Housework used to be clearly defined as a woman’s work. The husband’s role was to earn the money, to financially support his family, while the wife stayed home and attended to the home and the needs of the children. During World War ll, legions of women went out into the work force due to a shortage of male workers. After the war, most of these women returned to the traditional role of a housewife. But their impact reshaped the American work place, and things were never the same.
Today’s boomers and generation Xer’s have charted a whole new course which has changed the division of housework in marriage. Couples must take the time to work out a plan to assure that housework between them do not become a source of contention, when they are both working outside of the home. To avoid a perception that you are being treated unfairly and being taken advantage of, each partner has to reach an agreement about who does what housework tasks in the marriage. Ideally, if you are both working and making enough money, you could hire someone to assist you with the housework. This would certainly relieve tension and stress in this area of your marriage.
Even though men today are much more likely to help in the home compared to their father’s generation, studies show that women are still expected to do most of the housework in the home. Women continue to do up to 80% of the housework, consisting of the cooking and cleaning, as well as attending to the children.
Who will do such housework tasks as wash the dishes, do the laundry, take out the garbage, buy the food and prepare it, attend to the needs of the children, must be determined by the two of you. The question that may be raised by your wife or husband regarding housework is, “Whose job is it to do?” This question may cause the two of you to examine housework in its traditional role as defined by your parents’ generation and whether you want to adhere to that role of the past.
There is no right answer to how to go about the division of housework in marriage. It just needs to be dealt with in a way that the two of you agree on, for the interest of marital harmony. When it comes to the “division of housework” in a marriage, the most important factor is whether you both are satisfied with the situation. If you are satisfied with things, it does not matter what anyone else thinks about how housework responsibilities are divided in your marriage.
It is a good idea to have conversations, to make a conscious effort to decide who is responsible for what housework task in your household. Also, review often the division of the housework that needs to be done, once the two of you have agreed on your assigned tasks, At least once a year revisited it, especially when a major change has taken place in your lives.
For the sake of marital harmony, be flexible and understanding. Keep the lines of communication open with sensitivity toward your wife or husband. Be attentive to their needs and wants regarding housework, with the attitude that even though you do not like doing housework, you want to provide help to your wife or husband. This is what’s most “important.”
By Beverly Street