Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Job Effect on my Family

It's been a month now that I've had a parttime job.  On those two days, I get home at 6.  Normally my family eats at 5:30.  Lord help me, I am learning to go with the flow.

Usually I cook one of those job suppers and my husband does the other, and then I do the rest of the week because in our kitchen, it works better if there is a primary shopper, planner, and cook (that would be me - happily so - I love it).  My husband and I are learning to communicate better because I need to buy groceries that he wants to cook with, and he needs to know my menus so he and the kids don't eat it for lunch or something.

My husband does really enjoy cooking - we shared it pretty equally before the children were born.  When he was working fulltime and I was staying at home with the children full time, it made sense for me to do all the housework.  Now we are slowly divvying up some chores because we are fairminded people who like proportional play and work -

Our version of a reasonable house:
1. dishes done before bed
2. vacuumed at least once a week
3. meals at home, local food in generous supply
4. children helping around house
5. cleanish bathroom
6. trash out
7. bills paid weekly, inbox sorted

So those things we pitch in equally and take no offense when the other person issues a reminder.  Notice that the list does not include laundry, clean sheets, dusting, or the myriad other small tasks of housekeeping.  I am content with these things in my domain.  I haven't done zone cleaning for months (filthy windows and corners), can't keep track of the children's clothes, and wonder how much preserving I'll actually get done. . . but overall, I am happy.  I love the partnership and I haven't lost my home haven.

(photos here by my husband - he usually is the park parent!)


Jennifer Jo said...

I like how you write. It's the little lines, like "trash out" that catch me.

Laura said...

You do what you can and everyone thrives!

Christian - Modobject@Home said...

Ben suddenly looks so much older, and love how G is taking her doll for a ride -- looks like me on my bike with Sister in the baby seat.

I really enjoyed reading about "the job effect" on family and home. While all circumstances may not be what you would call ideal it certainly sounds as though all of you are muddling through the transition and finding a new normal

Margo said...

Christian, her dolly even has red hair!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a nice balance. I have decided i have the strangest life ever, with 4 children in school, a husband living interstate & overseas for 4 years & zero plans to ever return to work (after 10 years off) as i have to do everything including now, build a house. Love my new hobby of house planning, my sewing is now a hobby not a business, i love it!!
So the Job Effect in our house is totally one sided, as awesome as my husband is & that he won't be away forever . . . i love having it under my control, i love housework, yep, 2 Uni Degrees & being a housewife makes me happiest. Oh but when my husband is home, boy he can cook up a storm, go for it, feeding a family of 6 is like a dinner party every night. Love Posie

Deanna Beth said...

What a wonderful, encouraging post with nary a grumble evident! COmpletely foreign to me. I love to grumble.