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How do you divide up household duties?

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zoebartlett

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When you and your boyfriend, fiancee, or husband first moved in together, I assume there was some sort of transition adjustment. My boyfriend and I are so happy after having bought our condo last year (our first time living together). The only thing is, we argue A LOT about household chores. Every chance he gets, he reminds me that he has over an hour commute each way to and from work, whereas mine is significantly shorter. Because of that, I have more time in my day after work to devote to household chores. I don''t mind pitching in more (that''s fair) but I''d also like him to do a little more around here, perhaps on the weekends when he has more time. It drives me NUTS to spend a Saturday or Sunday cleaning like mad, with very little help from my boyfriend.

Anyone with similar issues?
 

Skippy123

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I wish i had a great idea to get him to clean but that is just a discussion you need to talk to him about. You should tell him how you feel without going on and on and on. Then ask him what solution he has. Maybe he does not realize how overhelmed you feel. If he does not understand I would stop cleaning and see how he likes that.
 

strmrdr

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Date: 1/20/2007 12:02:51 PM
Author: Skippy123
If he does not understand I would stop cleaning and see how he likes that.
10 to 1 odds he would like it just fine!
 

KimberlyH

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I''m sorry you are struggling with this. I am very lucky that my husband partakes in all household chores, things just sort of fell into place as follows:

We switch off cooking and cleaning up afterwards, and whomever is doing one doesn''t have to do the other (but I tend to always do clean up even when I cook because it''s his least favorite task). He does a thorough cleaning of general living areas and our bedroom every Sunday (washes sheets, vacuums, cleans the floors, deals with recycling, etc.). I clean the spare bedrooms/bathrooms. Because he is picky about recycling all things trash are his responsibility (he prefers it that way, when I go to take out the garbage he always tells me, "I''m the trashman."). I do every day clean up, clutter type stuff, wipe down kitchen counters, clean up the family room etc. But he tends to pitch in with that as well. We each do our own laundry.

I know I''m really lucky because there is no real division of labor in our house it''s whatever needs to be done just do it. And John is great about jumping in and doing. He lived on his own for 18 years before we were married though, so he got into some routines that he''s choosen to continue, because he''s just a routine kinda guy.

If I were you I would make a list of things that need to be done each week and who is doing them. I would show it to your FI and tell him it is extremely inequitable and you are beginning to resent him for it. See what he is willing to take on from there. And if the answer is nothing than I''d just let his things remain exactly as they are and only deal with my stuff; or start a FI pile and leave everything that is his in it. He''d learn to pitch in soon enough.
 

Cehrabehra

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Date: 1/20/2007 11:41:29 AM
Author:zoebartlett
When you and your boyfriend, fiancee, or husband first moved in together, I assume there was some sort of transition adjustment. My boyfriend and I are so happy after having bought our condo last year (our first time living together). The only thing is, we argue A LOT about household chores. Every chance he gets, he reminds me that he has over an hour commute each way to and from work, whereas mine is significantly shorter. Because of that, I have more time in my day after work to devote to household chores. I don''t mind pitching in more (that''s fair) but I''d also like him to do a little more around here, perhaps on the weekends when he has more time. It drives me NUTS to spend a Saturday or Sunday cleaning like mad, with very little help from my boyfriend.

Anyone with similar issues?
tell him it takes you an hour longer in the am to get purdy for the day and in the evening you''ll devote that one extra hour to cooking and then everything else is even-steven! Worth a shot! LOL Regardless I''d figure out a way to do exactly and no more than 2 hours of work while he was still gone so that all of our off time together was totally even.
 

diamondfan

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I hate to say this but there are things I still think of as manly man chores...like reorganizing the garage and changing lightbulbs, and getting stuff out of the disposal...so I just tell him he needs to do it when the need arises. Otherwise I pretty much am in charge of stuff...
 

Mara

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wait there are household duties?

 

dani13

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I do ALL of the cleaning, most of the cooking, and everything else...But, this is not because my FI doesnt want to help out...Its b/c, (and I hate to admit it), I am entirely way too anal/OCDish about cleaning. There is no way he can do it 1/2 as good as I can, so I would just have to do it over again anyway if he were to do it. I feel bad saying that, but its the truth.

He brings out the recycling, and once in awhile he does a load or 2 of laundry or cook dinner, which he has no problem doing. That's it. Yeah, he has a pretty good life here. I am sure once we have a family things will change though....there is no way I am going to do everything myself!
 

Skippy123

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Date: 1/20/2007 1:02:00 PM
Author: Mara
wait there are household duties?

No way.
Greg cleans? Don''t worry about him not cooking then.

My hubby cooks wonderful dishes but does not clean a lot. He is good at organizing stuff. I guess I am good at cleaning.
 

lumpkin

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We sort of split things as to who has time to do what at that particular day. However, he always takes out the trash and 90% of the time brings in the trash barrels. It makes a huge difference to me. He also does the cat litter box. Also a huge job, to me. I do almost all the laundry and I like to load the dishwasher because I have a "system" and he never loads it the way I want it done. He is really helpful if I ask him to vacuum or dust or even mop. I do the bathrooms because I''m more thorough and picky. But every once in a while he will do the boys'' bathroom upstairs for me.

I''m lucky. My husband will do almost anything I ask him to do. However, he does tend to leave a trail wherever he goes. He has a lot of hobbies and I do get frustrated at how the kitchen table is more of a work shop than a dining space. Of course, if I got all my projects off the dining room table, we could eat there, so I''m just as bad.
 

RockDoc

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There is another alternative.....

If a gal feels overwhelmed with cleaning and straightening up, and the guy doesn''t want to help out, or doesn''t do it well, then hire a cleaning person to either do it, or assist in getting it done.

Even if only once a week, they get the "heavy" jobs out of the way in just a few hours, so just the daily straightening up isn''t so overwhelming.

Granted it cost for this, but it is an alternative for those guys who don''t wish or don''t clean well.

Rockdoc
 

Skippy123

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24,299
Oh my goodness. I did that and thought it was more work!!! I would clean before they came in to clean (mostly pick up). Plus I felt dumb reading a magazine while they were cleaning.

I have coworkers who swear by it!!!!
 

Mara

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lol..i was just kidding...but yes greg actually does clean!!

i do most cooking, he does all cleaning in the kitchen. it's mostly his domain in terms of cleaning and organizing. i just bring things home for the kitchen.


in terms of cleaning...we both clean the house together typically. BUT sometimes if i am out for the day he does the cleaning! he cleans the bathrooms, toilets, scrubs the showers and tubs. this weekend we are going to do some cleaning together since his mom is coming to see us this week, so we'll do all the floors and the baseboards. i might reorganize the pantry tomorrow. he cleaned out his closet last weekend.

i am pretty lucky in that he DOES clean...he's probably the more 'clean' type between the two of us. he also takes out all the garbage in the house as well. oh and he's responsible for the garage and cleanliness and organization (another 'his domain' thing)..and i take care of the patio/yard/gardening. we both do laundry depending on time/schedules, though he really doesn't do my laundry as i have had him shrink way too many items, lol.
 

poptart

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My husband is good to me becausee he cleans and/or cooks without me ever asking. He cooks dinner almost every night because he enjoys it, and I always do the baking of treats (although he ALWAYS has to stir the cookie batter!). He always gets me up on the weekends because "It''s time to clean the house!" and we kind of just do what needs to be done. Whoever gets to it first does it. Except mopping and vacuuming. It''s painful to watch me try to mop... I just make a big waterspot, and the noise of the vacuum drives me up the wall so he usually does that as well. If anything needs to be done, I just ask and he''ll do it, which is nice. I normally deal with trash because I like to make sure things get recycled correctly and he doesn''t want to put all that effort into trash. We split dishes... if he cooks, I do dishes, and vice versa. And we just do the laundry together while we watch a movie... So the house is always clean and we have never had an argument about the cleaning.

If I were in your position Zoe, I would just sit your FI down and say, I know you don''t enjoy cleaning and neither do I. But it''s important to me that you pitch in and help me around the house. I know you have a long drive to and from work, so I will save the chores for you for the weekend (that might kickstart him into doing some of it during the week so he doesn''t have to waste time on Saturdays!).

If that doesn''t work, let him fend for himself. Just put his stuff in a pile and he can find what he needs. At some point he might get fed up with having to find a clean pair of socks in a stack the size of Everest!

*M*
 

zoebartlett

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Joined
Dec 29, 2006
Messages
12,450
It''s good to hear what others are doing and how you work it out. I should say that my boyfriend isn''t completely lazy around the house -- maybe it''s just that I"m WAY more particular about how things get done. I know that if I leave something for him to do and it doesn''t get done the "right way," I''ll end up doing it myself. Maybe he knows that so he doesn''t bother because I''ll just end up redoing his work anyway. He does do some of the cooking occasionally (although if I don''t cook, we usually end up getting take out or go out to eat), and he takes care of the litter box and the trash. We each do our own laundry. My boyfriend has actually brought up the idea of having a cleaning lady come in a couple of times a month but that seems silly to me, considering we live in a 1000 sq. foot condo. If we lived in a ginormous house or something I might feel differently, but I feel funny about having someone else come in to do things that we could do ourselves. Then again, a friend of mine loved having a cleaning lady come once a month for her and her husband''s TINY apt. in SF. For them, it saved a lot of arguments. Something to consider, I guess.
 

Girlrocks

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 19, 2006
Messages
575
I haven''t figured it out yet. I do ALL of the household chores...laundry, vaccuum, dust, bathrooms, cook and dishes. When I worked, my hubby did more, maybe 70/30. But then I quit my job and was a SAHM for 2 full years, which was where everything went downhill. In the past year, I have started a very successful business, actually making more than him, but still I do 100% of the housework. I work from home, which I guess to him means nothing different than when I wasn''t working. I''ll give him credit though, he does take care of the cars and outside of the house, yard, etc. but that''s not an everyday chore. He does help 50/50 with our 3 kids...baths, bedtime, diapers, etc. so that''s good. Now that I make more than him, I just recently signed on with a cleaning service once a week and we eat carryout/go out to eat Friday through Sunday.
 

Dee*Jay

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The happy hubby does everything food/kitchen related; cooking, cleaning up after, even grocery shopping. I do laundry. The cleaning lady does everything else. THANK GOD for the cleaning lady!!!
 

poptart

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If a cleaning lady can save you from having lots of arguments and you can afford it, I would say go for it. You don''t want to spend all your energy fighting over who did or didn''t do the dishes.

*M*
 

aquarius_ser

Shiny_Rock
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Apr 12, 2006
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Me - laundry, cooking, clean my 1/2 bathroom, the kitchen, bedroom, vacumming
Him - Dishes every night, cleaning the full bathroom, cleaning the front room, rotating the couch cushions, take garbage out,
Manly duties: changing oil, car stuff.

I do a lot of the yard work, grass cutting (I enjoy it, plus I''ve been doing it for 7 yrs before he moved in)

I like it this way because it''is clear, there''s no arguing about who''s doing what.
 

Officers girl

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Messages
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Maybe its a military guy thing because my FI is a cleaning fanatic. Have you all had a conversation about it that didnt go into arguing? Maybe sit down and let him know how stressed you feel? Also maybe try a chore chart for a little while or trade off cooking and cleaning, or you do a certain room he does a certain room? I hope we can help arguing about chores sucks!!
 

TravelingGal

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It took a few tries and lots of communication, but we finally have it all figured out...

We just learned to live in our own filth.


OK, I''m kidding. But in our house, chores are not a 50/50 thing, and I am fine with that because TGuy will do what I HATE to do. Laundry (because I hate putting clean clothes away), putting the dishes away (because I hate putting them away), takes out the trash, (because I hate putting it out). Sense a theme here?

Since he is fine with doing the things I despise, I don''t mind cooking, cleaning, dishes, floors, vacuum, bathrooms, etc etc. Plus I have seen him wash dishes and that is all it took. Being part of an old fashioned Korean family, we never used the dishwasher. I wash everything by hand...which includes rinsing. In Australia, where water conservation is important, they don''t seem to just rinse with the water running. I am hoping they DO rinse in still water because TGuy DID NOT. He washed in warm soapy water and then went straight to drying!
 

firebirdgold

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Interestingly our commutes are very similar to the OP. He has an hour commute and I work from home half the time. Yet we''ve never had any issues with domestic stuff. In fact we''ve never even discussed it in the sense of divvying up tasks.

Well, we have a slightly odd comunication scheme so how we do things might not translate well to other couples.

For us it''s equal parts consideration, OCD, co-operation, and a silent contest of wills. I''ll do stuff he hates like clean the kitty litter and he''ll do things I hate. Not because the other person asked, but because we love the other person and know they really don''t like to do whatever it is.
I''ll do things that I feel he won''t do a good job at like actually doing the laundry. (he becomes color-blind when doing the wash and then wonders why his socks are grey!) And he''ll do things that are important to him that he thinks I mess up.


When doing major cleaning we''ll work together and divded the tasks up, like I''ll vaccum and he''ll mop. But now we have a lady who comes every week and does the floors, bathrooms, and dusting. (Thank God!)

Also if one of us asks the other if they could do something, the other will unless they''re in the middle of work.

One of the things that makes the no-discussion and no-dividing-up-of-tasks work is the silent contest of wills. There are some things that neither of us wants to do so we play chicken. Whoever admits to seeing the mess first has to clean it up.
He doesn''t really like to fold laundry either but I''ll just leave the clean clothes basket in front of his closet and fail to bring up anymore clean clothes until the basket is empty. We also have a ''how full can the trash can get and still close'' game going. If you can''t wedge your trash in you have to take it out and put a new bag in.

If we want the other person to do something and know that asking them is pretty futile then we use the computer ploy. (we know it''s fuitle because we know each other''s foibles, not because we keep nagging without effect) For instance every so often my mail that I hate to deal with turns up on top of my keyboard in a neat pile. I do the same thing to him with lists and phone numbers.



I say get a cleaning person and then do the rest together. We even grocery shop together. Things go a lot faster as a team.

Out of curiosity... what is your bf doing while you spend a Saturday or Sunday cleaning like mad?
 

nejarb

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Aug 3, 2006
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I do nearly everything. Occasionally he does a load of laundry. This has worked out fine SO FAR, b/c I''m not working right now. And when I was in law school, we just had a messier place, ate take-out more, and sometimes I would call a maid.

I''m worried that when I start working he still won''t do anything. Actually I know he still won''t do anything. He''d like me to think he''s incapable, but I know he''s just spoiled (his mom is funny, she claimed full responsibility and gave me a sincere apology for this). We''ll get a regular maid, but for just everyday things like cleaning up after I make dinner, I''ll probably resent it when I end up still doing this every night while he goes to read a magazine or work at his desk or something.
 

stretch4

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DH does the laundry, takes care of the trash, cleans part of the bathrooms, and takes care of his precious hardwood floors
. I do the dishes, cook, vacuum, and do part of the bathrooms. It works for us
We basically do the other''s most hated chores.
 

divergrrl

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Well, my dh travels, and never the same schedule twice, so I have to completely retrain him weekly...Total PITA. But fortunately, he''s a neat guy & is constantly picking up...but basically, I''m in charge of cleaning the house and he is in charge of the yard work (we have a HUGE piece of property, so this is no easy task).

I also do all the laundry because I''m particular about my clothes.

But when he is home, it''s his job to clean up after dinner, and I always have to remind him. To make it seem less nag-ish, I give him a choice, I usually ask "do you want to clean up after dinner, or give the baby a bath & put him to bed?" He ALWAYS picks the dishes. for some reason he''s allergic to putting our son down. LOL. Fine by me, I''ll take the story, songs & goodnight snuggles anyday. That''s a PERK, not work!

If I feel like I''m doing too much I just ask him for some help and he does, but I do the lions share of housework. I did when we were childless and I worked full time as well. (I''m a stay at home now)

Because he travels, its just easier for me to do it all (laundry, scrubbing, vaccuming dusting, etc) and then when he''s home I''ll just say "hon, could you _______" and he''ll pitch in.

diver
 

monarch64

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17,757
I do the laundry, heavy cleaning (because my sense of clean is a bit less relaxed than his, hee hee), he takes care of the garbage and brings his laundry downstairs for me and also puts away his clean laundry. If one of us cooks, the other one cleans up afterwards. We don''t really have set chores or anything...typically on a Friday night I go into cleaning mode and he helps me straighten up the house so I can do a good scrub down so the house is clean for the weekend.
 

Gypsy

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He does more around the house than I do, b/c he works from home a lot of the time. I don''t. But I pitch in on the weekends.
 

NYCsparkle

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My DH helps clean and my favorite part.....
folds all the laundry PERFECTLY
...i am the worst folder ever---and i hate to do it.
 

Kaleigh

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DH is in charge of the trash, doing the dishes, carrying anything that is heavy for me as I have a bad neck. I have a cleaning lady for this reason, can''t lug a vacume around etc.. I do most of the cooking and the laundry. He loves to grill in the summer and fall, so I love that!!!!
 

hlmr

Ideal_Rock
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Well to be honest, there isn''t much of a division - I pretty much have done everything since we have been together!! But, as my dh gets older, he is more apt to pitch in and help, and to offer help.

(I think he is starting to realize that he has it made in the shade!) lol
 
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