Three years into our marriage, the husband and I have found a certain rhythm in our life together. Call us dull, predictable, domesticated or neanderthal, but we no longer fight over who cooks dinner tonight or who vacuums the house tomorrow. And if you are going to force me to be honest at gunpoint, maybe I’ll admit we don’t fight as much over these things anymore!
So the ‘Why should I do this?’ and ‘I am always doing all the work around here’ arguments have been exhausted (we hope!) and the two of us have fallen into a comfortable and mutually acceptable routine in many ways.
But this post and especially the discussion in the comment space made me wonder – how did we come to be in our present assigned roles? Was there a conscious thought process or did we simply fall in with gender stereotypes while choosing our tasks? And is either one of us being shortchanged?
Now instead of getting into a long and confused argument with myself, let me explain the division of labor in the JnM household and invite your comments instead.
So what does he do?
(I am tempted to say nothing but you are holding me at gunpoint, remember?)
Ironing our clothes and vacuuming the carpeted areas of the house over the weekend, kneading atta every 2-3 days, paying the house rent and other household/credit card bills on time, maintaining both our cars, keeping track of the currency exchange rate and periodically sending money to India, taking responsibility for all our investments (after we have talked them through of course) – all this is exclusively the husband’s domain and something I rarely give a second thought to.
And then there are other things like doing the dishes, cleaning up in the kitchen after a meal and heating the chapatis while I roll them out that I may do if the husband’s busy, but usually fall under his purview too.
And what do we do?
Assembling a simple weekday breakfast (tea/coffee, cereals and milk or toast sandwich), serving meals at home, taking out the garbage, doing the laundry, sorting through our mail – Either one of us who’s free or feels the urge could take this up. (In case of the weekday breakfast though, we take turns and carefully keep track of and argue over each other’s turns!)
And now the grand finale – what do I do?
Planning our meals and cooking on a daily basis, making shopping lists, watering and caring for our plants, cleaning the bathroom and the kitchen on a weekly basis and keeping our home neat and tidy and picking up after the husband EVERYDAY – all this is exclusively my domain.
So that’s it! Tell me, what do you think? And if you don’t mind, how does it work in your marriage?
Note1: Not that I am troubled or anything – ours may not be the best arrangement but it certainly works for us and we both seem to be comfortable with it – but the argumentative Libran that I am, I love discussions conducted solely for the sake of discussion and hence this post. So please don’t hold back your arguments because our way work for us – never mind what works for us, I am trying to get an open discussion going here!
Note2: I know my list is the smallest, but try cooking everyday and then come back and we’ll talk about it, okay?
Note3: An interesting aside – a lot of my tasks I have taken upon myself only because I don’t trust I will get the high standards I expect if they were done by anyone other than myself. Which is exactly what was discussed in the comment space of the feminist post and what got me thinking about this in the first place.
It’s true, I never ask the husband to tidy up the house because I know I’ll have to run after him undoing everything he’s done before putting it right!
Just look at the way he tidies up the sofa for example…
… while I want the pillows to be arranged in perfectly planned disarray instead.
And don’t you dare say you prefer his way now, mine is the careless casual chic look, don’t you see? The husband never understands that! Or wait a minute, does he understand perfectly and pretend not to understand? He is not that smart, now, is he?