The Collaborative promotes the value of all work whether paid or unpaid. However, we tend to feature and discuss the paid kind more often, but not today. Elise Daniel challenges us all to revisit how we think about household activities, to reconsider traditions, and to reconsider gender role assumptions in her article, “What is the Best Division of Labor at Home?” She offers great nuggets of wisdom that are all about the promotion of healthy relationships, of grace and gratitude, and the idea of leveraging our strengths. Even if your home runs smoothly, I would encourage you to read this article and think about how things could be improved and maybe this doesn’t result in a reassignment of responsibilities, but rather results in deepening appreciation for one another.
Elise is a contributing writer for the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics and has also been published by Real Clear Religion, The Detroit News, Relevant Magazine, and AFF Doublethink.
WHAT IS THE BEST DIVISION OF LABOR AT HOME?
During one of our marriage prep classes, my husband and I received a “marital responsibilities chart” with various tasks from managing finances to folding laundry. The teacher asked the couples to discuss who would be responsible for what during marriage.
We found our expectations for each other were largely based on our families of origin, and my parents modeled generally traditional roles for me.
However, today the traditional housewife and bread-winning husband have yielded to the ever-popular “egalitarian marriage,” in which husbands and wives split the housework 50/50.
Some studies show egalitarian marriages are happier and others show traditional is the way to go, but I thought there must be a better, third way to decide whether or not my soon-to-be husband should be in charge of vacuuming.
Here are some of the thoughts that popped up in my mind as I thought about a possible third option:
P.S. On a sad note, I learned this week that Hugh Welchel, the executive director of the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics, was diagnosed with the devastating and unforgiving disease of ALS. Hugh has made enormous contributions to the Faith & Work movement through his prolific writing. Hugh and his wife Leslie used to live in Orlando, but now reside in Washington, DC. There is no doubt that they live in the hope of our resurrected Savior, but please pray for them as they embark on this dark providence.