Oct 29, 2008

the state of matrimony...

Recently I have been reading a book called "to love, honor and vacuum" I have been thinking about the reality of what wives do (in comparison to husbands) in the home and with the children.

I am somewhat into women's lib, but at the same time I do find joy in serving my husband and children (because I love God... and He wants me to do that). But I have been questioning whether on not I should be challenging my husband and children to do more for themselves, so I don't create an environment where it is all done for them, and they end up feeling that it is what is expected...

I like to cook (recently less, because my kids don't like what I make), I however, have no love affair with cleaning. What can a woman do to make the load lighter?

I made a list of all the daily tasks I do (or should do) to keep the house up and running... 14 things a day. Dishes, laundry, cooking, sweeping, tidying, decluttering, feeding the cat... I do 11 of those things each day. I made a list of the weekly chores that need to be done... 9 more things each week, 5 of those are on my list. My husband does a total of 4 out of the 23 things. My 5 year old does 2, my 3 year old does 1.

These lists do not include child specific tasks like baths or picking out clothes, getting them dressed or making snacks. Nor do they include personal tasks.

My hubby works 2 jobs (he's on the School Board for our district), pays the bills, takes out the trash and spends a few hours outside each weekend cleaning up the yard. With all that he already does, what more could I ask of him?

What more could any SAHM ask of her full time hubby? But the reality is that the job of keeping a house and raising 2 kids is a nonstop job... and so much more discouraging than any job you go to everyday. The Laundry is never done, the dishes never clean, the floor never stays shiny for more than a few minutes (unless I clean it at night before bed) My husband gets to come home from his job and just be at home,

As a part time Director at a Non profit I have a little bit of that... but the rest of the time I am doing a job that never ends, that I don't get a lot of atta boys for and that doesn't offer bonuses for a job well done.

Many of my friends are SAHMs... but it's like they are addicted to cleaning or something... they struggle with balancing spending time with family and friends and cleaning... because they spend too much time cleaning, WHAT?! YIPE! What is wrong with me?!

Life is a balancing act, time with kids, hubby, friends. Time cleaning, cooking, and taking care of yourself. Time at church, book club, sporting events... where does it all end?!

This article below is an interesting article about the amount of time married women and men spend doing housework.

Exactly how much housework does a husband create?

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Having a husband creates an extra seven hours a week of housework for women, according to a University of Michigan study of a nationally representative sample of U.S. families.

For men, the picture is very different: A wife saves men from about an hour of housework a week.

The findings are part of a detailed study of housework trends, based on 2005 time-diary data from the federally-funded Panel Study of Income Dynamics, conducted since 1968 at the U-M Institute for Social Research (ISR).

"It's a well-known pattern," said ISR economist Frank Stafford, who directs the study. "There's still a significant reallocation of labor that occurs at marriage—men tend to work more outside the home, while women take on more of the household labor. Certainly there are all kinds of individual differences here, but in general, this is what happens after marriage. And the situation gets worse for women when they have children."

Overall, the amount of housework done by U.S. women has dropped considerably since 1976, while the amount of housework done by men has increased, according to Stafford. In 1976, women did an average of 26 hours of housework a week, compared with about 17 hours in 2005. Men did about six hours of housework a week in 1976, compared with about 13 hours in 2005.

But when the researchers looked at just the last 10 years, comparing how much housework single men and women in their 20s did in 1996 with how much they did in 2005 if they stayed single versus if they got married, they found a slightly different pattern.

Both the men and the women who got married did more housework than those who stayed single, the analysis showed. "Marriage is no longer a man's path to less housework," said Stafford, a professor in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.

For the study, researchers analyzed data from time diaries, considered the most accurate way to assess how people spend their time. They supplemented the analysis with data from questionnaires asking both men and women to recall how much time they spent on basic housework in an average week, including time spent cooking, cleaning and doing other basic work around the house. Excluded from these "core" housework hours were tasks like gardening, home repairs, or washing the car.
Click image to see more charts

The researchers also examined how age and the number of children, as well as marital status and age, influenced time spent doing housework.

Single women in their 20s and 30s did the least housework—about 12 works a week on average, while married women in their 60s and 70s did the most—about 21 hours a week. Men showed a somewhat different pattern. Older men did more housework than younger men, but single men did more in all age groups than married men.

Married women with more than three kids did an average of about 28 hours of housework a week. Married men with more than three kids, by comparison, logged only about 10 hours of housework a week.

Established in 1948, the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research (ISR) is among the world's oldest academic survey research organizations, and a world leader in the development and application of social science methodology. ISR conducts some of the most widely-cited studies in the nation, including the Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers, the American National Election Studies, the Monitoring the Future Study, the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, the Health and Retirement Study, and the National Survey of Black Americans. ISR researchers also collaborate with social scientists in more than 60 nations on the World Values Surveys and other projects, and the Institute has established formal ties with universities in Poland, China and South Africa. ISR is also home to the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), the world's largest computerized social science data archive. Visit the ISR web site at www.isr.umich.edu for more information.

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