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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Division of Labor

If only he cleaned like this at home.

Happy Hilary sweeps her old apt.

When it comes to chefs one of the last words that comes to my mind is cleanliness. Although Erik's kitchen is pristine, his domicile -without my assistance- would be graded slightly above nasty. The question is: "Where do I draw the line of division? How much work should Erik have to do as my equal partner?"

In a perfect world, which as far as I know doesn't exist, Erik and I would split the housework 50/50. The chores aren't that intense; we have a one bedroom apartment. Some dusting, dish washing, and laundry. Swifer wet jetting every week after vacuuming, and cleaning the bathroom. Open some mail, pay some bills, make the bed, feed the cats. It's not that hard.

Since this world is far from perfect the scheme we've worked out still allows for 50/50 chores, but with a twist. We both do an equal amount of work proportional to our free time. Since I work a normal amount of hours and get home at a decent hour I end up doing more work. And honestly I do get a little resentful for this, but for now it's the only way to make it work, that I know of. Talking about it with Erik helps to makes me feel less resentful and writing about it on this blog also helps.

I do get frustrated when Erik complains about having to work at home. But Erik is usually sooo great about getting things done. He makes the bed, scrubs the oven (he's the best at it) and can even manage the cat litter.

How does everyone else manage their housework situation? I'm curious to know about those with yards. Do you mow? I always wanted to mow the yard and as soon as I get one I'm sure I'll be the one doing it.



Anonymous said...

I've flat-out stopped cleaning the litter box. The cats were his when I met him, and for a while I helped out with it but sometime around last year I decided I just wasn't doing it any more. Given the choice, I wouldn't have any pets. I'm the one who buys their supplies most of the time, so I don't feel bad one bit making him clean the litter box.

As for the rest of it, sometimes I feel a little guilty that the house isn't cleaner, and sometimes I get frustrated when the dishes don't get done, but all in all, I'll take those little things over anything more serious (infidelity, addiction, etc.).


Jennifer Queen of Moser said...

We have a similar situation. Chef's kitchen at work boasts 100 health scores while I'm left doing ALL of the kitchen cleaning at home. I guess he has a cap on how much kitchen cleaning he can do, and it's fulfilled at work. However, chef does all his own laundry, mows the yard (pretty big), takes out trash, vacuums and other things I beg him to do....and yes, it does seem we do work proportional to how much we're home....

Chef is great about making sure I get a night out w/ my girls every so often, because I'm home w/ our 2 year old 5 out of 7 nights alone...which is exhausting some weeks.

yeah, 50/50 would be nice, but, I've got some extra time on my hands....

Anonymous said...

He does nothing - NOTHING - around the house. In fact, I suspect that he actually tries to make more work for me; some of his messes are just too over-the-top to be accidental.

I would glady take on the extra chore of mowing, though, if only we had a lawn.

Hilary Battes said...

I have to say, I was really generous in this post regarding the amount of work Erik does. He NEVER cleans anything on his own. I have to ask him, which wouldn't be such a big deal but he complains like I'm asking him to sweep, mop, open the mail, pay the bills, dust, do the laundry, iron his shirts, load-run-unload the dishwasher, SCRUB the cat box, and bleach the tub and toilet. Because THOSE ARE ALL MY JOBS! No one reminds me, no one pays me and usually no one even thanks me. I'm sure God is watching, he must enjoy looking at my clean apartment.

Anonymous said...

I am VERY lucky!! My chef cleans all the time at home! He is OCD about cleaning. (can be bad sometimes) He also mows the lawn. That said.... for some reason we thought it was a good idea to buy a huge house with a huge yard that has huge flower beds. {{{sigh}}} We NEVER get all the work done. In or out! I get tired of cleaning non stop with two kids following me around messing things up behind me. And the yard work is never ending....one reason I like winter. =) Our problem is that he thinks I don't budget my time well. grrrrr! He some how forgets that our kids have to be told to do or helped with everything all day. When he has the kids at home the house may be clean BUT the kids need breakfast, lunch and diner...and so on.... I don't think he has ever brushed our yongest sons teeth. Although, the tooth brush would be in it's proper place. =)
Hummm...I feel better now. Thanks!

Anonymous said...


It sounds absolutely terrible that you feel so unappreciated. I try my best to convey my appreciation about how much you do around the house, but I guess its not usually enough. I think that since it is unlikely that I will ever have enough time do as much as you, I will try to show my appreciation by at least doing a little MORE to pick up my slack. I'd be a mess without you. (pun intended)

Go DCW's!


Anonymous said...

Hire a maid. Perhaps that is the solution. That way no one does it all.

Anonymous said...

Awww! Your chef left a comment for you! That's really sweet.