Monday, 22 September 2014

Divisions of labour.

We do not have clear divisions in our household.  I must say that whatever I ask my husband to do he does willingly, so much so that I try not to ask.   But there are some jobs which we know are 'ours'.

I change the bedding, do the washing and ironing and cook all the meals.   He organises the dustbins, gets them to the gate on time, cleans them afterwards (I don't even know whether it is black bin or green bin week).   He cleans out the woodburner, lays it and re-lights it - if he is around he does the stoking but I am capable of putting a couple of logs on in an emergency.  This sort of division of labout has been achieved 'comfortably' and suits us both.

Then there are the 'suspect' ones.  Who cleans the shoes?   My father was always in charge of shoes in our house and would spend an hour each Sunday morning cleaning off old polish and repolishing all the shoes - we always had the best polished shoes in the road.   Who washes up the things which either aren't suitable for the dishwasher or won't fit in when there have been too many of us?  If I have cooked the meal then the farmer takes on this role without even mentioning it.   If there is another man present he usually hands him the drying cloth and suggests that he might help.

This lunch time, after washing the dog's bedding (I came down in the middle of the night and was nearly knocked back by the doggy smell emanating from her bed) it occurred to me that a clean of the washing machine might be a good idea before I washed my best cardigan.   I had to remove the dispenser drawer.   I read the instructions, I stood directly in front of the machine at the right angle, I read the drawing - nothing worked.   I called in the farmer (who happened to be mowing the lawn), who came in, looked at the drawing and removed the dispenser - all in a flash.    I must accept that there are some jobs better suited to him than to me.   It hurts.


mrsnesbitt said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again pat - aren't our husbands similar - I think it must be the Yorkshire values. Yes - pretty much the same jobs shared in our house too.......your house must be like a shiny new pin by now! I know what you mean about the doggie smell - I use zoflora throughout - I even put a few drops in the hoover filter! Enjoy your visitors!

shadypinesqltr said...

I just had a vivid flashback (complete with smell!) of childhood Sunday mornings. My Dad sitting in his chair to the left of the coal fire, wooden Shoeshine box at his feet, cleaning everyone's shoes for church! We all had our jobs. Mine was ironing. I just sold my launderette last year. My sister's job was cook' s helper. She got her City and Guilds and became a gourmet cook. Once a week we had to clean the bedrooms. My brother's only job was to keep the coal scuttle filled. We thought that was totally unfair!

Frances said...

As a single person, I really enjoyed reading about you and the farmer have a graceful way of deviding regular chores.

In my little apartment, I just figure out how to keep "civilization" going on my own. I do admit that some heavy-duty projects require me to engage the services of the superintendant of the apartment building or someone on his staff. (That usually involves some monetary tipping, too.)

Did the farmer show you how to do the washing machine maneuver?

Best wishes.

Heather said...

It was ever thus! But I daresay there are things you do easily which might baffle him. We have similar divisions of labour here, but the one thing my husband can't do is find the things he is looking for, even when they are where they should be!!

Maureen @ Josephina Ballerina said...

Oh my goodness, You last sentence is an absolute scream! I am still making strange laughing noises over it. There was even a snort thrown in.
Ray cleans the floors and the cars, I pay the bills and make the appointments. There are more now that I think of them. But I would rather invite you to take a look at my new blog post. A wedding!!
Sending a great deal of kindly affection across the pond, maureen

angryparsnip said...

I so enjoyed your post today.
But you forgot Tess. She helps around the home too.
The long walks she takes you and the Farmer on. Very important and hard work, especially on the freezing cold mornings and evenings.

cheers, parsnip

Rachel said...

I do everything. I once asked P to put the bin out and he stubbed his toe on it. He has never put the bin out since.

Terry and Linda said...

You had me laughing....I can SO relate!!!


Hildred said...

Once we had retired from the farm our division of labour was much the same as yours, Pat - in addition to the regular things Charles did he also made many wonderfully inventive bits of equipment for my looms, - winders and sectional beams and thread counters. Before we left the farm I felt his outside work didn't warrant asking him to take over household chores, but the children filled in and shared equally, even to the milking!

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

We too share household chores - Don does the beds and all the laundry except for the folding. He brings the baskets of clean laundry to me and I fold them - he puts them away (mostly that is because of my back surgery, I still am not able to carry a load held in front of my body, it twists my back in some strange way, or pulls the back muscles and causes pain) so he happily carries laundry baskets to and fro after I fold them.

He's done the laundry for 30 years now - just took it upon himself one day and it has been so ever since. I like to tell my friends I haven't done laundry in 30 years - gives us all a laugh.

I do the cooking and most of the clean up - but he pitches in when there is a lot to do. I'm in charge of washing windows - I just seem to have the knack for it, so why shouldn't I do it? We share vacuuming and mopping and switch out the bathroom cleaning.

All in all it works well - mostly we just both get busy with our chores and are happily done in no time. It is nice to have a buddy when doing household chores.

Cro Magnon said...

I do everything, and my wife watches..... OUCH, that hurt!

thelma said...

LS is so much neater than me and he does quite a lot of the housework, because he enjoys it, so there is no actual division of labour. But when a dishwasher was mentioned the other day, he said he preferred us doing the chore together because we could talk.

The Solitary Walker said...

Some things — such as putting the duvet in the duvet cover — are best and most quickly done together.

Mac n' Janet said...

I take care of the house and he does the yard, but anything technical or when directions have to be read then the job is his.
I do the cooking and the dishes, but often he steps in and does them instead.
i pull weeds and mow the lawn, but he does the chopping, trimming, planting, watering.
We work well together.

Gwil W said...

I do what I'm told.

Bovey Belle said...

A definite division of labour here on some jobs - anything electrical, technical or heavy is my husband's job! He does the washing for me and hangs it out. I iron it (having made the mistake of telling him just after we were married that he would never have to iron anything again!)

He makes his own breakfast and lunch, but I cook the evening meal and then he washes up for me. He does the dustbins (although I know how!) I do the housework - I had to show him how the new vacuum worked recently and we've had it two years! He cuts the lawn/grass, I do the gardening.

I do all the painting and decorating as he hates it so does a poor job, but he gets to do the ceilings as I can't put my arm up for very long.

We make the beds together, always share the driving on long journeys, make and mend things together (though I don't expect him to sew!), and we do outside jobs together too. We make a good team.

Cloudia said...

Sounds a perfect match