Tuesday, October 25, 2016

SAHM vs Working Mom: Splitting Responsibilities

In my little miniseries comparing Working Mom vs SAHM 
(HBO show coming soon), 
I wanted to touch on one of the big factors in me staying home: 

Splitting of responsibilities between parents. 

This of course varies WILDLY from couple to couple. 
For example, blogger Kate Baer does not consider household duties to be her job
 (mentioned in a post here), 
which kind of startled me when I read that, 
but I really like how she explained it and it made sense to me. 

Sometimes there are other than non-traditional role splits, 
like a husband who has a lighter work schedule and thus does a majority of the childcare,
 or a husband who does all the cooking. 
Every couple has to find what works for them. 

Adam and I maintain a highly traditional family role. 
I do 98% of the cooking (that 2% is for grilling). 
I do 100% of the errands. 
I do 100% of the finances 
(Adam has absolutely no idea what's going on with our money). 
I do 95% of the housework (that 5% is mowing the lawn). 

(Pause here to note that I am clearly an embarrassment to the feminist movement.)

Now while these %s may sound reasonable for a SAHM, 
the tricky part was that we naturally held to them when I was working
So there I was working a 8-9 hour day, 
and then coming home to cook, clean, manage finances, and run errands. 

Probably the closest we ever came to a split 
was when Adam was in law school and I was working, 
where he took over grocery shopping and some errands, 
but I still held 100% of the finances, cooking, and house up-keep. 
(Which, for the record, was significantly harder to keep the house neat while he was home all day, versus an empty house when we were both working)

So the question becomes...

Why not split it? 

A mix of many different answers, including:
 - I like to do it 
- I'm a control freak 
- I'm far more efficient 
- I'm significantly better at these tasks
- My standards are higher than Adam's (particularly for home tidiness)

And now, a big part of it, is simply Adam's job. 
Big Law Firm World has super shitty hours. 
It's really hard for me to imagine doing laundry after getting home at midnight. 

So, as a recap: 
I worked a full 8-9 hours day, 
then came home to all the cooking, finances, errands, laundry, and the rest of housework. 

One of the HUGE benefits of me staying home, 
is that it allows me to do 100% of these things I was already doing, 
but now I actually have time to do it

I'm not staying up to 10pm every night cooking and housework. 
My weekends are no longer packed with errands. 

Instead, our weekends are filled with fun activities 
(except this weekend where we painted our dinning room, sigh!). 
My weeknights are things I enjoy
like blogging and reading. 

So that's one of the [many many] reasons I made the move to SAHM. 
I'm always curious how others split it all up!


  1. Ha I can relate to many of your explanations for not splitting more: I like to do it, I'm a control freak, I'm far more efficient, and my standards are higher for tidiness. I would say that I handle the majority of the homemaking tasks (cleaning, grocery shopping, meal planning, finances, etc.); however, we share food prep pretty equally (we usually make dinner together for the week) and most importantly, we share childcare pretty much 50/50, so Brian definitely pulls his weight. He is also the go-to for car stuff, trash stuff, dog stuff, bug stuff, yard stuff, and anything else gross or annoying that I don't want to deal with :)

    But yes, as always, I am jealous of your newfound abilities to tend to homemaking tasks during actual daylight hours and consequently having actual free time to spare on the weekends!!

  2. I do most of the grocery shopping, cooking and picking up, Brent handles all the projects. I am more anal about what we eat so I want to shop and cook (I mean I want a live-in cook if we're talking about what we WANT). I do most of the picking up because it's me and the kids who make most of the mess, ha. With the age the kids are, though, we do a lot of 'family pick-up' sessions - where we all pick-up the living room or the playroom. They are typically good about helping so that it isn't 100% my responsibility. AND the fact that I work 99% from home majorly helps with that - I can unload the dishwasher, wipe down the island, fold laundry while listening to conference calls, etc. Win-win over my old situation of working like you 8-9 hours/day and then coming home and doing all that stuff - which is why our house was ALWAYS messy and dinner didn't get made all that often!