So I've been wondering lately. . .
Growing up I thought the world worked like my parents did. What child didn't? My mom was in charge of everything inside of the house and my dad was in charge of the outside. Both worked outside the home, so for the most part things were divided relatively evenly. And when I got married, I just assumed that we would have a similar understanding. Then I met my husband's family and realized just how different things were: The gardener was in charge of things outside, along with the pool man, and the house cleaners were in charge of the things inside.
Ever since I made the realization that every marriage is different when it comes to the division of labor, I have been very observant of other marriages and how things work. I know one family where the wife is in charge of all things on the home front--and we're talking inside and out. The lawn, the garden, the diapers, the cooking, the laundry, the cleaning, everything. And her husband is responsible solely for bringing home the bacon.
Another family I know is similar to my parents. She is in charge of things inside the house and he does most of the work outside. But it isn't uncommon for her to mow the lawn or for him to cook dinner. The boundaries aren't strict. They're more like guidelines. (name that movie)
And another family there isn't really a division. Yes, he has a job and provides for the family, but half the time he cooks dinner and cleans the house. And half the time she does all the weeding in the garden and mows the lawn. They do these things as they need to be done. Meaning when he notices the bathroom has to be cleaned, he pulls out the cleaning supplies. He doesn't wait for his wife to do it, because it is her job. When the garden needs to be weeded, or the sidewalk shoveled, she doesn't wait for him to get home.
In our house, we never really made a conscious decision about who does what around the house. We just kind of fell into our patterns and habits. Sometimes, though, I wish there were a few more boundaries and expectations around here. . .
But now I am wondering: How does it work at your house?