ESCONDIDO, CA – In an attempt to give the household responsibilities a more equitable distribution, full-time working parents Mike and Elaine Thompson have decided to divvy up the chores so they’re both contributing in the home. Last night Mike did the dishes after dinner. So tonight it’s Elaine’s turn to do the dishes, load the laundry, vacuum the stairs, correct homework and put the kids to bed.
“I love that instead of fighting about who’s doing what and who’s contributing how, we were able to find a solution to help alleviate our stress. On Saturday I’ll sweep the garage while Elaine will do the grocery shopping, dust the bookshelves, clean the kids’ bathroom and walk the dog,” Mike says.
“We both work full time jobs so it’s pretty easy to let the house get out of hand. But like when he mows the lawn, I take the kids to soccer practice, meal prep for the week, pick up the dry-cleaning, and itemize our tax deductions, so the house doesn’t go to pot.”
“We’re both doing our part,” Mike added.
Mike says they’ve worked out a system that really seems to keep them happy. “Happy? We definitely fight a little less. That’s for sure,” Elaine says.
Every day they consult a daily chore calendar. For example, on Tuesdays it’s Mike’s responsibility to put the trash bins out by the curb while Elaine wakes the kids, gets them dressed, cooks them breakfast, packs their lunches, packs their backpacks and takes them to school. And during summer vacation when the kids are out of school, Elaine will take the trash bins to the curb, while Mike sleeps in.
“It’s a pretty great system,” Mike says.
“I told Mike that if I could get just 10 more minutes of sleep everyday, I’d be a new person. And he really came through.”
Tomorrow it’s Mike’s turn to make dinner – reheated leftovers, his specialty – while Elaine will change the bed sheets, walk the dog, wash the car, re-pad the car brakes, post their old treadmill on Craigslist, iron Mike’s football-watching jersey, clean the oven, replace a couple of roof tiles, fold socks and spay the cat. Afterwards she’ll cuddle up with Mike on the couch and watch the last five minutes of whatever show he’s watching.
“You gotta make time to spend with each other. Happy wife, happy life,” Mike says with a smile.