Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Working Mom, Stay-at-home Dad

Household roles are changing all the time and it's a new world when trying to find the right balance. Here's how things work for us.

I am actually pretty lucky in this department. I work full-time and hubby stays at home with our girls (ages 6 and 9). He gets them off to school, cooks all of our meals, washes and dries laundry, gets the garbage out, and does the outside chores as needed. I work, commute, do most of the cleaning, the dishes, the bills, the school meetings, etc. One trick, since I’m able to work from home one day per week, is using my lunch break to do dishes so that I’m ahead of the game for that evening. Our kids also have chores and when they get them done, it works amazingly well.

Sometimes we even have someone come in and clean once a week. This is mainly because my stress level is directly related to the messiness of the house. Since I work full-time and commute 2 hours per day, I don’t want to have to clean everyday when I get home. I’d rather be playing with my kids or watching their sporting practices/events.

We also split up the homework help into the subjects that we each enjoy the most. I help the girls with reading, writing and math; he helps them with science and history. We’ve been married for 11 years and this seems to work pretty well for us so far…that is, until the kids are smarter than us.

Our plan is not always perfect, but I feel that we’re a lot closer to 50/50 than most couples.

How do you balance the workload and make it work best in your relationship? Any suggestions to help others looking to find a better balance?

Thanks for reading.
I write over at Domestically Disabled


Susan said...

Wow... sounds like you guys have a great system! While we are really good at 50/50 on most things, it gets hairy during the 50% of the time our step sons are with us, which puts 4 kids under the age of 10 under the same roof all at one time. My husband is a police officer with rotating shifts, so we have the boys when he works nights, which has me responsible for waking all 4 kids up, getting them dressed and fed in the morning, lunches packed and hopefully ready at the door as Dad pulls in to whisk at least the boys off to school which is a 25 minute drive.

And as I drive my girls to their own school each morning, I wonder if I'm the only one expressing heavy sighs of relief as the last one leaves the car, running for the front door of school each morning. At that moment I take a deep breathe and and allow myself to think for just a moment enjoying the silence and the fact that for the next 7 hours, NO ONE will be calling out "MOM!" a hundred times... Heaven. And then within 10 minutes, I miss the damn boogers. You can't win.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

I think it's great when the roles completely switch like your guys' situation and both are happy with it!

I'm working full-time right now while my husband goes to school and gets to be with the kids when they are home and I am envious!!! So I love to see when it works and it sounds like you guys make it work well and are happy! :)

OneZenMom said...

We have a similar "split".

I work full-time. The Husband is self-employed and works out of the house about half-time. So he stays home with the kids a few days a week and does more of the "domestic" tasks around the house - including almost 100 percent of the laundry and cooking.

It works out pretty good for us.

Anonymous said...

After reading these 2 posts I don't know why my bride keeps me! Must be cause I'm stunningly sexy or just outstanding in bed!

I don't do any chores. I do mow the grass, not the yard grass but the other 20 acres. I haul the trash too. I take showers and brush my own chewers tho! Hey thats something right?

I do help with the homework all the math, history, social studies, bible and science, but not spelling cause huked ohn fonics didn't wurk fer me!

She does the house as well as works from home (some)since some folks voted Democrat and slaughtered a stellar economy. I do the yard and work 3 shifts. She hauls kids here and yonder etc etc. I do attend because the people who sign up to coach rarely know sh*t about any sports so I end up coaching every sport.

I hate to admit that I have no clue how to run a washing machine, dish washer and warm it up is the extent of my cooking. The kids separate and take to the laundy room their own clothes and fold their own clothes, as well as fold and put away the towels and wash cloths and they set and take down the table for meals as well as do the dishes. They also clean their bathroom and the 1/2 bath. They are 11 and 6.

Oh yeah! I do plant and keep up the garden! Hey thats somethin else right? Where else would we get the jalapenos? (that she pickles and I'm the only one that eats).

Anyway, I pretty much am no more domesticated than a poorly trained house dog.

So I guess being the perfect lover has its upside!

DGB said...

Whatever the split is, I think a key is clearly identifying who is responsible for each chore. That way you can clearly tell who's doing more and (in the case of my house) if the garbage is overflowing, we both know who's job it is to take it out.

Domestically Disabled said...

Thanks everyone for the comments!

Susan - That sounds like a lot, but yes, you do tend to miss them really quickly when it's quiet in the house.

Shelle - It does work really well for us, except for the fact that hubby is home because he's disabled (at the age of 33) and he's in chronic pain a lot of the time. I do envy him getting to be home with the kids, but thankfully I have a job with good vacation benefits, flexible hours, and I get to work from home one day a week. It definitely helps balance work and life.

ZenMom - I'm so glad it works for you. I always tell my husband that romance when your married = men doing the dishes or cleaning :) No flowers needed...Chocolate is always welcome.

Southern Sage - I'm so glad that at least you've got the grooming thing down. That is very important. Your wife sounds like she's got her hands full... :) My hubby goes the gardening as well and I think a larger garden is on his list for 2010. I don't think we'll have jalapenos though. Oh, and yay for kids that do chores! :)

DaddyGeekBoy - Overflowing garbage seems very familiar to me. And I agree, knowing who is supposed to do what is important.

landscape gold coast said...

our question made me cry...seriously. I have the same fear sweetie. I'm going to have to go work now b/c of financial issues and I fear the same thing but also have no choice. I will also have to work night shift leaving my mother in law to watch my six month old son during the day and my husband with him at night. I regret so badly that I can't give you a solution which I want to do so much, but I can't. I'm in the same boat though and I know how much it kills you to know that you're missing all these moments you'll never get back. I'll keep you in my thoughts and pray it all works out in your favor. Feel free to email me anytime you need to. Good luck.