As a sociology major in College - I read a lot about division of labor and gender roles, etc... The whole topic fascinated me even before I was married with kids and gave up my "office job" for the 24 hour job of staying at home.
Before we had children, my husband and I were both very neat in our own respects so it wasn't like we really had any huge mess to clean every week. (we were only home at night)
I typically did all of the HEAVY DUTY cleaning - the bathrooms, kitchen, vacuuming, etc... Dave has always been good about doing dishes and cooking - he loves cooking and he won't object at all if I ask him to do any of the other stuff... I just always kind of did it myself. (I was always home more than him too as he commuted to work and I didn't - so that might have been part of it.)
I don't think we ever discussed who would do what - we just sort of fell into that habit and it worked.
Then when we had our daughter and I decided to stay home I sort of started to feel like it was my job to do all the household stuff.
Grocery Shopping, Cleaning the rooms, Organizing her clothes, Laundry, Vacuuming, Mopping, Bathroom cleaning, etc.
Luckily, my husband would do all of this stuff and he does help me (especially now that I'm preggo again) however, I have found that I have a system and it's fast and his system is slow and it makes me crazy - so I'd much rather just do it all myself while he entertains Katie. So the fact that he doesn't "do more" isn't because he isn't willing, but more because I'm a control freak and would rather just do it myself. I also work PT doing online consulting - which adds to the home/work/life balance on my end and my husband is very supportive of it.
I don't work much (I try to do between 5 and 10 hours a week) and I don't make that much money - I do it because I feel like I NEED to be contributing something, even if it's just enough money to cover shopping sprees for Katie and I. It's something I do for myself which adds some stress but makes me feel better in the long run so for now, we make it work.
At the end of the day, my husband is usually the one who runs the dishwasher and he still does the boy jobs like going up into the attic and taking the garbage out but everything else is pretty much all me. He does like to cook and on weekends, I love when he takes that on because he has way more patience and makes much better stuff than I do! However, I don't think I've ever heard my husband say - I think I'll clean the toilet today.
As far as childcare goes - I think we have done an excellent job of splitting the job. (that is not my family in this pic but I thought it was fitting!)
Granted, Katie is a daddy's girl and prefers to be with him at night once he gets back from work - which means I get some "down" time to a certain degree as he does bath and bedtime - but we trade off on mornings waking up with her and trying to keep her quiet so that the other can get a few more minutes of sleep and we've always done that.
Even though my husband has a full time job that he goes to every day - we are lucky in that it's only 5 minutes away so he doesn't have a long, taxing commute or anything to worry about - so he has always been more than happy to help me with whatever I need. He has NEVER made me feel like it is my job because I'm home, to be on duty 24/7 and I love him for that! He truly understands just how hard it is to be a stay at home parent, even though he hasn't had to do it full time and I realize that I am one of the lucky ones!
How does it work in your house and why is that so? Are you happy with the division of work at home?
I'm not looking to start any fights between spouses (comment anonymously;))- just want to start a conversation.
I have to admit - I take a lot of pride in staying home. I get a HUGE rush of adrenaline when I save large amounts of money through planned grocery shopping and coupon clipping. I enjoy managing our household finances (even though it's my husband who makes the money). I love making a nice meal for my man when he comes home at the end of the day.
But, I will admit that being a stay at home mom is harder and more stressful than working any job I have ever worked and that I need time outs and back up a lot and I thank my husband for providing that for me every day! On the flip side, I also believe that my husband is entitled to down time as well and we try very hard to make sure that we each get a little time each week to ourselves so that we don't lose who we are as individuals in the shuffle of life/work/parenting.