(Closed) How do you split household chores when both H & W work?

posted 7 years ago in Married Life
Post # 3
3942 posts
Honey bee

@Miss Mochaccino:  When our kitchen has some crumbs on the counter left over from when I made his sandwhich and then rushed to get myself ready for work in the morning, he says, “what’s this? my mother’s kitchen is spotless!” —

Umm. That would honestly be a dealbreaker for me and I would probably tell him he should go live with his mother. If my husband ever spoke to me like that or expected me to do my “wifely” duties I would seriously question our relationship. I am not a 1950’s housewife-I am an equal partner and work just as hard as my husband every day. It’s our responsibility together to keep the household running.

So I guess I don’t know how to answer your question. We spilt the duties in a pretty natural way. Whoever is home first starts dinner. Whoever has the time in the morning makes lunches. We clean up on the weekends because we have zero time during the week. We both do laundry, sweep, mop, even take turns cutting the lawn in the summer.

What you are hoping to do is completely change your husbands way of thinking.

Post # 4
635 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I have to say that I am extremely blessed and my future-husband (whom I have been living with for about a year) is really helpful.  If I ask him to do something he will do it and he does stuff without asking.  I typically cook (because he is a horrible cook) and take care of cleaning the kitchen.  He vacuums the house and dusts and I got the bathrooms.  He also does all the laundry – mostly because I am out alot more then he is so he just does it when he is at home watching a game.  I even tell him – babe I feel like a bad future wife because I hardly do anything and he tells me – we share it.

Post # 5
8036 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

@Miss Mochaccino:  This is ridiculous. He makes you work more hours and expects you to be a full-time maid as well? He needs to get a grip. You need to have a little chat with him.

We are lucky and get to spend more time at home than you (and we have an apartment right now) so besides cleaning up after the cat and doing dishes after dinner (sometimes by hand, sometimes dishwasher), we can get away with spending a couple hours on Sunday mornings doing things like vacuuming and cleaning the bathrooms. We pretty much do half the chores each. I suggest setting aside a day when you’re both home to split the cleaning duties.

We do laundry on Friday and Saturay so that my SO can iron while watching sports on TV while I am sleeping in (he’s a morning person, I am not).

Post # 7
6512 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

@Bostongrl25:  THIS.  That is not acceptable.

We split ours equally.  Well, truth be told, he does more than I do, because he is home more often (his job involves some working from home).  We both work full time jobs and try to split chores accordingly. 

OP, I think you need to have a serious convo with your husband to let him know he cannot have it both ways.  If he wants you to be a homemaker (and that is something you’d be willing to do), then that will be your job.  If not, he needs to do just as much around the house as you.  There is no “women’s work” – this is the 21st fucking century, and he needs to get that in his head. 

Post # 8
7310 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

Does he do any household chores at all? Have you two sat down together, created a list of weekly and monthly household chores, and made a plan to divide them up fairly? Have you called him out on his bs statements?

I must say that such crap would not fly with me. We all do chores around the house, even Teen LK. I am neither a maid nor a cook. I take care of some things, and I expect Mr. LK and Teen LK to take care of other things. in our house, if you cook dinner, someone else is responsible for doing the after dinner cleanup. Likewise, if one person cleans the bathrooms, another is responsible for cleaning the floors and another is responsible for dusting. All chores are shared responsibilities because we are a team and we work together as such.

Post # 9
523 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2013 - Callanwolde Fine Arts Center

My Fiance and I split most of the household duties. We either cook together or the person who gets home first starts dinner. We really enjoy cooking together, so I don’t really see dinner as a chore.

I tend to clean the kitchen/bathrooms and do the laundry. Fiance despises laundry and I get offended by the kitchen/bathrooms before he even notices that they are dirty. He has done both of those chores if I’m busy at work or sick.

Fiance tends to do the outside maintenance like cutting the lawn, trimming the hedges, and weeding. He also does the vacuuming because I can’t stand to vacuum. He also remembers and does a lot of the annoying home maintenance things like putting salt in the water softener, changing light bulbs, replacing filters.

We usually do most of the cleaning on the weekends because we’re both pretty busy at work. I feel like we have a pretty even split of duties and if one of us is really busy, the other one helps out.

Post # 10
267 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

We’ve lived together for almost 3 years now, and we’ve just fallen into a pattern. At first, I was “keeping score” of who did what more often, and getting upset about it, and I realized that it was ridiculous and unhealthy for our relationship. If I want him to do something, I ask him to do it and accept that it might not get done as quickly as I’d do it myself.

Darling Husband takes care of most of the outside stuff (mowing the lawn, shoveling/snowblowing, pruning the bushes/trees), plus he cleans the master bathroom and does his own laundry. And gives the dogs a bath every once in a while.

I take care of the garden/flowers, clean the kitchen, my bathroom, and the powder room, change the bedsheets, mop once a month or so, and do my laundry.

Really, we split everything else. Vacuuming, dusting, unloading the dishwasher, etc.–it sounds funny, but whoever gets sick of it first cleans it. I cook dinner 3-4 nights a week and he’ll cook once or twice. Each of us picks up after ourselves (dirty dishes, shoes, books, etc.) and our house is pretty uncluttered. Both of us are out of the house from about 5:30am-6pm every day, so we only do heavy cleaning on the weekends.

Post # 11
1444 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

My SO and I are not married yet but we have lived together for 6 months and both work FT.  SO lived at home until moving in with me, and his mom worked FT plus did mostly everything chore related in the house except laundry, and outside work (ie. cleaning, cooking, etc) so take my advice with that in mind…

I made it quite clear before we moved in together that I was not his mom. Period.  I expected a partner and would not do everything in the house myself.  He was on board and heard me loud and clear.

My SO never sat down and “divvied up” the chores, it became a natural division based on what each of us tends to gravitate to, and then the rest just gets done by whoever thinks to do it or on the weekends by both of us. For instance, SO likes doing laundry, and started doing the laundry on his own before we moved in all our boxes. So that became his job – I put clothes away, as he dares not to try to put things away in my mess of a closet (haha) but for the most part that’s his “job”. He also likes to vacuum, so he does that.

I like to cook, so I tend to cook and clean the kitchen, although he will empty the dishwasher and occasionally do dishes (although he’s kind of a baby with putting dirty dishes in the dishwasher, so I do that mostly). I do the bathrooms because if I didn’t it would never get cleaned, he’s a baby about that too. But then he always takes out the trash, and he puts things away (ie, papers, mail, etc).

Since this type of arrangement isn’t happening for you, I think you need to talk to your Darling Husband and explain that you will not clean everything and work, that’s not fair. Ask him what he will help out with (maybe more of giving him a choice of what to help with instead of asking him to help, period – because you’re coming with the expectation that he is going to help, but he gets to choose with what, does that make sense?). So if he doesn’t want to help with dinner, then it makes sense he should help with dishes, or vacuuming, or whatever he chooses, as long as he’s helping out and contributing to your household together.

I hope that makes sense, I’m rambling and didn’t read through this. Good luck!

Post # 12
3885 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

In any relationship, both partners need to acknowledge that there’s a fair amount of work needed to keep the household running.  Not just cleaning/tidying or cooking, either; someone has to manage the bills, look after general maintenance, and so forth. Someone has to go to the grocery store, walk the dog or  wash the car.  It really doesn’t matter who does what, as long as everything gets done and the work is more or less balanced.

OP from your description, things are not balanced, but it’s possible that some things he does are being overlooked. Does he manage the bank accounts and bills?  Does he spend a fair amount of time looking after the yard? 

I’d suggest that, together, you write up a list of everything that needs doing around the house, even if it doesn’t seem like a chore per se. Basically everything that isn’t going to your job, watching tv, relaxing or going out to have fun.  Then start seeing who’s carrying the load. It could be that you need to acknowledge the things he DOES do, rather than the things he doesn’t, to help you see that there truly is balance in the relationship, or it could be that he needs to step up and start pitching in.

I do agree with there no longer being a stereotypical “women’s work” or “men’s work” any longer, and that it’s pretty dickish of him to compare your kitchen to his mother’s, but I would caution you against immediately assuming he isn’t contributing.  Few things will start a fight faster than accusing a partner of not contributing when in fact they are.  On his side, though, he needs to keep his snarky comments to himself. There’s no excuse for that.

Also you may want to consider hiring a cleaning serivce/maid once or twice a month, as it tends to be money well spent if you can get a deep cleaning on your house wthout fighting over it. 

Post # 13
1621 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@Miss Mochaccino:  This seems to be a case in which a very honest, sit-down conversation needs to happen before resentments start to brew on both sides.  His expectations are very unrealistic and unfair, quite frankly.  Wouldn’t we all love to have our meals made for us and our houses cleaned for us? That’s just not reality.  You need to tell him that you’re an equal partner in this relationship and that if you’re both working full-time, the home responsibilities need to be split more equitably.

In our house, we split duties and often there is cross-over.  For example, my husband cooks and I clean the kitchen.  He puts laundry in and I fold (he hates folding and I hate the way he folds haha).  I do most of the vacuuming, dusting, clutter control and he does recycling, garbage and kitty litters.  We share bathrooms.

Our system just evolved over time, but we very easily say, “Hey, can you give me a hand with X?” and know the answer will always be “Of course!”.  It’s OUR home, OUR dirt and OUR job to  take care of it.

In your case, obviously this situation needs to be rectified or it will damage your relationship going forward.  I think it’s incredibly disrespectful of him to talk to you that way, even if it’s “joking”….which isn’t really joking, it’s his passive-aggressive way to approach the situation while masking it as a light-hearted comment.  Haha, what would happen if you just stopped cooking for him, etc and then joked about how you “forgot”? It would go over like a lead balloon.  When he implies that you’re “lazy” that is really crossing a major line and I think this needs to be told to him.  Loving partners don’t speak to each other that way and don’t expect the other to wait on them like a servant.


Post # 14
6354 posts
Bee Keeper

He does slightly more chores than I do.

It’s not that we agreed upon it that way, he just enjoys cooking and cleaning and it comes more automatically to him…whereas I am not as enthusiastic.

We both put in our best effort to do whatever needs to be done. I’m hoping to step up my game, over time. Meanwhile I’m lucky to have such a productive partner. If I acted as unappreciative as your husband sounds, I think it would be a disaster for us. I suggest you speak up and make it clear that what he’s doing is not okay.

Post # 15
539 posts
Busy bee

@Miss Mochaccino:  We ended up making a chore chart together, as crazy as that sounds it works, but sat down and decided on 1 small thing we each wouldn’t mind doing during the week. Every night we each have 1 thing we do.  We each have 1 night a week we don’t have to do anything, and then on Sundays we both get major household cleaning done.

It has helped so much.

Every night: One cooks, the other cleans the kitchen up

Mondays-my night off, my husband does 1 load of laundry

Tues-I do 1 load of laundry, my husband has the night off

Wed-I grocery shop, he cleans the bathrooms

Thurs-I vacuum & do 1 load of laundry, he dusts & sweeps the floors

Friday-we BOTH have off

Saturday-we pick up/do whatever is needed if we have time

Sunday-whole house is deep cleaned by me, and he does yard work and cleans his garage…and helps with inside chores if I need help.

And on days where I am exhausted or tired, he will help me out, and vice versa…this way our house always looks presentable.

Post # 16
3181 posts
Sugar bee

@Miss Mochaccino:  I am engaged but living with my fiance. Usually he cooks dinner and I clean up. I clean the bathroom tub, sink, and toilet, and the kitchen counter and stove while he handles all the floors. The bedroom is a different headache. We’re pretty 50/50 when it comes to the cleaning but usually I do end up doing the majority because I do not want to live filth. I think we’re eventually going to get a maid service to come by once a month though. Maybe that will be a good idea for you. Even with 1 bedroom/ 1 bathroom, it’s hard to keep things as clean as I would like with two busy adults.

Just remember that the first few months of living together are always an adjustment.

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