Here’s how the various chore and labor obligations break down in our house (according to me, Holly may disagree on the percentage but not the direction):
Chore Percent me/Percent her
Dishes (emptying/filling dishwasher, pots/pans) 75/25
General Clutter Pickup 70/30
General cleaning (vacuuming, disinfecting, floors, toilets) 55/45
Childcare (taxi service, lunch food prep, bathing, snuggletime, roughhousing, reading, homework, you get the gist) 50/50
Major Reorganizing/decluttering projects (usually one or two of these happen per month) 0/100
Lawn mowing,edging,weedwhacking – 100/0
Gardening – 0/100
Canning, jarring, etc. of gardened food – 0/100
General home/auto maintenance – 50/50
Financial – 40/60 (Holly does monthly bills, I do long-term financial planning, college accounts, emergency fund management)
Dog care – 55/45 (I probably do more taking out, but nail trimming goes to her, I sometimes wash the dog)
Snow shoveling/raking – 50/50
These chore weighting was developed organically. We’ve tried to modify it at times, but it always generally comes back to this. We both work demanding, stressful full-time jobs. Our income is roughly equal over the last five years (depending on the year, sometimes she makes more, sometimes I make more, probably pretty even over that duration though). Our house will never be on television for cleanest ever. It’s a constant battle to fight with the papers that come home from school, mail, dishes and laundry generated, LoudBoy and Birdsnest induced toy clutter (the latest is the muthafucking Rainbow Loom – I’m finding rubber bands EVERYWHERE!), and shoes, coats and dog toys spread around the house. But for the most part, our house is in reasonable shape if anyone were ever to stop over, we wouldn’t be too embarrassed. Despite the fact that every flat surface (i.e. tables, countertops, washing machine) is a place to collect “stuff.”
As I’ve mentioned before, I grew up in a home where my parents, particularly my mom, are most definitely on the hoarding spectrum. That stemmed from growing up very poor (stories of how she couldn’t get new socks after the elastic wore out in old ones, so had to hold up socks with rubberbands), and working their way to middle-class and procuring a lot of unnecessary shit at second hand stores and garage sales primarily. Oh, and don’t forget, never fucking throwing out a single thing. Anyways, that’s my background, so it’s not a surprise that I went the other direction and have a pretty strong intolerance for clutter. Holly, and both her brothers, clutter does not seem to bother them. I seriously don’t think they even see it, until it’s piled up to a point well beyond the boiling point for many people, including me. It is just something inherent in some people I think – their tolerance for clutter and disorganization.
For a large part of my marriage, this was a MAJOR issue. First off, I had a running score sheet in my head, and the day to day stuff that I primarily take care of scored a lot higher than the labor items on her list. Second, I would gunnysack things and have a major blowup. So instead of letting out the pressure little at a time, asking her in a nice way to take care of her stuff, it was more “You are the biggest fucking slob I have ever lived with or seen!” That type of reaction. Now if you’re familiar with Chapman’s The 5 Love Languages (great book for seeing what pulls individual’s triggers), Holly is primarily a “Words of Affirmation” language, which means these cutting insults were like a cluster bomb exploding inside her. She would be incredibly hurt by these accusations, regardless of their validity or not. We would get into huge fights over this. Rinse. Repeat. (at least I wasn’t a house husband – friend Swarley’s wife lost all attraction after he became a stay at home dad, and they’re going through a divorce)
I would feel so bitter towards my wife for not meeting my covert contract expectations, and she would hate me for being a nag. It sucked for both of us, and impacted our connection to each other and sex life. At some point, after taking the Red Pill and doing introspection and improving, I realized I had stopped keeping score and pretty much stopped caring WHO did WHAT, but as long as shit got done it was all good. I honestly can’t remember when we last had a drawn out, knock down, drag out fight over Division of Labor. Maybe a few minor things that were even radar blips. I’m not going to make her into Martha Stewart Sally Homemaker on the cleaning/clutter front. She’ll never make me into a garden caretaker or major organizer (my idea of cleaning is picking up the clutter and shoving it in closets, nooks and crannies; hers is taking those closets, nooks and crannies and making them habitable and usable). I don’t care at this point. The house is reasonably clean (I’m happy), the kids are taken care of (they’re happy) and Holly can garden and do the more major projects she desires (she’s happy), so who really cares how we get to that point? I will also say that her tolerance for handling stress is less than mine (I’m the Rock, the Oak, the one everyone in the family can rely on to stay strong in the face of adversity), so her ability to multi-task after a stressful day is not great. Give her a day with no obligations or stress and she can move mountains (while I prefer to relax after keeping the balls in the air all week).
The point here is that we both contribute in various ways to the household financials and labor. Depending on how you weigh things, it may not be even, but is what works for us. Neither of us are Lazy Bears.
But if you are resentful about the division of labor in your house, there are two ways to deal with it. Bump against your spouse, make expectations and ramifications known; or stop keeping score and make sure shit gets done, but LOSE THE RESENTMENT AND STOP KEEPING SCORE! Sometimes people aren’t who we want them to be. It’s not their fault. Sure they may be able to change, but many can’t. It’s up to you to decide how you deal with that. Good luck!