Guys have a bad rep when it comes to housework.
They’re typically the ones earning more money and working longer hours.
But that all changed once women entered the workforce in large numbers in the ’70s. Women started earning incomes comparable to men and spending just as much — if not more — time at the office.
So who’s doing the laundry and picking up the kids at soccer practice?
Well, the women are, of course.
It’s been long a common complaint of women who juggle housework, childcare and full-time jobs: why can’t the men pick up some of the slack?
Well, they are. Slowly.
In a 2007 poll conducted by the Pew Research Center, 62 percent of married adults said “sharing household chores” was the third most important factor — after faithfulness and sex — in a successful marriage, up from 47 percent in a similar study in 1990.
I can relate.
I work a full-time job, freelance fairly consistently and participate in several outside projects, including community service. I have friends I want to see, dogs that need walking, and calories that need to be burned before dinner.
Add to that the laundry that needs to get done (and folded), meals that need to be made, dishes that need to be washed, bills that need to be paid, floors that need to be Swiffer-ed — and I’m exhausted before the end of the weather segment on the 6 p.m. news.
These things — the household chores — tend to still be the job of the woman. And I can’t understand why. If a man lived on his own, he would have to do the same thing. (Sure, maybe laundry wouldn’t get done every week. But still.) So why does that change in a marriage?
Only 9 percent of 810 people in a recent survey of dual-earner couples say they split everything down the middle, housework included.
And yet men are feeling just as tired and overworked as women.
In a survey of nearly 1,000 fathers, conducted by Boston College’s Center for Work and Family, 57 percent agreed with this statement: “In the past three months, I have not been able to get everything done at home each day because of my job.”
It’s a surprise to many men just how much work keeping a home can be.
I’m very lucky; my boyfriend actually enjoys cooking and cleaning. (I learned quickly, though, that we can’t do either together.) But among my girlfriends, that’s a rarity.
Got a thought on this?
why is that guy in the picture wearing rubber gloves?…..and an apron?
I must be in the minority because I do almost all the cooking, cleaning, laundry, gardening, etc. And I still find time to workout, run 2 miles a day and golf. My wife asked me why I do all the chores; I said simply, “Someone’s got to do it”. It’s not a slight on her, she works sometimes 12 hours a day and every now and then weekends. It’s no biggie to me, when I was single I did all those things anyway. Plus I enjoy cooking. All the men in my family are excellent cooks, it’s in our DNA….being Filipino must help too. 🙂
An argument as old as the Hawaiian Island chain. My take is that if everyone is keeping score as to who is doing what then the relationship is crap already. If the discussion ever starts about this stuff then run for the hills. It either comes naturally or it doesn’t, it really is that simple. It isn’t a matter of whether or not a person is set in their ways or not, it is about loving a person for who they are and not who you want them to be.
In my house I have to tip my hat to the wife as she does all the cooking and a majority of looking after our daughter. Now I will say we do have a cleaning lady simply because the wife can only do so much, and between both of our schedules nothing would ever get done due to being on the go all of the time.
I dont know that there should be any set standard as to who does what in the household. Everybody lives there life differently then everyone else, and at the end of the day the real question should be are you enjoying your life or just living it and going through the motions?
I agree with David Jackson, if people are keeping tabs on each other in terms of who is doing what then there are bigger issues to contend with , and the relationship probably isnt too solid.
As with everything else in life we all have our roles to play whatever that may look like, and we have to play them to the best of our abilities whether that is with others or by ourselves.
“somebody’s got to do it.” i like that.
just before i got married, i received a lot of words of wisdom regarding housework. bottom line: always give 100%, and don’t have expectations (for your spouse). you’re married because you love and support one another. if you’re really in it for the long haul, it’s in each of your interests to do as much as you can do. so, why bother keeping track of who does what? it’ll just cause unnecessary frustration when one (or both) of you starts nagging the other about doing more chores. if you really want them to do more chores, compliment them on how much you appreciate them cleaning/cooking/etc. i find it to be a better motivator. and/or, set aside a few hours per week to clean the house together… time spent cleaning will go much faster that way.
on men doing housework: i cook, clean, and hold a full-time job. for me, it’s enjoyable, since i love eating good food (my wife’s idea of cooking is mac & cheese or spaghetti sauce from the bottle) and i’m quite anal retentive about certain things. we both knew it going into marriage, so it’s no problem for either of us.
Hello Cat, I do all the laundry, hang it on the clothes line (going green), take it down, fold and put away. I clean the house, clean the toilet, wash dishes, help wife with the cooking, help doing the grocery shopping, wash both cars, bathe the dog, feed the cat and dog, clean the litter box, pickup the dog poop, clean out the refrigerator once a week, take out the trash…….
Here’s why men don’t do laundry.
1. Put dirty clothes in washer
2. Put clothes in dryer
3, Wear clean clothes
This must be hand washed
This can be washed in a machine but it has to go in a net bag first.
You can’t put fabric softner on this.
This can be dried in the dryer but only on low and only for 5 minutes then it has to be hung.
This has to be air dried.
This has to be laid out flat to dry.
not true. some of us actually take the effort to care for clothes properly. i like my black clothes black and my white clothes white, so i separate loads. in fact, i taught my wife how to sort colors, jeans, towels, delicates, and socks. i still remind her that some things need to be dry cleaned.
Men cohabitating with women do less of the housework. I admit that, and every study shows that. There is something a bit misleading though that often gets overlooked. When you factor-in time working and commuting to/from work, and combine that with things directly for the house or kids (nondiscretionary things like paying bills or doing laundry), men actually contribute time that is equal to that contributed to women. They tend to commute longer distances to work and work longer hours. Just worth pointing out.
Hey Cat: … here’s the way I see it …
… men and women should do their own laundry … really …
… women know how they want their clothes washed … so why put the man to a test that he’ll probably fail at some point …
… and I praise the women who wash men’s dirty stinky clothes and *cringe* underwear … not that mine are necessarily that way, but I can just imagine … let the guys wash out their own filth!!! …
… whoever’s the better cook unfortunately has to do most of the cooking … c’mon seriously … you’re gonna eat crappy cooking just because you need to share the cooking duties … I don’t think so … well maybe you could eat out more …
… almost all other household work can be shared … should be shared … but probably not … someone’s going to dominate the household …
I do most of the cooking because I’m a better cook. if she does laundry, I fold. If I do laundry, she usually folds. if the house is messy, she tells me what to clean (it’s usually my mess, anyway). there’s no set “his-n-hers” list to chores in our house, but whatever needs to get done usually gets done.
our best investment, though, are the 80/month for a housecleaner and 60/month for weekly yard service.
We share responsibilities pretty equally, but we disagree about how things ought to be done and what constitutes a good quality job. So even when you share, it’s still possible to argue and feel overworked or overburdened. And in my experience, the differences in opinion truly come out after marriage!