Monday, July 26, 2010

Job Description

I am sure I have mentioned it before, but this week and weekend has been spent in a flurry of cleaning due to the impending arrival of the in-laws. This is typically not a fun task by any means but only made less fun by the very heated discussion that arose following said cleaning bout as the Husband and I competed to see "who did more". Least you think that we sound like six year olds (because we kind of are) let me just say that it did not start out to be a contest of who works harder. Well, it actually started because I came downstairs dripping with sweat after scrubbing (and I mean SCRUBBING) both bathrooms, to find my husband sitting on the couch playing "Call of Duty". As I am sure you can imagine, I did not respond well.

In his defense, he pointed out that he had already picked up the kitchen and wiped down all of the counter areas. Which he had and it was appreciated. Until he indicated that he felt this was going "above and beyond" what should be expected of him. Wha-? 'xcuse me?! So that's how the conversation began - it was initially an inquiry on my part to determine what exactly he felt his duties for cleaning the house should be and what was considered "above and beyond" in his mind. I am embarrassed to say that I was not able to keep it on the mature and respectful level where it began. But, in MY defense - neither was he. 

One thing I have to say about arguing with my husband is that it very frequently ends in laughter. This is one of my favorite things about our relationship. We both have the ability to laugh at ourselves and let some of the anger go in favor of more positive emotions like amusement. The other blessing to this ridiculous bout of "I did more! No, I did more!" was that it made us both more aware of our assumptions about the household duties and who would be doing what. Many, many moons ago in our pre-tot existence, when we were both very mature and self-aware, we had a discussion about whose job it should be to do which tasks. In fact, we have had many of those discussions since the start of our cohabitation.

However, since the birth of our spawn, we have neglected to have a single conversation about who should be doing what where the household chores are concerned. The furthest we have come is to say whose night it is to put the baby to bed and who will be in charge of dinner. So, I was surprised to find out that he assumed the dishes were my responsibility. Likewise, he was surprised to find that I expected him to do the laundry. Therefore, any time he had been doing the dishes, in his mind he was "helping me out" and I was feeling the same way about the laundry. (which was part of the reason he felt he was going "above and beyond" this weekend - he had done the dishes AND the laundry!) 

Now that we have been able to discuss it and determine who should be responsible for what (he is responsible for laundry, I am responsible for dishes - go figure!) we can hopefully avoid further arguments about who is working harder. Or not - but at least the dishes will be clean and the laundry will be done!

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