- Evaluate the division of labor in your household – use this quiz as a conversation starter
- Divide and conquer – split home responsibilities with your partner, family and outside help
- Run your home like a business – implement one foxprint per month for 1 year and save 10 hours per week, guaranteed
A few months ago, I was down in the dumps about my Dad. His recovery wasn’t happening as quickly as we had hoped after heart surgery, and I had just left the hospital and was heading home to my family, but had to stop at the bank on the way.
I had a few transactions to make, so I waited for an account manager to help me. We sat down together at her desk in the corner of the bank, and as we were talking, I was doing my best to keep a smile on my face despite the way I was feeling. But in true KF fashion (TMI Queen), I ended up sharing with her the situation with my Dad, so she shared her situation with me in return, which was a transformational moment for me. Her story ended up being like a sign from above that I needed to begin the mission that I had recently been thinking about obsessively. I needed to implement my plan for championing a movement for equality at work and at home [email protected]&@home.
This bank manager inspired me. She told me that she had a football-sized tumor in her abdomen that she was going to have surgically removed the following week, and she was explaining to me that in preparation for the surgery, she had been having discussions with her husband and 12 and 14 year old sons to prepare them for not only taking care of her and nursing her back to health, but also taking care of themselves while she was recovering. She went on to tell me how they all went to Costco and as they walked in with the list in hand, she quizzed them on how many gallons of milk they thought the household needed for the week so not to run out, and they had no clue. She asked them what they planned to prepare for meals for the week following her surgery, and they struggled to come up with ideas. They didn’t know how to do the laundry, pack lunch for school . . . nothing, nada. She had a lot of work to do to get them to be ready to care for her and themselves, and it was a scary situation because they were not already equal @home.
This story really saddened me. This issue is still so prevalent in 2020. Why are partners not divvying up household tasks and supporting each other @home? It’s a pervasive problem that needs to be recognized and addressed. It’s one of the reasons we started the foxxi community. It serves as a discussion tool that partners can use to start the conversation about who is doing what in the house and how they can plan and adjust to make everyone’s life a little easier. Sometimes couples do not realize that there is an imbalance in the workload. It is important to evaluate how the load is balanced because if one partner is doing too much work for too much time, this could lead to resentment, which is why it is also important to talk about household responsibilities. It can seem like one partner is being taken advantage of. If you are feeling that way – talk about it.
I pride myself in equality @ home. People comment all the time on how amazed they are at how much my husband, Eric, contributes to our household. I was chatting with a friend in my front room enjoying a glass of wine one day, and Eric was taking my youngest, Mikey, up to bed to give him a baba and proceed with the bedtime routine, and she asked me – “how did you get him to do that?” Get him to do what, I wondered? Love his son enough to want to cuddle with him and put him to sleep? And then I realized…we are in the year 2020 and this STILL isn’t the norm for most households. And that should change.
Even before we had children, my husband and I split up household related responsibilities. I do the laundry, he does the dishes. We both do the shopping and the cooking. I do drop offs to pre-school and kindergarten each morning, and he picks up every afternoon. I make lunches for school, he stays on top of the school calendar and homework. It’s a true team effort, because that’s the way a partnership should be.
When I think about our first 6 years as parents, I can safely say that Eric has handled kid duties way more than is the norm. He has changed as many diapers as me, if not more. He gets up and takes care of the kids in the middle of the night (which only happens every night, at least 1 – 3x). He is a life saver for me because he knows I don’t sleep enough as it is, so he tends to be the one to lay with the babes, and I truly love him for it. This did not happen by accident. We had conversations and planned for who could handle which duties. Eric realized that if he took care of most middle-of-the-night episodes it would greatly help my sanity and productivity. I, in turn, do chores that he would rather not do like cleaning the refrigerator. But, the key is that we talked about it and worked out a plan.
Since moving out to California, I’m seeing so many encouraging signs that at least people around here seem to be evolving in this area. There are quite a few rock-star dads at my daughters’ school – Creekside Elementary – who I admire every day when dropping off. These guys are taking care of multiple children, including toddlers and infants, on their own while their partners are at work. How fricking awesome is that? Pretty fricking awesome. https://getfoxxi.com/lets-strive-to-be-equal-at-work-and-equal-at-home-equality/ (pics of said rockstar dads in this link)