Wednesday, April 18, 2018

On the Division of Labor, Again

Since I was last extremely irritated on the subject of the division of spousal labor:
  • I asked the spouse to take Child #1 to his yearly checkup.  This required four (4) reminders despite being on the family online calendar, but it was then accomplished without my intervention.
  • The spouse volunteered to a) come home early twice a week and b) take Child #1 out to play basketball, so that said child might actually sleep on the regular.  He has done so twice! 
  • We came to an agreement about children's swimming lessons, wherein we are both inconvenienced, but not terminally so.
  • We have been swapping off, once a week each, putting the kids to bed alone.  This way the free-time-available-per-parent is more favorable.
I realized that part of what going on was that the spouse was taking my time and organization for granted... but I was also going along with the default that had come along after many years of habit, where I arrange and then follow through on all appointments, repair persons, medical needs, and summer camps.  

I will probably continue to organize at least most of these.  However, I don't mind organizing this, because the spouse organizes such things as trash, investments, and car repairs.  I mind doing all of it as well.  So if we continue to split the actual, inconvenient carting-of-children, I think I can be more satisfied with how it goes.  I do need to ask!  And he needs to continue to be cheerful about it.  


  1. Socal dendrite1:23 PM

    Congratulations on figuring out the issues and actually making some changes. I hope you get the new normal to stick, and that spouse continues to step up cheerfully. I've slipped into "doing everything" mode again, but mostly because my spouse currently has shingles (!) and is incapable of doing anything except occasionally emitting moans of pain. Hoping to get back to some sort of more shared arrangements over the summer...

    1. Oh, dear. Shingles! YUCK! I hope your spouse recovers soon.

    2. Socal dendrite12:35 AM

      I know, right? Poor guy has had a run of ill health and chronic fatigue since a bout of mono two years ago. As soon as I get the chance I'm going to look into whether it's possible to get the new Shingrix vaccine at the tender age of 40.

    3. You may already know this but some people (i.e. reputable scientists) think that since children are so well immunized against chickenpox, it is making shingles more prevalent among people 30-60, because re-exposure to chickenpox seems to boost shingles immunity. Refs below! Note, some are equivocal... (Anecdote: a 34-year-old friend just got shingles here, too. What.)

    4. Socal dendrite1:21 PM

      Interesting! My sister got it when she was only about 25 (she was going through a stressful patch at the time, which must have triggered it), but hers was very mild compared to my spouse's. My PhD research was in the neuroscience of pain, so it's been interesting to see the neuropathic pain up close. Gosh, that makes me sound terribly unsympathetic.., but even my husband thought the single dermatome rash pattern etc was kind of neat ;-)


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