03 November 2016

Division of Labor

I'm taking a brief break from the heavy duty posts, but I'll be diving back in tomorrow. Writing everything down, taking a few steps away, and hearing other people's thoughts gives a girl a new perspective. I have some more thoughts that I'll totally be going over tomorrow.

So I had an interesting question a few posts back about how Matt and I divide up chores. I always find this an interesting thing to hear other couples talk about too.

Matt's regularly scheduled chores are to mow the lawn and do the finances. I actually want to mow the lawn as I enjoy it, but it's a really difficult thing to do accomplish with three kids, so Matt does it on the weekends now. He does the finances because I find it torturous and it really plays to his strengths. I'm not sure how we're going to deal with shoveling the walk this winter.

All the other chores are mine, by choice: cooking, dishes, sweeping, laundry, grocery shopping, etc. I delegate to Matt as needed, which obviously is pretty intense when I'm pregnant. I take the kids to all their doctor's appointments and stuff alone usually, but if I can schedule something for first thing in the morning or super late in the evening, I'll ask Matt to go in to work late or get home a bit early. It's a lot easier to just lug Eleanor and Theodore now that Abigail is in school, though. I rarely take the kids to my appointments, though, and if I can't get something at a convenient time for Matt to take off work, I'll have Grandma or a babysitter watch the kids. I can't exactly get my teeth cleaned or my stress fracture addressed if I'm holding Theodore, and Lord knows that boy will not sit quietly in a stroller in an exam room.

How we split up kid duty at home changes often. Right now Matt is working a ton, so during the week, I usually handle dinner and bedtime alone, although one day per week I go to Zumba and Matt finishes up dinner and does bedtime alone.

Lately Matt has had to put in a few hours on the weekend, so he'll go in to the office or lock himself up downstairs Saturday morning. The rest of the weekend, we takes turns throughout the day, so each of us can get a few other things done. This basically means that one of us has primary responsibility (the one who changes the diapers, reads the books, carries the grouch Theodore) and the other one only jumps in as needed, although I'm always in charge of meals. Some days we really explicitly spell out who will be doing what and when, but other days we just jive and things work out without discussion.

Matt has offered to help out more at home, but I don't want him to. I'm home all day and being "a good domestic" plays to my strengths. When he's home and doesn't have to work, I really want it to be family time, not "Matt catches up on chores" time. Obviously I'm not saying anyone else's way of doing anything is wrong. This is just what works best for us right now. In fact, when Matt wants to take a little pressure off my shoulders, I would way rather have him take the kids or bring home a pizza than unload the dishwasher or make dinner.

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