Sunday, April 20, 2008

Why Men Don't Pitch In

Leslie Bennett's wrote an article called Chores for Two: Why don't Men Pitch in. I don't know about you but this is probably the most frustrating thing in my marriage for me. My husband has been going to school and although he rarely studies this has been his excuse for not helping. Well he is finished (as of Friday) and this will be changing. Here are some quotes that I enjoyed from the article.

"According to the Institute for Social Research at the University of
Michigan, women spent an average of 27 hours a week on housework in 2002, while men spent 16 hours (which at least represents an improvement over the 16 seconds or so a lot of them spent a generation ago). Even today, married men perform little more than a third of household labor, whether or not their wives are in the paid labor force. And women spend more than twice as much time as men do on child care. "

I think my husband is at 5 minutes a week - and that is only because I put the garbage at the door for him to take out!!

"In many of the families I’m talking about, the wife is actually the major
breadwinner. This seems to have no effect whatsoever on the husband’s
willingness to be an equal partner — or on the wife’s readiness to demand that
he become one. Although almost half of all working women provide at least half
of the family income, and women are the major breadwinners in nearly a third of
all American households, they remain far more likely to take time off from work
when their children are sick. Needless to say, one survey after another shows
that men also have more leisure time. Ask most working mothers what they do with
their leisure time and you’re lucky if they don’t hit you. "

This is true. I am often wondering what feminism really bought us. I often think my life would be MUCH less stressful if I was a stay at home wife. I don't understand why my husband feels that the house is MY responsibility when I work as much as he does - plus I work even more if you count caring for my daughter.

"The fact that guys, when left to their own devices, rarely rush to offer
more toilet-scrubbing and diaper-changing is not in itself surprising. As Martin
Luther King Jr. once observed, “We know through painful experience that freedom
is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the

How true...

"When wives permit their husbands to shirk a fair share of the homemaking
and parenting, not only do they themselves suffer, but chances are good that
they’re also sentencing their children to a similar fate. "

I need to keep focused on this statement so I don't sentence my daughter to this fate. My husband's Mother did everything in there house while her husband literally did NOTHING. This also is very true.

"And while I recognize that gender stereotypes are risky, in my
experience husbands are a lot like children. They will get away with whatever
they can get away with. When you put your foot down and make it clear that you
won’t take no for an answer, somehow the kids’ rooms get cleaned, the groceries
bought, the laundry folded. It really does work, I promise. "

So...I am LIVING this article and am none too happy about it. I am sure that many other women are too. This is not how I want the rest of my life to be. So it's time for some changes. Any advice? We have tried maid service, but they won't typically put things away, which means that I have to clean before they clean! Kind of defeats the purpose.

Here is what I am thinking of:
  • A chore chart - yes I know it seems so much like a kid thing to do, but clearly my husband has no clue what to do or when to do it.
  • Clutter reduction - Removing all things from our house we don't use. We have a small condo and too much stuff! Well we have a storage area and it's time to stuff it full! The less stuff the less to clean.

So far those are my ideas...check back to see how it is going...any thoughts or ideas are welcome!! My philosophy is that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. Well I am ready to try something different because I want a different result.

1 comment:

trish said...

I think a big reason that men don't help with chores is because they never do it right. The woman's way is the RIGHT way and if the man doesn't do it RIGHT then he gets nagged for the next week on how he did it WRONG. Call me crazy but I'd quit doing chores, too.

Another thing is that I have a friend who said when she first got married, she thought she'd hit the motherload of husbands. He cooked, he cleaned, he did everything. Of course, their first year or two of marriage, he was getting a lot of sex as well. Eight years later, the amount of sex he gets is proportional to the stuff he does around the house. Frankly, I think that's totally fair. We want men to do things for US, but they ask for a little bit of lovin' and suddenly they're sooo demanding. I dunno. Seems like a double standard to me.

Just my opinion. :-)