Friday, March 12, 2010

My husband, the champion

Last night Matt enjoyed a dinner with a bunch of girls (and one other guy) and listened politely as conversations turned to topics such as bridesmaid dress colors or nursing babies (or at one moment the subject of nursing babies while wearing bridesmaids dresses emerged), as they inevitably will. These conversations reveal our collective stages of life and my husband's high tolerance for feminine topics.

Which got me thinking.

Matt is pretty great. He does a lot around the house, and he's the reason why I am able to stay so organized (and write a blog about it!). So, if you live with a loved one who doesn't believe that he or she should carry an equal part of the load, maybe you can share this little list of duties divided between Matt and me when you'd like to broach the subject of household chores and equity.

My friend Lindsay calls these items pink tasks and blue tasks, but I will just call them Matt's responsibilities, my responsibilities, and our collective responsibilities.

Matt's responsibilities:
  • Feed the dogs in the morning and take them out (in the dark) for the morning walk
  • Take the dogs out right before going to bed
  • Vacuum the house every Sunday and clean the bathroom floors
  • Cook dinner almost all of the time (though I usually help as sous chef and on rare occasion take it all on by myself)
  • Wash and fold his own laundry
  • Cut the grass
  • Investigate all electronic purchases
  • Research all major financial decisions
  • Communicate with service people, including auto mechanics and home repair/improvement people
  • Manage our Blockbuster queue
Steph's responsibilities:
  • Make the bed each morning
  • Clean up after dinner (load dishwasher, do dishes, wipe counters)
  • Perform about 5-10 minutes of general straightening around the house each day
  • Dust (before Matt vacuums on Sundays, but I probably dust about once every three weeks)
  • Clean bathrooms (except floors)
  • Wash and fold my own laundry
  • Wash collective items, such as sheets, towels, rugs, napkins, tablecloths and stuff for the dogs
  • Water the plants/flowers/herb garden, both inside and outside
  • Clean windows
  • Pay bills
  • Make all decorating decisions
  • Buy presents, send cards, remember things for other people, etc.
  • Manage our library holds, renewals and returns
Collective responsibilities:
  • Feed dogs in the afternoon and take them on a walk together (if it's nice; if it's crappy weather, Matt does the walking alone)
  • Empty the dishwasher, a task usually done together
  • Make a menu for the week, a grocery list and go grocery shopping together
  • Keep our Google calendars updated so we can both be social planners (which is a nice change from me being the keeper of the calendar)
  • Wash the dogs and dry the dogs (though I usually wash and Matt usually dries)
  • Wash our cars together
  • Clean the hardwood floors -- sometimes Matt will do this or I will do this
We also have a little morning and night time ritual where one of us will put toothpaste on both of our toothbrushes, rather than each of us individually applying toothpaste to our own toothbrushes. Matt will say, "Would you paste me?" or "Thanks for pasting me." Then we have guests over, who hear this interchange and immediately make fun of us. This time, I beat you to it.

We have pretty evenly split our household duties between the two of us, and I wouldn't have it any other way. When two people have full-time jobs, it seems unfair for one person to do all or almost all the work at home, too. So take a moment to think it over this weekend, and see if you could be productive if your partner did more to help out.

And if you have any other ideas for sharing the workload, please leave a comment!

1 comment:

  1. I can't really take credit for the pink task/blue task was really all Jason (who got it from somewhere else I think). You can see how we divvy up household responsibilities here: (Shamemless plug!)