sharing the household work title

Sharing The Workload

I have one child who will be 3 in may & the other is 7 months. Until the youngest was born I was working full time and feeling fairly equal to my husband. Now I’m not so sure he feels I am pulling my weight in the house.

I do look after the kids and my husband is fairly hands on. For example he’ll make breakfast, put the washing on, iron his shirts, cook dinner sometimes, help with putting the kids to bed. And often I’m left feeling v guilty about how much he does.

How do you split your roles & responsibilities? I think my husband would like to be the bread winner and thinks I should do everything else. Should I be unhappy with that? (I am already!!).

Sorry if you’ve already written something on this. I now your hubby is extremely supportive so just wondered how you manage it.

This was a question from a lovely reader of the blog. In my book, I have a whole chapter devoted to “Your Partner” because it is such an important part of a your life. My husband is incredibly supportive – I could have never grown the blog or written the book without his support and the work he does around the house.

But what he does now isn’t the way it has always been. It has been an evolution and we still have times when his work interrupts our routines, but he does try to minimise this (sometimes!!!!).

Tips to get your partner involved

My husband’s involvement with the household tasks and the kids is a work in progress. It has taken time and a planned approached to have him more involved. If you are trying to get your partner involved, my first tip would be not don’t expect too much too soon. I know this sounds from the 1950’s, but if they haven’t been doing much, you need to take it gradually and get them on board, try:

  • Discussing your expectations – what do you want? Is it he come home 2 nights a week early so you can get to a class?
  • Making small changes to your daily routines to incorporate your partner’s involvement. Can he be the one responsible for making sure the kid’s clothes are ready for school the next day?
  • Building on these changes, working on areas of his strengths first. If he is a great cook, make it that he cooks every weekend.
  • Not giving up. If your partner starts well but then tapers off, don’t let things slide back to the old status quo. Discuss expectations again and work together to get back on track.

Once my husband was more actively engaged in the running of the household, the best thing we ever did was have him to take a couple of days off work to spend time as the primary carer. You might remember his post on the Role Reversal Experiment. (EDIT: You can see his thoughts on his time as the primary carer here, thanks Clint for asking about it!)

The first few times we did this, I did help out quite a lot, but each time he has been home, it has required less assistance from me. These sessions have increased his self-confidence with the kids – he now knows the kids routines better, their general needs and how to meet them. It has been fantastic for me as I have been able to take on other opportunities, knowing that he can and will be able to take care of the house and kids if I need to be out of the home.

How do you share the workload in your house?