How Do You Split Household Responsibilities?

Earlier this week, I was taking the garbage out to the end of the driveway in preparation for collection the next morning. My nosy neighbor, who was also taking his garbage out, made a snarky comment about how I should be careful with that heavy garbage and that ‘it was a man’s job’.

While I really wanted to tell him to piss off and apologize that his wife was unable to carry a bag of garbage, I made a slightly less rude comment about how it was my workout for the evening and that I was quite capable of taking garbage out.  It got me thinking about how we divide household responsibilities.

splitting household chores

Equal Ratios?

We are very much not a 50:50 ratio in terms of household responsibilities. Honestly we don’t even pay attention to ratios. We each have our own tasks, that we have naturally fell into and help each other when we need it.

My husband is a big baby when it comes to smells and anything gross. He’s more lady then I am sometimes. I deal with gross, sick, nastiness all day at work in the form of decayed teeth and periodontal disease. I am totally desensitized to anything and everything ”gross”. Garbage and kitty litter don’t faze me at all, my husband has bile in his mouth at the mere mention. So I usually do it. We both gather and collect, I tie the bags and usually take it out. I’m young and fit. I can lift a bag or drag a can out. If it’s heavy, without question my husband does it, but eight times out of ten, I deal with garbage and everyday I clean the cat’s litter. I don’t mind at all, call me weird but I actually enjoy doing the garbage, there’s something sort of cleansing about removing a bunch of crap from your property.

I take care of the kitchen and bedrooms in terms of cleaning, he always cleans the basement.

I garden, he mows.

We both work on home renovations. I’m a woman who loves her table saws.

I usually cook and clean in meal prep. Maybe I’m a feminist? Maybe I like control over the kitchen and have become very particular about how I like things done and he’s figured he’s better off out of my way. Sometimes he’ll take over and cook or try to help but I like doing these things my way.

I bring laundry down and wash, he carries upstairs and helps put away…even if he folds wrong 🙂

We both work on finances. He plans everything, I implement his plans.

When You Absolutely Have to Work Together, Equally

While we may be a bit against the grain in terms of most standard male/female household roles, we always work together on finances. Finances is an area that both parties have to give 100% or you will succumb to failures.

For years, I tried to do it all on my own and I failed terribly. My husband saw that I was in over my head and helped me climb out. He developed a spreadsheet that I could not live without. Every few months we sit down together and project all of our expenses. Once we figure everything out together I take over day-to-day in terms of monitoring bill payments and he checks in occasionally. This works well for us.

In all household responsibilities, whatever system you choose to use is fine, as long as it works for you. Ladies, if you want to take the garbage out, that’s great but if you’re husband doesn’t want to wash the floors, that’s also ok 🙂

How do you manage day-to-day responsibilities? Do you split everything evenly 50/50?

16 thoughts on “How Do You Split Household Responsibilities?

  1. The best marriage advice I’ve ever gotten is to remember that your relationship will NEVER be 50/50, all the time. It’s unfair to expect everything will work out perfectly even! I think everyone has to find their own balance – it certainly sounds like you and your husband have. We do things similarly; not much is just split right down the middle and there’s usually a reason behind who-does-what. For example, I do a lot of the cleaning because I’m physically at home more to do it (I work remotely part of them time) and because I like keeping things tidy. But I loathe doing dishes, so my husband does the majority of that. We do work together very closely on all the big financial stuff, but I keep track of the day-to-day/monthly budgeting. I think the important thing is we’re both willing to lend a hand whenever the other asks for help or can’t do something for whatever reason.

  2. We split things fairly evenly. I work more, so he does more housework in general. I take out trash, he sweeps and mops, we both do dishes, we both do our own laundry, he cooks, and I eat. 🙂 It works out for us. I really resent that there are gender roles for cleaning.

  3. My husband and I don’t often split things evenly but we do what we do best, like you and your husband have. I make his lunch every day but that has more to do with the fact that my single-parent mom ALWAYS made my lunch (even senior year of high school) so I like to carry that tradition on. He’s become the dishwasher for the most part since we don’t have one–I’ll wash 1/3 or so of dishes and he does the rest. We don’t own a house, but I think I would be the lawnmower as I had to do that growing up since my brother had severe grass allergies. And I LOVE doing laundry but always need help folding and putting away so that’s a split job too.

    I think it’s important to help… I remember being at my aunt’s house once and seeing my uncle do nothing. My aunt was a stay-at-home mom for years and my uncle had a 3.5 hour round trip commute to work daily so I understand a stay-at-home spouse doing more when the other spouse has to work all the time but my aunt had since started working a full-time job too and yet my uncle still didn’t help! It was none of my business to interject any opinion but that made me realize that I must talk with my husband about what tasks need to get done so neither I nor him feel like we get slighted in the deal. Good communication is always key. 🙂

  4. We don’t keep tabs on who does what, but I’m very fortunate that my husband likes cooking and cleaning. We both do laundry and floors and whoever gets to the trash first takes it out. However, he can’t deal with kitty litter or hair balls – that’s all me – he begins to gag at the sight of it.

  5. The roommates are supossed to help out, but that works out about as well as my younger siblings helping out with the chores when we were kids (i.e. it pretty much didn’t happen).
    As far as the split between my wife and I, I tend to do the every day cleaning things, plus all of the yard work, and she does the brunt of our quarterly deep cleaning of the entire house.

  6. There are certain things that I always do (garbage, mowing) and certain things my wife is 100% responsible for, but most everything else is fair game and we’ll split it according to various factors. I like the thought about things not being even all of the time. The balance over time is what matters.

  7. Well said! I am totally with you on the point about it being sort of cleansing to get the garbage out of your house! My husband and I usually share whatever comes up, with the exception of a few things. For example, he is much more into outdoor chores than I am. And I learned long ago that if I want the bathroom cleaned the only way it’s gonna happen is if I do it!

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