Mr. Fob's Jobs
- Part-time winner of bread (though full-time for a year after the birth of each child; future status to be determined)
- Preparer of breakfast for children--because Foxy's not a morning person
- Primary caregiver while Foxy is at school, work, or otherwise occupied (currently about twenty to twenty-five hours a week)
- Preparer of dinner on nights when Foxy is gone (currently four nights a week)
- Part-time dishwasher
- Primary bedtime story reader
- Primary bath giver
- Payer of housing and utility bills--a role we shared in the past but I have taken over completely since we established separate bank accounts last year
- Part-time winner of bread (with a one-year break after the birth of each child; future status to be determined)
- Chief meal planner and preparer--because she likes to cook
- Primary caregiver while Mr. Fob is at school, work, or otherwise occupied (currently about twenty-five to thirty hours a week)
- Part-time dishwasher
- Primary naptime story reader
- Buyer of groceries
- Planner of vacations
- Scheduler of doctor's (and other such) appointments
- Primary laundry doer
- Knower of all things
There are a lot of jobs that we share fairly equally: doing the dishes, taking out the trash, cleaning the house. Foxy may contest that she does a greater share of the latter; I concede only that she more often notices that something needs to be cleaned, and then it is just a question of whether I will get off my butt and clean it before she gets tired of waiting and does it herself.
I would like to think that we divide the labor fairly evenly because that is how I think it should be, but truthfully I have to admit that Foxy does more than her share. I would also like to think that this inequality is based solely on our differing personalities, but when the imbalance in our roles lines up so closely with imbalanced male-female relationships going back hundreds of years, it's hard not to recognize that to some extent we have allowed ourselves to fall into stereotypical gender roles. Some (people related to me, mostly) have argued that I do more than most husbands, but really I don't take much satisfaction in knowing that I do well when measured against a crappy standard known for its unfairness to women (and honestly I think I'm more or less on par with other husbands of my generation). I wish at least one sentence in this paragraph were not made of two clauses conjoined by a "but," but alas it isn't going to happen.
Moral of the story: I'll forever be in Foxy's debt, but that's no excuse to stop trying to catch up.
Scot posits that it "may be kind of different how labor becomes divided in a home with two men or two women," and that he and his husband "split it up by who’s good at what." I'd say this is a good way for anyone to do it. I'm curious to know how other couples, gay and straight, divide the labor, so I'm now officially making this post a meme. If you are in a cohabiting relationship of any sort, consider yourself tagged. How do you and your significant other split up the tasks of life?