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“Doing his share”

05/01/2014

Belle

Stacking

I had a comment on my last post, maybe several comments actually, that alluded to hoping my husband was doing “his share” and it made me wonder… what exactly is his share? And how does this compare to other households. And, most importantly, when was the last time I really thought about what he DID in the home. And so I give you a bulleted list, to help me keep things in perspective.

The Professor:

  • Earns enough money so that I can stay home with my baby and go to school (HUGE)
  • Takes out the recycling (a recent win on my behalf)
  • Takes out the trash when I ask
  • Puts the toilet seat down (a small thing that means so much when your ass hits cold toilet water at 2 a.m.)
  • Will, with minimal grumbling, roast a whole chicken when I ask (because touching whole dead birds is like WAY more than I can handle… even with gloves)
  • Hangs all the “decorations” and “art”Β that I request be hung
  • Fixes the toilet, the sink and the tub when I drop something stupid down them
  • Bathes Sabine in the Whale Tub when I’m too tired to do it
  • Plays with Sabine so I can study about once a week
  • Has agreed to start putting his dirty laundry IN the hamper vs on the floor (another big win)
  • Wakes up at ridiculously early hours to feed the cats when they start making noise and risk waking the baby
  • Cleans up cat vomit (something I really can’t stomach, especially when it is still warm)

I know there are more little things that he does but that is all I can come up with during my few minutes of blogging time.

The point of this list is not to dwell on the things he does not do (like put his dishes in the dishwasher and return the toaster to it’s right position after he uses it – OMG put the freaking toaster back already!) but to point out all he does.

That first bullet, that one is the one I need to keep front and center in my mind. I get to stay home with my child while he goes to work each day. Hard as raising a child might be, it is an amazing, fun, and for me, once in a lifetime experience that I am incredibly thankful for. Even if the heavens align and we end up with another kid, that kid will not be Sabine. Sabine is an incredibly special girl. Everyone who meets her tells me this and I thank whoever is up there watching over us for choosing US to be her parents.

So the Professor might not do a lot when it comes to domestic chores. He might not scoop the litter boxes, or play with the cats, or vacuum the rug, or make the bed crisp and tight like I like it. He might infuriate me at times when he takes WEEKS to complete one task. He might drive me crazy at night when he flops like a 6 foot 4 inch fish out of water in our squeaky queen sized bed. But he brings home the paycheck and settles to live with MUCH less so I can stay home and raise our daughter. And for that, I am thankful (and can overlook the blueberry crud that is left on the freezer door handle every morning from him scooping berries into his smoothie and not wiping his hand afterwards.) πŸ™‚

How does your husband/significant other contribute? What are you most thankful for, and what drives you a little insane?

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12 Comments

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  1. May 1, 2014

    dirty clothes on the floor MUST be a universal man thing. drives me nuts. but, I am able to overlook it, for all of the good things he does do. he even trained himself to load the dishwasher last weekend while I was gone… he does it completely unorganized and all wrong, but, it’s a win πŸ™‚

    • May 1, 2014

      I’m the one who leaves clothes on the closet floor in case I need to re wear them the next day. Drives my husband MAD!

  2. May 1, 2014

    This is a great post! I have a friend who insists B do more, but he does a TON… And way more than her husband. It drives me crazy! In the spirit of appreciating our hubbies, here is Bs list:
    – earns the money but has me manage it, and never asks questions about how I spend it
    – gets up with Bryson every morning between his wake-up time (6:00/6:30) and matthews (7:30) so I can sleep
    – checks in with me during the day just to ask how I’m doing
    – leaves nice notes for me if he has to leave in the morning before I’m up
    – helps load the boys in the car on school mornings if he’s still home
    – cooks 95% of our dinners, and they’re beyond basic food
    – does dishes with me
    – eats my cakes… And he hates cake
    – contributes to our parenting decisions
    – supports my party planning obsession and expenses
    – cleans up the toys every night
    – reads to Matthew every night
    – sends me out for girls night
    – sets up date nights and baby sitters
    – buys me diet Pepsi even though he hates that I drink it
    – NEVER shames me about the McDonalds bags in the trash can. πŸ˜‰

    What drives me crazy?
    – he will live out of a basket of clean, folded clothes but not just put them away
    – he’s moody A LOT
    – he can’t remember our schedule even though it never changes (school on Mon and wed, speech downtown Tues, speech at house Thurs, free Fri)
    – he suggests going out for meals or dessert just before nap or bed time
    – he never remembers anything I say πŸ˜‰

  3. sangela71 #
    May 1, 2014

    My husband does a lot more than yours (and doesn’t do some of the annoying things you mention that your husband does). He does slightly more housework than I do (he’s a neatness fanatic, while I am a bit more lax), all of the yardwork and an equal amount of the child care.

    BUT. . . (there is always a but) We *both* work full time outside the home. And until recently, when I took a sizable pay cut with a job change (to have more time with my family), I spent considerably more time at work and earned considerably more money than him (now I just earn slightly more). And we have twins vs. just one baby.

    Honestly, I am thankful for everything that my husband does. We had long and involved discussions about the fact that, when we became parents, there would be an equal division of labor when it came to child care eons before we ever conceived. (One of the “gifts” of infertility: it gives you PLENTY of time to discuss these topics in advance.) With my demanding job, I couldn’t see things working out any other way.

    Things he does that drive me crazy? He worries about EVERYTHING (even stupid, silly things he admits he shouldn’t worry about), doesn’t listen when I talk a lot of the time, often gives our sons less freedom than I think they need and deserve and is sometimes competitive with me about parenting (he’s working on this one). But in the main, he is an excellent father and husband.

  4. Romy #
    May 1, 2014

    I struggle with this because I alternate between being super grateful I get to stay home with Sawyer and being upset about not being able to work. I really wanted to work part-time. In the Netherlands, where I lived until I was 21, it is very common for both the husband and the wife to reduce their hours after having a baby. That way, the baby only goes to grandparents or daycare 2 or 3 days a week and is with mom or dad on the other days. I always figured we would do that until it turned out that the Canadian workplace isn’t set up like this. It is impossible to find a part time job in my field. So… even though I am grateful to be home with Sawyer I don’t always like that I am automatically the one to stay home even though I got my master’s done just last year and had been excited to work in my field prior to having Sawyer.
    I have to regularly reprimand myself for feeling a little resentful about this. I don’t understand it myself because I honestly am so very grateful to have Sawyer and be with him. But being with him does not consume me intellectually and so it is hard at the same time.
    Because of that, the “my husband goes to work and school (continuing education) so that I can stay home” does not always feel as huge as it really is.

  5. nonsequiturchica #
    May 1, 2014

    Uhh pretty sure that comment was mine! πŸ™‚ Hope you didn’t take offense to it. I just meant that when the Professor is home, I hope that he is taking Sabine and playing with her, changing her, etc. so that you can have a few minutes to yourself. Every marriage is different. And everyone’s situation is different as well (my husband and I both work). Women take on the lion’s share of the work at home with an infant- especially if the child is still nursing.

    WHY CAN’T MEN PUT THEIR CLOTHES IN A HAMPER????!?? I don’t get it.

    For us, my husband does the bulk of the cooking. He drops Izzy off at daycare in the morning. He changes diapers. He watches her while I go for runs on the weekend. He plays with her when he gets home from work. He takes out the dog and feeds him every morning. Etc. Of course my husband travels a lot for work so I do all of these things when he is not around….

  6. Amy #
    May 1, 2014

    Your list sounds almost identical to mine (including the chicken prep and cat vomit and why, oh why, can’t the dishes just go IN the dishwasher and not just NEXT TO the sink every morning)!! But, like you, I am so thankful that I am able to stay home with our little one especially after it took us so long to have her in our lives (we also did FET right around when you did!!). I want him to be able to enjoy her, too, so I can overlook the fact that I do most of the housework. He works all day, he should be able to have fun with her when he gets home! And it sounds like you’ve got a pretty good balance going, too, especially if you haven’t thought about it in awhile.

  7. robin #
    May 1, 2014

    My husband does a lot of work actually. We say that I take care of the kids and he takes care of the adults. I do the organizing (meal planning, scheduling, etc), but he does a lot of execution (makes dinner for me at night most nights, even if it’s just reheating leftovers, because by the time he comes home I am wiped since I do 95% of the in-person parenting work every day – including bedtime – by myself). He takes out the trash and recycling, and brings the cans back in, and feeds the cats, and scoops the litter, and the two of us do the nightly cleaning. I do the laundry, and 50% of the time he folds it (the other 50% the kids and I fold it, that is a fun rainy day activity actually since it takes 4x as long). But I think twin dads often take on a lot more than the traditional dad role because twins (multiples) really require all hands on deck all the time and everyone ends up exhausted. Right now I am listening to him unpack all the groceries because I am sick and feel a little like death warmed up, but was still alone all day with the kids, and have decided I am parking my ass on the couch for the rest of the night πŸ™‚

    I think it’s good to recognize and be grateful for the things your husband does. I have my irritations too and I know he has his, but we both know that we both work very hard to make our lives run smoothly. And that first bullet is a big one, I remind myself of that a lot, because he earns enough for me to not only stay at home (whether by choice or not) plus have extra money for fun things like new clothes, furniture, and eating out sometimes.

  8. May 1, 2014

    Awe I loved this: “Sabine is an incredibly special girl. Everyone who meets her tells me this and I thank whoever is up there watching over us for choosing US to be her parents.” Having just had my own special little girl 2 weeks and 5 days ago, this made my heart melt. And my husband is similar… he may rarely take it upon himself to unload the dishwasher, but he has been waking up in the middle of the night to change poopy diapers and pass me the baby to feed. He does “his share” and I try to do mine. Sometimes it’s balanced and equal, sometimes it’s not. But it works.

  9. May 1, 2014

    Gosh – our husbands must be brothers. I actually laughed aloud about the flopping like a fish in the middle of the night because my husband does that and it drives me insane. He also takes weeks, if not months, to finish a task. And he isn’t “driven” enough to get things done around the house, making me need to ask him, making me feel like his mother. But he’s a wonderful dad who makes enough money for me to take this entire year off from work to be with my babies and for that I’m grateful.

  10. jak #
    May 2, 2014

    like several others on this list, because we both have full-time careers we try and split most chores. but OH MY GOD WHY CANT THE DIRTY LAUNDRY GET PUT IN THE BASKET? WHY MUST IT BE ON THE SOFA? IN FRONT OF BATHROOM DOOR? ON THE HIGH CHAIR IN THE KITCHEN? WTH!?

  11. Karaleen #
    May 5, 2014

    I am so very blessed to have the husband I have. It took a long time to find him and I seriously do not deserve him. He makes motherhood so very easy for me. We both have very demanding careers and work full time…but he is 100% all in on anything I need. He does all the outside work (and there is a LOT with pool a dog and about 1/4 acre of grass to mow). He also helps with the housework, cooks most of our meals, wakes up early with the kids both days every weekend and lets me sleep in …always puts the seat down, completely shares bathtime and bedtime duties and empties the dishwasher about 95% of the time (we made a deal…he does that and I make lunches for the kids….he HATES making lunches and I HATE emptying the dishwasher…win/win). As far as things that drive me nuts….I think we have a theme here ladies….LAUNDRY. I also do 95% of the laundry…I have tried to make it as easy as possible by getting a laundry sorter….what is so hard about whites, lights and darks/colors? Why is there always dark jeans in the lights and a white t shirt in the darks? And puhleease….can you just unball your socks? I don’t even care if they are inside out…just make sure they are not in a ball…they don’t get clean! Otherwise…seriously…I’m spoiled rotten and I love all the things he does…..and he is an amazing father….our kids are super lucky!

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