I am rarely on dish duty at home — that’s my husband’s job. He, on the other hand, never has to worry about matching his socks, because I’m in charge of the laundry. We both truly despise the task the other is charged with, so created this division of labor right when we got married — and it turns out that we were smarter than we knew (well, at least in this respect), according to a recent segment about the “chore wars” on the Today Show.
According to the CLR Chore Wars Report, a national study looking at how men and women clean and their attitudes toward housekeeping, arguments over chores are extremely common, with 20% of Americans admitting to fighting about housework on a monthly basis. Not surprisingly, 69% of women felt that they did most of the housework, while 53% of men stated that they shared the chores equally. Those who felt they did most if not all of the housework showed a greater level of built-up resentment toward their partners over time, while the couples who felt that their division of labor was pretty even felt happier toward their partners and about their marriages in general.
Now, I’m not about to claim that chores are evenly divided in our home (my husband leaves for work earlier and gets home later than I do, so I shoulder more of the day-to-day childcare), but I’m not as “mad at dad” as some other moms. He pitches in when he’s home, doing a lot of the jobs I hate to do. Sure, there are times when I want to scream at him to pick up the child tugging on my pants while I’m trying to make dinner and he’s surfing the latest college football news on ESPN, but then there are mornings, like yesterday, when he wakes up with the kids (at the bleary-eyed hour of 5:15 a.m.), serves them breakfast, and then wakes me up to offer me first dibs on the shower…
Parents, how do you split the housework and childcare at your home? If you feel you do more than your partner, does that lead to fights?