domestics.

by Liz on 11.12

Josh has started working again, and I (selfish, fickle woman) am disappointed.

Okay, sure. We’ll be able to pay bills. But, it was sort of nice to have him around all the time.

I realize that this is probably the entry-level lesson to adulthood: you need to work to have money. So, I’m sucking it up and shutting my mouth about it (except for that blog post I’m writing about it right now for the whole wide internet to read). Still. Someone needs to do something about this whole “work for a living” racket.

Of course a new job means transition, as every work-related change does. My pouting about, OMG, not having my husband to myself all day aside, it’s actually really, really made house-things easier. The division of labor around this place has gotten very clear very fast. Who knows what “equal” really is when it comes to these things (how many washed dishes equal one scrubbed toilet?), but right now feels the closest we’ve come. It’s interesting how something like a real-deal job can do that for ya.

We sink into slightly more traditional roles, just by nature of my being home and his not. I don’t do all of the housework, of course, though the straightening and maintaining and cooking typically fall within my jurisdiction. I still have my own business-things to handle throughout the day, and other than that, Make Sure Child Doesn’t Die can be time-consuming, on occasion.

But in contemplating this whole set-up and how it shifts and flexes as our schedules change, I realized that every book I’ve ever read on the matter lumps Baby into the list of domestic responsibilities. Right there between “carry out trash” and “fold laundry.” And that’s not how it’s worked out for us at all.

Salvador ranks in that list. I bathe him and brush him and clip his little cat nails (much to his resistance). Josh has the nastier jobs, scraping poop out of the litter box and waking in the middle of the night to feed himĀ  (perhaps not entirely fair, considering I talked him into getting the dang cat, but you hush with your sense and your logic). Sal makes the list.

But baby does not.

Whoever is standing there when he comes over with doe-eyes and asks, “Nummy?” makes his lunch. Whoever smelt it, um, deals with the hot mess in his pants. Whoever notices the runny nose, grabs the tissue. And, oddly, Josh’s work shift neatly coincides with naptime, so there are really only a few hours of the day where I’m the only caregiver.

I’m wondering how that works out for the rest of you. Does household responsibility shift based on who’s working and what hours? If you have pets or kiddos, are they divvied like chores?

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