Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Why Husbands Should NOT Do Half the Housework

I just read an article on MSN in which the author, Leslie Bennetts, urged wives to yell, nag, withhold sex, whatever it takes, to get their husbands to do half the housework.

What she fails to recognize is that the out-of-home work that the average man does is more difficult and more stressful, and takes many more hours than what the average woman does. Study after study show that even when the wife works full-time (and many women don't), the man works more hours and is more likely to have a more stressful and/or dangerous job. Those factors need to be taken into account when deciding how much housework the man should do.

1 comment:

Bonnie said...

If you mean that one of the partners might do a job that is more physically stressful, and so should be spared physical labors when at home to prevent muscle and joint fatigue, I could agree with that premise. I could also agree with the premise that if one person works more hours (including commute), they might need to be exempted from part or all of the housework so that there are hours of rest.

But if you just mean that one of the partners in the relationship might have a more stressful job, then I most strenuously disagree. Studies on stress show its not how much stress we are under, it is how we deal with it. Both my husband and I have come to view our housework responsibilities as stress relievers. Time when we can do something that is contributory to the quality of our home life, does not require a high level of intellect and can be done in a meditative way.

Now having said all that... there is one other reason that all family members should do at least some of the housework. In every family I have every known, if one of the people does ALL of the housework, the other people generally start to become more and more slovenly. Participation breeds respect.

I found your blog because of the NPR interview today "Are College Degrees a Waste of Money?" I was hoping that you had posted the article somewhere here, so that I could comment on it.


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