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Dividing Housework equally

(29 Posts)
KateInKorea Mon 12-Sep-16 13:20:24

I have recently gone back to work FT after our youngest started primary school. No major earnings difference.
I am very happy.

DH is frustrated and resentful that I am insisting on a fair division of labour. He chunters about how he does "everything", being annoyed at me and the kids when things are messy or dirty half an hour after he has cleaned, blah blah blah. You get the picture. Obviously he would deny that this is about having to do his share and he is only frustrated that things aren't tidy after he has tidied them.

So we have agreed that there will be a chore chart (so mature of us!) and I want to make sure I have a complete list (eg arranging play dates, tax returns, arranging cover for when Nanny is off etc).
Has anyone got any links or any suggestions about things not to forget? And yes I do see that I am the one doing the wifework of making sure the chore list is

Thanks feminists.

Kr1stina Mon 12-Sep-16 13:22:52

Some ideas here

AmberGreyson Mon 12-Sep-16 13:22:55

i don't have such list but it's a great idea!

Kr1stina Mon 12-Sep-16 13:25:19

Chores survey results

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KateInKorea Mon 12-Sep-16 13:42:31


ChocChocPorridge Mon 12-Sep-16 14:37:13

The way I approach anything involving lists these days is to wander around with my phone out, taking a picture of each thing I have to remember, so I wonder if the same could be done here - both of you take a week to photograph every job you do, or think of (for rarer jobs)

BeigeLeaf Mon 12-Sep-16 17:37:14

Take a look at the comprehensive list linked in this blog post.

JacquettaWoodville Mon 12-Sep-16 18:47:35

Whatever list you make, it has to be clear it is a first draft and if either of you think of chores thereafter, they can be added and then chores redistributed once a month or whatever. Sell this as he will be just as likely to be adding overlooked things as you!

sophie1985 Thu 15-Sep-16 23:43:58

What a miserable existence

NapQueen Thu 15-Sep-16 23:46:09

I would do the list "backwards" - stick up a sheet of paper on the wall and everything you both do for the week is listed and times.

So after 7 days you can both see who is doing what and who is shirking what and work from there

sentia Thu 15-Sep-16 23:53:53

My personal approach was to stop doing almost everything. I think with what remains that I still do we're fairly equal on the house front. DH does more of the childcare stuff but then he doesn't have a job.

Maybe rather than writing a list you should try to get your DH to realise that wifework is both thankless and neverending? If he thinks he can tidy once and have it stay that way he's living in a dream land.

RiceCrispieTreats Fri 16-Sep-16 08:31:01

Ah, so he's noticed that domestic work is thankless, and is frustrated about it.

I think that the main thing you need to do here is to hold firm. Yes, he will be frustrated that tidying needs to be re-done every day, and yes, he needs to just keep on doing it over. That's what housework is. Repetitive and never-ending.

MaudlinNamechange Fri 16-Sep-16 09:56:14

Don't forget occasional things (cleaning the outside bins, or the oven; sorting out the wardrobe and disposing of outgrown clothes; dealing with expensive things that break while under warranty; etc)

Beware of getting roped into a support role for his jobs. So for the "expensive things under warranty" one - if it's his, don't get into "where's the guarantee?" Also - don't make everything like tthat yours because it's "easier" because you "already know where things are"

Have filing cabinets and cleaning cupboards and toolboxes in standard places. Insist on everything being put in its place and do the same. When you get asked "where is x?" just answer "in the x place, unless you moved it" and be confident that is the case. Do not get off your arse and look for things that he has misplaced.

(However, have secret screwdrivers, allan keys and scissors in a personal drawer as well, so that you can do what you need to do when you need to d it.)

NightNightBadger19962 Fri 16-Sep-16 10:32:05

Do some deals on tasks one or other of you really hates, but the other doesn't mind? Eg DH never changes the beds, I don't mind it; I barely ever do any of the washing/sorting or ironing as I hate it, and don't do it well, but do more of other drudge jobs instead. However, I refuse to be the only person in this house who cleans the toilet, so we all share bathroom cleaning. And I artfully avoid getting into answering questions like 'so what is there I can cook tonight' or 'just tell me what to do' so I'm not doing all the thinking and planning. We have split the house into two zones, and each clean one zone one week, the other the next (sort of upstairs/downstairs split). It means you can concentrate on particular bits each time, and its easy to remember. Oh and we also get a dd each to delegate jobs to. We take up the slack from each other sometimes, if one person more stressed or tired. And if it's not done, so be it, it will get done at some point. I wouldn't expect him to criticise me if I hadn't done something to his standard, or at all, so I don't do it to him. But if I have specific issues to raise, I do it. mostly passive aggressively and unsuccessfully if I am honest 😀

Selectabay Fri 16-Sep-16 11:49:29

Maud. Perhaps a lot of men do a huge amount that they don't feel the need to spend hours listing in the resentful miserable way you describe.
By the way it's Allen key.

Kr1stina Fri 16-Sep-16 11:59:08

*Perhaps a lot of men do a huge amount that they don't feel the need to spend hours listing in the resentful miserable way you describe.
By the way it's Allen key*

Yeah, because correcting other posters spelling is the ideal way to get people to listen to your point of view

MaudlinNamechange Fri 16-Sep-16 12:00:32

From the OP:

"DH is frustrated and resentful [...]

So we have agreed that there will be a chore chart [...] and I want to make sure I have a complete list"

My response was to the OP, not to a woman who has such a hypothetical cheerful helpful unresentful non-lazy husband

I'd be delighted to hear from such a woman!

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

erinaceus Fri 16-Sep-16 15:25:29

Can you ask your DH to write the list?

cingolimama Fri 16-Sep-16 15:32:09

I'd rather stick pins in my eyes than have a chore chart.

erinaceus Fri 16-Sep-16 15:33:12

By that I mean, it might be less the fair division of labour that upsets him and more the big change that your household is going through - youngest in school and you returning to work. Therefore one suggestion might be to involve everyone in the change process. There might be things your DH does that he has always done that you do not think about, as well as vice-versa. Maybe get your children involved in making the list as well? Just making the list, not the dividing of the tasks. You could get a big piece of paper, give everyone who can write (or draw) a pen or pencil, and try to get it all down and to not forget anything.

I make this suggestion because you asked for a complete list, and it is really striking to me that the things that you list under "getting everything down" either do not apply in our household, or get done by someone who does not live with us, so I wonder how relevant one household's list of household tasks is to a different household.

KateInKorea Fri 16-Sep-16 20:51:53

What a miserable existence
For whom? Does that mean I should STFU and just do it all? Or am I being too prickly?

Maud. Perhaps a lot of men do a huge amount that they don't feel the need to spend hours listing in the resentful miserable way you describe.
By the way it's Allen key

'Perhaps' they do... But they actually don't, and the one in this situation definitely doesn't although he has had a shock to the system after having it easy on the domestic front as per erinaceous' post. This is compounded by the fact he doesn't speak the language here, so I have to do all official stuff.
The kids do have jobs too and aren't too bad about doing them (the majority of times).

Ps. You're right about the spelling of Allen keys, but I would hate you to think that I (or any poster here) wouldn't be well capable of using one, or any tool (including power tools) myself.

strawberrybootlace Fri 16-Sep-16 20:57:55

Buffy I stupidly ignored your advice and read the comments on the Telegraph article. Bloody hell!

Selectabay Sat 17-Sep-16 00:25:55

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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