Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Parenting & Relationships

Work together to determine fair division of labor

RECOMMENDED READING


Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Work as a team to assess what makes for fair division of labor

Q: My wife insists that we split our housework 50-50 and she thinks it's sexist of me to resist that. I feel like since I do way more than 50 percent of a lot of other things — I work longer hours, make more money, spend less money, spend way more time with her family than she spends with mine, etc. — it's unfair for housework to be the one thing that gets split 50-50.

Do you think housework has to be split evenly? What about things like earning money and doing work outside the home?

50-50 Split?

A: Contributions to your household, as a whole, should be split as close to 50-50 as possible without bean-counting.

So, suggest you and your wife make a list of what it takes to keep your marriage and household running — everything from earning money, buying and cooking food, cleaning house, maintaining property, maintaining connections with family and friends, paying bills, planning trips, scheduling appointments, keeping a calendar, etc. Then see whether the current division of labor is fair. Also make sure you agree on the "currency" you're using; is it time, value, money, effort? I think effort makes the most sense, but what you two think is what matters.

Also explore why you're both acting as adversaries, versus teammates. When the center of gravity in a relationship shifts from giving to each other to protecting yourselves, the survival of the relationship then depends on shifting it back to giving. And to get there, each of you needs to trust the other to do what's right for both of you, versus satisfying self-interest.

Tell girlfriend about change of heart concerning children

Q: My brother and his wife had a daughter 16 months ago. My whole life I've been certain I didn't want children. But I love my niece. She's amazing. She's changed my mind entirely on the issue. I've been with my girlfriend for five years, and she was okay with my no-children stance, but not as certain as I was.

We are getting married this winter, and I was wondering what your advice would be on my bringing up my change of heart? It seems a bit unfair, like a bait-and-switch, even if that wasn't my intent.

Game-Changer

A: Changes of heart happen. They become unfair when you withhold them, spin them, lie about them, or act on them without communicating openly with a partner. Tell her, now, what you said here, including the part about feeling bad about the bait-and-switch, and see where it takes you.

By the way — it's great you're loopy for your niece, and that can reasonably be taken as a sign you want kids of your own. However, make sure you prepare yourself for the fact that your child will be relentless — you can't just hand your baby back to your brother and leave.

Your baby also will be a completely different person. S/he could be colicky, hyperactive or with other special needs, a reluctant sleeper, a boundary-pusher like it's his or her job, etc. Just ask parents of more than one child how different their experiences were from one child to the next. The one thing that doesn't vary is how badly they need their parents to love them as they are. When you're ready for that, you're ready.

Comments
5 things to do under $5 Nov. 23-30: Craft festival, License-Free Saltwater Fishing Day, Snow Bash

5 things to do under $5 Nov. 23-30: Craft festival, License-Free Saltwater Fishing Day, Snow Bash

1. Gem, Jewelry and Bead Show and Sale: Check out these rocks when more than 50 dealers from around the United States sell crystals, minerals, beads, gems and jewelry. $5. Coliseum, 535 Fourth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through ...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Top things to do this weekend: Lindsey Stirling, Faizon Love, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live

Top things to do this weekend: Lindsey Stirling, Faizon Love, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live

PULLING STRINGS: Lindsey StirlingDubstep violist Lindsey Stirling shot to fame as a quarter-finalist on America’s Got Talent in 2010 and she has been rocking the spangles on Dancing With the Stars this season as the last woman left . But on Friday yo...
Published: 11/22/17

Tell Me About It: Frequently-visiting sister needs to pitch in

Frequently visiting sister needs to pitch inQ: I live overseas with my husband and two boys. My sister visits often due to work travel and generous vacation benefits. Sounds great — especially as I have no other family member who can visit as often, ...
Published: 11/22/17
Black Friday deals at Legoland, SeaWorld, Disney and more

Black Friday deals at Legoland, SeaWorld, Disney and more

Black Friday isn’t just for stores. Many theme parks and attractions in Florida are also offering up deals that could make a nice gift or family splurge. The smaller the park, the bigger the deal, so Legoland, Gatorland and SeaWorld are toutin...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Plan your weekend: Indie shopping, Lindsey Stirling, ice skating, Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith

Plan your weekend: Indie shopping, Lindsey Stirling, ice skating, Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith

Shopping Black Friday: Avoid the madness of the malls at a variety of indie shopping experiences this weekend. Skatepark of Tampa has one of the best sneaker selections in Tampa Bay and free skating all day Friday to celebrate. They’ll open at...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Mark your calendars: Here are the top holiday concerts, ‘Nutcracker’ shows and parades

Mark your calendars: Here are the top holiday concerts, ‘Nutcracker’ shows and parades

Get out your calendar, set aside the time and get tickets to see the top holiday shows and parties coming this season. Here are our editor’s picks for the holidays:CONCERTS98 Degrees The turn-of-the-millennium boy band brings their new holiday tour p...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Here's where to see Christmas lights in Tampa Bay

Here's where to see Christmas lights in Tampa Bay

Once the Thanksgiving leftovers are put away, you can stop grumbling about it being too early for Christmas lights and decorations. Let the grand illuminations begin! Despite our tropical climate, or maybe because of it, Tampa Bay goes all out when ...
Published: 11/21/17

Tell Me About It: Sister’s partner is a textbook abuser

Sister’s partner is a textbook abuserQ: My sister stays home with her two small children (2 and 1) while her partner works. Recently, during a fight, he took all of their money and left. He has since returned and they have patched things up for now. ...
Published: 11/21/17
Disney-Pixar’s ‘Coco’ has a Dia de los Muertos theme and is, well, lifeless

Disney-Pixar’s ‘Coco’ has a Dia de los Muertos theme and is, well, lifeless

Disney-Pixar’s Coco was more enjoyable three years ago when it was titled The Book of Life and came from Twentieth Century Fox.Both animated features spring from Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos celebration, the annual "day of the dead" when departed rela...
Published: 11/20/17
Updated: 11/21/17

Tell Me About It: Couple considers living on one income

Couple considers living on one incomeQ: My husband and I, both unhappy in our jobs, have determined that with some strategic penny-pinching, we can live on one salary for a while. The question now is, whose salary?The argument for my husband quitting...
Published: 11/20/17