Whistle While You Work (Unless You’re Me and Don’t Know How to Whistle)

This post is sponsored by LG Electronics

Every time I put a new garbage bag in the garbage can, I think, “I should write a post about how Bart and I divide up the housework.” Mainly, because I’m so curious about how other couples and families do it.

I’ve been thinking this for at least three years and am just now getting around to writing about it. For all you know, I might have actually had a fourth and fifth child and just forgotten to mention it.

Bart and I are pretty equally clean. He is CLEANER (e.g. he’s better at wiping off the counters, mopping, or scrubbing the toilets) and I’m NEATER (e.g. I’m the one who is more likely to put things away, organize cupboards and drawers, or file paperwork). I think it’s a fairly good balance, and together we keep the house in reasonably neat shape without spending tons and tons of time cleaning or doing housework.

As far as kitchen duties go, we both try to stay on top of breakfast and lunch dishes and both pretty much take care of our own meals unless it’s the weekend, in which case I’ll usually make breakfast for the whole family and he does all the dishes. This is the same way it goes for dinner, where I cook and he does the dishes (I am grateful to my father-in-law on a daily basis for setting the precedence of the husband doing all the dishes). The girls and I unload the dishwasher in the morning, and Bart helps if he’s around. I also do all the menu planning and grocery shopping.

Bart takes out the garbage (both collecting it to put in the outdoor bins and then taking the bins to the street), and I put a new garbage bag in the kitchen garbage and bring in the bins about half the time, although if I don’t get around to it on garbage/recycle day, he’ll bring them in when he comes home from work.

I do all the laundry, and then we both sort, fold, and put away our own laundry and remake the bed. The girls usually help me sort out their clothes and if it’s earlier in the day, Ella folds hers and puts hers away, and I help Ani do hers too. If they’re in bed, we’ll watch an episode of “Person of Interest” and I’ll fold all their clothes and put them away the next morning.

We usually clean the bathrooms on Saturday morning and I’ll clean the mirrors and sinks in all the bathrooms, while Bart does the toilets and the shower (what a saint). Or, I’ll leave him to do the bathrooms entirely and I’ll vacuum.

Frankly, I’m not sure Bart has vacuumed more than a dozen times in the ten years we’ve been married – I like to vacuum and he doesn’t really, so I leave him to do the bathrooms.

Because this house has such an enormous amount of carpet, Bart has said at least fifty times since we moved in, “We need a little robot vacuum.”

So when I saw the new LG HOM-BOT Square Robotic Vacuum, I showed it to Bart and said, “Is this what you’re talking about?” and he was all, “this is EXACTLY what I want.”

(A vacuum for Father’s Day? Why the heck not? I bought him an iron for Christmas).

It comes in two versions – one is a vacuum only and with one you can insert a large slide-in microfiber mop for picking up residue and stains on hard flooring (which would be the REST of our house which has tile that is a giant nightmare to keep clean).

And it has brushes to pick up dirt and crumbs along the edges of the room too, because even though I actually enjoy vacuuming, I cannot stand when I have to pull out the separate edging tool to pick up everything around the perimeter of the room. Plus it has cameras that can see the room (cool right?) so no spot will be missed. Of course if it’s running and the girls are home, they’d be apt to pick it up and have it vacuum their room but that’s okay since it has Auto-Resume and remembers where it left off. As soon as they’ve moved on, you can have it finish the job it started.

I don’t dream about vacuums, but if I DID, the LG HOM-BOT Square would be it. Especially because it’s short enough at under four inches to zip under beds and couches and chairs (aka the things I never ever vacuum under).

I’d love to hear how you split up household cleaning responsibilities (and click to check out the LG HOM-BOT Square and experience the very weird and grown-up feeling of lusting after a vacuum).

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  1. We just spent $1200 to put new flooring in our house and I'm currently saving for my dream couch ($800), so I just can't fathom a $700+ vacuum. But it does sound fun!

  2. We have a robot vacuum and it is one of my most favorite things ever. I don't mind vacuuming but since I clean the house from top the bottom by the time I get to floors I'm usually out of time or energy or both and it's really nice to just close the door and turn on the vacuum and move on to other things.

  3. We used to split the domestic duties more or less equally when we lived in a small apartment with no kids and I worked full-time and he was in law school. Then we moved to our GIANT historic home in the country, had three kids and now . . . well, it looks more like the 19th century around here than the 21st. That is, my husband pumps water from the lake so we can, you know, bathe and stuff, cuts wood so we don't freeze, re-mortars the stone cellar walls, replaces floorboards so we don't fall through them, hauls the trash to the dump on Saturdays . . . you get it. All the big jobs requiring tools that the children need to be kept away from are his. And I do all the housework. That stuff can be done with children in attendance without any worry that they're going to lose a limb. There's a reason that traditional "women's work" is what it is–it can all be incorporated into childcare duties.

    It's kind of a throwback, but since I would much rather fold laundry than run a chainsaw, it works for me.

  4. I would love one of these (even though my husband does all of the vacuuming..). Your chores seem split up quite similarly to ours. Good to know we're not the only ones (and I agree that I think my husband's parents for expecting him to do lots of dishes growing up)!

  5. I think we split chores exactly like you do. With the exception that I do none of the garbage (although today I did take all the garbages out). Besides that it is about the same.

  6. I, too, love hearing about how couples divide the housework. Aren't we lucky to live in an age where this can even be discussed and debated? I always knew your father-in-law was a wise man. Since our baby was born, Brad has folded almost all of our laundry and I don't think I'll ever find a way to start doing it again…

  7. I find these conversations fascinating! Btw, I'd love a robot vacuum. We have a dog- enough said. I just can't fathom spending that much money on one. Anyway, one of the things my husband does that raises some eyebrows is his own laundry. We love it. He's military, so it's mostly camo, no dress shirts or pants, and he doesn't sort. I, on the other hand, am about 6 inches taller than the average woman, so I hardly ever keep anything in the dryer, and I always sort. It just made sense to keep our laundry separate.
    We also have the same thing- I cook dinner, he cleans up. Greatest system ever since I enjoy cooking. Though he's quick to pitch in to help me prep or to take over and make pancakes if I have no interest in cooking that night!
    Overall though, our duties (while divided in work, considering I stay at home) are pretty egalitarian. We pitch in with whatever cleaning needs to be done, parenting, chores, etc. I'm grateful for that.

  8. We don't have super firm divisions, but we're kind of the opposite of you in that I'm more likely to wipe down counters, clean toilets, and mop, and Eric is the one who comes home and starts tidying everything and putting it back where it goes, usually turning it into a game with the girls while I cook dinner (although he also likes to cook and probably cooks two or three times week, and when I'm pregnant he cooks almost exclusively for a few months because looking at food makes me want to throw up). I'm always behind on vacuuming though, so a robot vacuum is definitely on my dream list.

  9. we don't have any carpet in our house, but I still hate vacuuming and sweeping because my floors never last clean. I have to sweep way too often! And are there actually people in this world that sweep under couches and beds? LOL Seriously, I need to get one of this robot vacuums ASAP!

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