The Sunday Question: How Do You Divide Domestic Chores with Your Spouse?

In just a few months, I’ll be enjoying maternity leave.  It’ll be a treat to have a few months off since with my first child I went back part time when he was just six weeks old.  Since I never really had the time to be home, my husband and I have split laundry, cooking and cleaning pretty evenly from the beginning.  This time I wonder if it will be different since I’ll be home for a stretch and might feel obligated to pick up more domestic duties.  How have you managed to share the household workload with your spouse?  Did it change during maternity leave–and more importantly, if you did go back to work how did it shift again?  Any advice you can offer will be greatly appreciated!


  1. I am fortunate enough to be able to stay home full-time with my daughter. I have taken over most of the household duties, including cooking. I really don’t mind this, considering that A. I do a much better job than my husband and B. He holds up his end of the bargain by working all day to provide for his family. While old-fashioned, it works really well for us. My husband does attend to the “masculine” chores, however, such as taking out the trash, assembling and fixing things, etc. It’s Beaver Cleaver style at our house!!

  2. My husband and I both work full time. I’ll be taking 2 months off when our daughter is born next month, and I don’t anticipate picking up any extra chores during that time (I think I’ll be busy enough!).
    I definitely do more stuff around the house than he does, but there are certain things that we have agreed that he will do, such as: garbage and recycling, and emptying the clean dishwasher. Luckily for me, he has a lower tolerance for a dirty house than I do, so though we haven’t spelled out who cleans the kitchen and bathroom, he gets fed up sooner than I do, so he just does it himself. Same with vacuuming.
    I like knowing that there are certain things I *don’t* have to worry about, since I take on more of the “running the household” tasks than he does. It’s nice to know that some things will get done without my involvement.

  3. we used to split things up evenly when i worked. Now that I’m home, I do most of the housework, and he does yard work. He helps out a lot with the kids though and cooks a lot on the weekends, which is great.

  4. My husband works more than full time (teaches public school and does after school 3 days a week) and goes to school full time so I do all the domestic stuff other than he mows the lawn.

    I think of the house as may job. While I’m also a poorly paid blogger (haha) and photographer, I set my own hours and lately with people cutting back I’m not that busy anyway.

  5. Well, my wife and I have a strange method of dividing chores sometimes, but it seems to be working well.

  6. As a stay home mom I expect to do most of the domestic chores, and I do. But with 2 babies only 11 months apart, and a tween-ager, I also expect my husband to help out with some domestics, and he does. Although, I won’t pretend to be living the June Cleaver lifestyle because my expectations are not always the same as my husband’s and I tend to feel a deficit on his half of the work. What’s really hard is my parents are both deceased and so is my mother-in-law, and my sisters live far away so I don’t have any extra help that some of my friends seem to enjoy from their families.
    My advice to you, since you work and are only taking a few months off, is to enjoy your baby most of all and eek out as much help from your spouse and/or family as you can. Take advantage of it without any guilt because 1. you’re going to be recuperating from giving birth, both physically and emotionally, and 2. You’re going to be busy with a newborn as it is. You’ll be up all night and exhausted during the day.
    If this is your first and only baby thus far, I can’t imagine that your domestic load would be too much anyway. Little babies don’t run around pulling folded laundry out of baskets or throwing their breakfast on the floor from the high chair like toddlers do (that’s what’s comin’!).
    They sleep a lot. Not always when you want them to, though.
    People will tell you to “sleep when the baby sleeps”….if you don’t have much extra help from spouse and/or relatives, you will have to spend most of that “sleep time” doing your chores. If that’s the case, let the house go for a few months and just focus on cleaning bottles and things that are really critical.

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