Tuesday, August 21, 2007

His and Hers

When I moved in with BigGeek, I was completing my thesis, so I was home all day, save for biweekly drives to Philly. I had a tiny scholarship from the University and a couple of small grants, but they barely covered my half of the rent. True, I had moved cities, quit the job at the University - all for love (we weren't married, but engaged to be) and with BigGeek's complete and unequivocal support, I nevertheless felt guilty mooching off of him. So, I cooked gourmet meals, did the laundry, ironed his shirts, cleaned the house, shopped for groceries and ran errands. BigGeek bought in most of the moolah. Maybe it was because we were not married or maybe because I have a heightened (and sometimes misplaced) sense of justice. But I could never be like the many stay-at-home wives/fiancées who expected their husbands to help cook and clean. The division of labor was very simple.

A year later I had graduated, working full time with a longer commute, we were married and I still ended up doing a lot of the chores (save for the laundry, which he did most of the times). When we moved into our house, my commute got even longer, more than an hour each way. BigGeek did the laundry and loaded the dishwasher sometimes, but I was cooking gourmet meals everyday, running errands, keeping house, entertaining. The division of labor was a little fuzzy. BigGeek still made a lot more money than I did (BigGeek hates it when I think in such a cut and dried manner when it comes to finances and chores, but I am like that) But at least I was not cleaning house. We I hired a maid service.

Another year or so later, Chip comes along and we have lots of help. Family, Nanny. Even I am exempt from doing a lot of chores. Couple of years later which is now, we are back to the board. So this is what it looks like now.


Unload Dishwasher

Load Dishwasher

Laundry fold and put away (2-3 times a week, potty training Chip)

Iron clothes (his, I wear jeans and t-shirts to work)

Pick up Chip from pre-school, give him afternoon snack and milk, and take him to park/ library/ mall/pool. Read to him.

Give a bath to Chip in the morning, get him dressed, feed him breakfast, drop him to pre-school.

Make Chip's dinner, feed him. Bulk cook once a month. Pack lunches for all three for the following day.

Manage all mail, pay bills, file them, and manage finances.

Do Taxes

Maintain paperwork for taxes



Plant flowers, prune etc.

Mow lawn, water plants

Maintain grocery list, family social calendar.

Minor repairs around house

Most shopping, Chip's doctor appointments

Take Chip out when I am cooking or keep him engaged.

On top of this, BigGeek also needs to finish his schoolwork. His plate more than full, but I never hear him complain. On many days, hours after I have collapsed exhaustedly into bed, blissfully asleep, BigGeek is up reading his cases or finishing his assignments. But our whacky schedules are a subject for another post!


noon said...

Wow you guys are amazingly organized even abou division of labor. Incredible. Here it is very fluid. Esp bcz I am a stay at home mom. Now with two kids even more so. MOm helps with cooking. But before that I used to cook/feed son. Now both kids. But once my husband gets back from work he takes over diaper changes/dishwasher/laundry if need be/clean up etc...

Gauri said...

Wow !! You guys are really well organised and things very well cut out - who does what.

Both of you have my admiration and respect - really - schedules apart - what is more important is the enormous commitment on the part of both the partners to make the schedules work.

Kudos !!

DotMom said...

noon: thanks! didn't think we were that organised.. not by the way things fall apart anyway.

gauri: thanks! I give most of credit to BigGeek, he doesn't complain. You should hear me.

Rohini said...

Can I send my husband to Big Geek for some much needed training??? Had done a similar post a while ago

DotMom said...

rohini: loved your post, love your blog too. are you sure about your idea? you know what happens when guys get together, they drink beer and talk shop!