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MN jury, is this division of labour fair?(12 Posts)
I just wanted some outside input regarding the division of housework in my house! I'm struggling to work out if I'm being unfair or not.
My partner and I both work full time, no kids, he earns about double my wage (my wage would cover all the household bills and leave me some left over so he isn't subsidising me as such) and we pool finances. That does mean that he's paying more than me, into the "joint pot" but he also has far bigger out goings than I have so it probably all works out fairly.
He works from 9am - 6pm with a 30 minute commute each way. I work 9 - 5.30pm from home.
So everyday I take the dog out for an hour at 8am, then take her again for another hour during my lunch break. After work I do housework such as laundry, washing up, general tidy and Hoover for about an hour.
Other half gets home at about 6.30, takes the dog out for 30 minutes and then grabs dinner on his way back. When he gets home he then tends to stick the dinner on - we eat really simply during the week so it tends to be a case of just putting something in the oven for 30 minutes.
At weekends, he tends (although we sometimes swap) to take the dog out in the morning and do any shopping for a couple of hours whilst I do the cleaning. I should also add that I also sort out all our bills and finances and tend to be the one to book holidays, kennels etc, although not always.
So, although I actually do a lot more than him, I also get more free time. What do you think of this arrangement? Is it fair?
He hasn't complained, but my mum mentioned recently that she thinks he does too much because he does most of the cooking. I feel like cooking and shopping aside, I do everything! If I took on more so that we had equal free time, I would be doing everything, and how can that be fair?
It sounds fair enough. If anything I would chuck him a bit of your cleaning at the weekend.
It sounds like you spend a similar amount of time doing paid work, and a similar amount of time doing house work. The big differences in terms of hours are:
1. You do all the thinking/planning.
2. He does all the commuting.
And the big difference in terms of division of labour is that you do all the boring jobs and he only does the more interesting/stimulating jobs. I know I'd rather cook than clean a toilet!
If he hasn't complained and you feel it's fair then surely that's all that matters?
I don't think it sounds fair, but that's because I hate cleaning and I don't mind cooking, so if I were in your shoes I would be unhappy. I don't think it's as simple as time division, it's about the appeal (or not) of the tasks.
Also, the mental energy required for all the booking of stuff etc can be very tiring - he should be able to do some of that while he commutes as it's basically dead time.
Also, commuting can be easy if there isn't a need to change and it's not rammed. I wouldn't automatically assume that the commute is a burden. Mine is nearly three hours a day and it's not stressful at all, although it's a bit boring.
He doesn't do too much. In all the threads - and I've been here since it was all green fields - I don't think I've ever seen one where a heterosexual co-habiting man does too much.
If you're both happy with the division of labour then that's fine. Really the only thing that I'd question is the amount of cleaning you do - 5 hours during the week and another couple at the weekend sounds a lot. He should chip in with some of that tbh.
Whatever you/he earn has absolutely no relationship with he/you do in the house
Afterthat,my first rule is whether you actually do the same whilst you are together. Starting from te principle that women usually underestimate how much they do (and overestimate what men do), I would say you are doing more than him. Much more.
In particular, i suspect you are underestimating the time and effort associated with the organisation (in effect the whole keeping both of your life thinking over nicely).
As gar as i can see there isnt a big imbalance and its only fair for your dh to prepare the meal.
Forget about his mum. Just carry on doing whatever works for you.
Abd btw, please please do NOT start saying 'oh ill do the meal so we have the same amount of free time. Its normal for him to do some of the HW.
Also remember that time doing the commuting can also be time for him to think, have some quiet, listen to music etc... so whilst it isnt proper free time, it can still be me time iyswim.
Note for example that you are taking the dog out for an hour in the am whilst he is only doing 30mins.
You do 1 hour of HW when he is 1/2 hour of cooking.
Just there you have spent 2 hours in the day doing HW and he has spent one hour.
Weekends sort of look similar.
But you also do the whole organisation (thats time consuming).
And you dont say how you are working around preparing the other meals (b'fast, lunch) dealing with the tidying up etc....
Thanks for all the responses, you've reassured me! I think I was just feeling guilty because at 6.30 he gets home and still has jobs to do, where as I've finished up and can grab a beer and relax for a bit!
I only mention money because I used to feel like if he was willing to share his "perk of his job" = more money, then I should be willing to share the perk of my job, my free time.
For other meals, well breakfast, I tend to eat after I've walked the dog so he has already left for work. He'll have some cereal and then bring me a cup of tea each morning. Lunches, were not together. At the weekend he'll sometimes cook a roast or something, he still does tend to do all the cooking though on those days, and I'll wash up.
He does appreciate what I do and I know he'd be willing to swap/take on any jobs if I suggested it, this is really more about my guilt, than him being a dick!
Sounds pretty even to me, though you do have the extra half hour after work to get stuff done while he is still commuting, so I can see how dm might raise an eyebrow if he's cooking every night while you're having a beer.
Sounds fair enough to me. Is he happy with the cooking arrangement?
If you are so organised that you can sit down at 6.30 with a beer, hats off to you. Enjoy it while it lasts if you are planning on having children one day.
Sounds fair to me.
My dh does most of the cooking here and I do all the cleaning and we share laundry.
It works out about equal.
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