Monday, March 3, 2014

Division of labor.

Are there things in your household that you have no idea how to do? Even though one would assume as a fully functioning adult, these are things you should be able to do. For example, our smoke detectors only need their batteries replaced in the middle of the night. We have five (which seems excessive for our 1300 square foot house) and the battery only chirps at 3 AM. Battery replacement falls on Lance. This happened the other night at 3:04 AM.

“Lance. The smoke alarm is beeping.”
Whaattt…  I don’t hear anything.”
“LANCE. The smoke alarm is beeping. Go find which one it is before it sets the rest of them off and wakes up Lucan.”
“Okay, okay, okay. I’m up.”

Yes, since apparently the beeping smoke detector only wakes me up, I could be the one to go and rip the battery out of the alarm and stumble back to bed. But my rationale is Lance is taller (I can barely reach the smoke detector – with the step stool - in the shorter areas and there’s no way I can reach the one on the vaulted ceiling), my eyesight is blurry at best at this time of day and all things mechanical fall under Lance’s responsibility. Besides, it’s cold outside the covers. This is how I figure smoke detector batteries fall under Lance’s duties. 

Truth of the matter, in our marriage there is a division of labor over responsibilities. Lance does our taxes, changes the furnace filter (I don’t even know where the filter is located), writes out the daycare checks, refills the water in the humidifier, pays most bills (the bills I’m in charge of I just setup to autopay) takes care of anything car related, makes waffles and hash brown  and resets the internet router (which apparently I could learn to do because all Lance does is unplug it). Things that fall under my responsibility: all ironing (Lance says that he just puts more wrinkles into things – I think he just doesn’t want to learn), menu planning (if it were up to Lance we’d have leftovers and enchiladas every night), taking care of FSA reimbursements (I let Lance do the medical ones last year because they were coming out of his paycheck. As a result, last week Lance was trying to find receipts for things in October), closet organization and calendar management. 

Oh. I don’t make coffee. I know, I know. We both love coffee and drink it equally. Coffee making should be a shared duty. But I can never remember how many scoops equal how much water; hence Lance always is the one to make the coffee in our house. 

Lucan likes to see us share duties. He gets upset if one of us puts him in his shoes. “Mommy’s turn, Daddy!” We need to share. But there are specific things Lucan has us do for him – I am the only one allowed to trim his nails or put essential oils on his feet. Daddy is the only one allowed to take him to daycare. He gets upset if I try and overstep my duties and drop Lucan off in the morning. I pick out what Lucan is going to wear everyday. Lance gets too stressed out if he has to pick.

How do you split responsibilities at your house?


*carrie* said...

This is funny. And it does seem that the beeps happen in the middle of the night here, too!

A few months ago, I found a paper that Eric and I made shortly after getting married where we divided up household tasks. I should find it again and blog about it!

Andrea Cooley said...

We definitely have assigned duties too! The first ones that come to mind are that Adam takes out the trash, mows the lawn, and takes care of the snow. I do laundry, grocery shopping, and clean the bathrooms.

Also, I'm curious what essential oils you use. We're just getting into them