Poll: Domestic Duties
It occurred to me recently that my husband and I tend to swap roles around the house somewhat. We’ve never had any hard and fast rules or lines around what we do and don’t do, but it still surprises me when he will take on a very stereotypical female chore without a word of explanation. Take deep cleaning the stove top or tile grout for example; not exactly something I’m making time in my schedule to do, ya know? But lately, after doing the nightly dishes, he launches into another major cleaning project. Or he’s perfecting the stove popped corn for movie night, or wiping down the kitchen windows and blinds. But will he fix the shower door, or re-caulk the bathtub? No, it looks like that’s gonna fall to me this time around.
Of course, it goes both ways. More years than not I’ve been the one that mowed the lawn, and I’m the one that bought herself a power drill. But I’m also still the one that enjoys and excels at the majority of the cooking, and I’m a recovering neat freak and germaphobe that for the longest time couldn’t let anyone else wipe down anything without supervision. So it’s fascinating to me to see how fluid we have become in our roles and in the duties we perform, mostly without any discussion of the alterations. We’re definitely not a family that sticks to any prescribed gender roles, and we’re more and more egalitarian as we move along as a couple. In fact, not only do we swap and share domestic chores, but it seems to be the case that the role reversal extends to other aspects of our relationship as well. As in, I tend to be much more “go with the flow” when he is anxious about something, or I find myself less emotionally needy when he is in a funky mood. (It even extends to the bedroom in terms of interest level). Maybe it’s something else (a fluctuating equilibrium of testosterone and estrogen shared between us?); but I have to wonder if this phenomenon is experienced by anyone else.
Tell me, does this reflect your experience around the house? Why or why not? Tell me what your division of labor looks like (I’m sure I missed a lot of options in the poll), and if it is rigid or not.