How do you divide household duties in your family?

A recent study suggests that men are taking on a greater domestic role as the numbers of women in the workforce increase. Today’s Question: How do you divide household duties in your family?

  • Jena

    My husband and I both work and have a small business together. We usually split the chores based on what we’re best at, which may not be based on gender lines. I’m a better cook, but he is better with the laundry. Some weeks, one shoulders more of the chores than the other, but that is part of what a marriage is about, right?

  • pete

    as a member of a same sex domestic couple, men do 100% of the chores in our home.

  • Craig

    One person gets to split all of the chores (dishes, laundry, lawn, snow, cooking, etc..) into two lists, the other gets to choose which list they would like to do that month. It’s just like the concept of one person cutting the cake, and the other choosing which piece they would like.

  • Sue de Nim

    My spouse considers it more important for the house to be tidy. I think it’s more important for it to be clean. So that’s one of the ways we divide the work.

  • That same survey said that in male / female households, while men are sharing more of the chores than men of previous generations, women continue to shoulder more of that work overall.

    At our house it’s about talking with one another about what’s on the family schedule and pulling together to make life easier on everyone. Equally shared parenting isn’t a matter of 50/50 so much as an ebb and flow that reflects the changing demands on each parent from one week to the next.

  • Jackie

    My boyfriend is a stay-at-home parent while I work full-time. He stays home with our 4 yr. old daughter one day a week and performs all of the household duties. I try and help out with dinner once or twice a week but my primary role is working and taking care of the finances. We have been doing this for a year and a half and have found it to work wondefully. This has done great wonders for our relationship and our appreciation for one another, I wish every couple had the opportunity to switch roles for a year.

  • Pete makes a great point. Hetero couples could learn a lot about home/work balance from same-sex partners–that is, by tossing out “traditional” gender roles entirely.

    Lacking that, I totally agree with the professor who noted that a fast route to home equality would be PAY EQUITY for women in the workplace. That will be achieved when the Equal Rights Amendment is passed at the state and federal level. In Minnesota, the MN CAFE Coalition is working to add an ERA to our Constitution in 2012. Check out their work at

  • Unfairly.

    I kid, sort of.

    We have two kids,three pets, and a large house/yard.

    So there is a lot to be done. Currently my wife is not working so she does more around the house during the day. I will cook a few times a week, tidy up, I do all the outdoors work, she does all the laundry.

    For the deep cleaning we have a house cleaner come in for a few hours every couple of weeks, it’s a luxury that is worth ever penny and costs less than taking the family out to dinner.

    As mentioned by another commenter the kids are ebb and flow, sometimes it’s all daddy and sometimes it’s all mommy, and sometimes we are all together.

    We try to keep a fair balance, but nothing is ever 50/50.

  • Sarah

    We don’t. I work 75% time out of the house and my husband works full-time from home (and makes significantly more $$ than me). We have one child, a dog and a second property that we have to keep up. He believes I should take care of everything except mowing the yard because he has the added stress of carrying the financial burden. I believe this is unfair. I respect that his work makes our lifestyle possible, but I believe he should do more around the house and with our child. It’s what you do when you are part of a family.

  • Al

    We split some things based on who likes the chore more or dislikes it least. But more often it is based on who has the time and whose job demands more at a given time. We both keep very busy doing all that it takes, between chores and childcare, to keep our household running smoothly.

  • Nick

    Seems like house work is split some where between 50/50 and 75/25 for me. I work a regular Monday through Friday, 8 to 5 with an hour commute (oneway). It feels like I do most of the yard work, most of the cleaning, most of the laundry, most of the dishes, almost all of the shopping, almost all of any errands that need to be done, and we split care of our two kids under 3 when I’m not gone at work and they are awake.

    My wife’s work schedule is 3rd shift at 80% full time. And, she spends most of her “house work time” caring for our kids when I’m at work (if they are not at daycare because she needs to sleep). She will do things as needed like washing a load of laundry or dishes, but it’s hard to keep up with two busy little kids by yourself and make progress on cleaning up the mess they just made.

    After the kids are a little older and more able to occupy themselves (and stay out of the dog’s water dish) I expect house work will go back to being split more evenly.

  • Dave

    My wife and I split the work evenly. I do a third, she does a third, and the other third doesn’t get done. It’s worked very well for us.

  • Bruce

    My wife is a very intelligent and energetic person who did not like to sit and wait for anything. I quickily learned that if a task involved patience —like baking or bathing the baby—I better do it—because the pot would boil dry or the baby would drown.

    Now that she is a grandmother she has more patience.

    (Maybe she had it all figured out)

  • Jamie

    “He believes I should take care of everything except mowing the yard because he has the added stress of carrying the financial burden. I believe this is unfair. I respect that his work makes our lifestyle possible, but I believe he should do more around the house and with our child. It’s what you do when you are part of a family.”

    You are absolutely right, Sarah. Just because he makes more money doesn’t excuse him from doing his half of the household work. We are each and all responsible for maintaining our homes. You should not be the MAID because he makes more money than you do (especially considering that women in general make about 70% of what men do). And I would guess that a 75%-time job away from home and a home-based 100%-time job are roughly equal, or pretty close, so that shouldn’t be much of an issue in splitting up the housework either.

    That discussion on Midmorning today seemed disingenuous from the start. I don’t know a single woman who is satisfied with the amount or quality of the housework their male significant others do — IF they do any at all. And now someone here is saying that the survey they cited on the program revealed that women are still doing most of the work. Midmorning made it sound like that wasn’t the case. I sent in a comment online about how the premise of the discussion seemed to be untrue, given mine and my friends’ experiences, and they didn’t read my comment. I guess they didn’t want anything to contradict their premise.

  • Laurie

    We agreed years ago that if one cooks, the other cleans–at least as far as the kitchen goes. Since my husband says he’s spoiled by the fact that I actually cook dinner nearly every night, guess who cleans the kitchen? He actually goes farther and does laundry and vacuuming also. We both tend to feel a little guilty thinking the other is doing more work, so we figure it must be about even.

  • Audrey

    We’ve got it all figured out! My husband does the sewing and cooking, I do the chain sawing, yard work and laundry. We split everything else. He owns the sewing machine, I own the chainsaw. He wanted to buy me a ring some years back when we had little money, what a waste, I wanted the chainsaw, it’s been lots more useful than a ring! We are about to celebrate 30 years of wedded bliss!

  • Jane


    I am the survivor of a 32 year marriage.

    Life was ever flowing! We both did everything! There was no time for literally

    deciding who should do what. We were both on automation. My partner changed diapers when it was obvious it needed doing….just like every other chore or task at hand….if he hadn’t he would have been gone long ago!

    Gone but not Forgotten!

    Daniel 12 1 51 to 4 23 05

    Beloved Father~Partner~Son~friend!

  • Terry

    I look at all that needs doing the most around an old five bedroom farmhouse…divide it by one and get as far as I can each Sun. AM, powered by about two CDs of female folk music in place of any possibility of nagging whatsoever….oops : [

  • Tommy

    We meet in the middle by splitting things 100/100. It works every time.

  • Elizabeth T

    Splitting should not mean 50/50.

    I really like cooking; he’s perfectly content to clean up after I cook. This is *not* a 50/50 time split; cooking take more time.

    Demanding an absolutely equal 50/50 split of the house chores is as irrational as demanding that each person bring home the same pay check. My husband will always earn more money than me (assuming we stay in these professions); not because he’s male, but because what he does pays more than what I do.

    Resenting his contribution based on an hourly-basis is as silly as him resenting me earning less.

  • jfh

    I have ended up doing them all. The cat, Figaro, is only willing to supervise.

  • Currently, I do a good majority of the work around the house since my parents are both in ailing conditions.

    That includes cooking dinner, ensuring the bills are paid, cleaning, and running the errands as the house sees fit.

    Sometimes my parents will chip in, but in that case even, it’ll be more my dad than my mom who helps out from time to time, in other circumstances its my brother who helps me out the most.

  • boaz12

    Hard to believe there are 0 comments, but here we go: I’m glad to hear of the bi-partisan cooperation to return swimming opportunities to the inner city. When I first arrived here from the east coast I was astounded at the access to water (lakes, rivers, fishing, boating) as an ex-land locked, hardly any public access resident. Nevertheless back then I learned to swim at the Boys Club and did the mile swim as a scout and honed my skills at the beach (body surfing, treading water) I grew up watching black male high divers at a large municipal pool. Back then I didn’t think I was exceptional

    Our community will have to address cultural attitudes about water, camping “(white folks” recreation) and the issue especially for girls with “black” hair. My daughter swam competitively in Minnesota and her coach was black. He often told me of the reluctance of black mothers to ruin perms, weaves, etc. of their daughters. The good old hot comb is as far as we went and we still swim, camp, boat and fish as a family.

    Hopefully this pool construction and the pool in Rondo will get blacks back into the water. Don’t wait for swimming “equality”, hit the lake, find a pool and ditch the weaves and perms, and get comfortable around water and learn how to swim!