrong…I don’t live in Fantasyland. We argue and bicker over messes sometimes, and probably do fall into stereotypical roles. In general, he cleans the air conditioning vents, mows the lawn and pays our bills (from our joint account). I…well, I don’t actually do as much as he does. Oops.
How do you split chores in your house? What is your favorite/least favorite thing on the to-do list?