2018-06-07 / Viewpoint

The VIEW from here

Whose role is it anyway?

Emily Caswell Emily Caswell I’ve been told that for a two-person household we go through a lot of toilet paper. I’m not sure who makes the rules on appropriate TP usage, but apparently, we’re breaking them. I don’t care, when it comes to TP, I say YOLO.

The downside, however, is that when you use a lot of TP you constantly need more and someone has to buy it. For years when my schedule allowed it, I was happy take on the majority of household chores, but Matt and I have realized that is no longer an option because of my busy work and volunteer schedule.

In turn, things like laundry and grocery shopping have become a game of hot potato. Neither of us really has time to pick up TP, but we can’t be without this precious resource either. So, how do you decide whose role it is? (Get it?!)

I’ve heard a lot about the fact that what exhausts women isn’t so much the actual chore as the mental load of knowing all of the chores that have to be done and assigning them. I grew up in a traditional household. My mom was house CEO and my dad worked outside the home. I can’t help but feel like shopping, cooking and cleaning are my jobs. I don’t think I’m alone, and that’s why women suffer from this mental load issue. Somewhere deep down in our DNA we can’t help but feel like if someone is baking our family a pie it should be us, not the bakery downtown.

And while Matt is always saying “Don’t stress so much, just tell me what needs to be done” it doesn’t offer total relief. It just means that after a day of delegating at work, I have to come home and do the same.

This is a complicated issue, and I certainly don’t have the answers, but I can share a few things that have helped.

Grocery pick-up service for one. I like ordering groceries and meal planning (despite not liking to cook) so I order and do the pickup. Anything I forget is Matt’s responsibility to pick up throughout the week. Also, a lifesaver is a mom who is still holding her position as house CEO and has happily added puppy sitter, personal shopper and sometimes personal chef to her resume. Finally, we have an open dialog about this ongoing issue. Some weeks are harder than others. Chores are not always done in equal amounts, but taking a moment during the day to text each other about our to-do list helps us divide and conquer. Plus, it means we never run out of TP.

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