Posted: May 19, 2013 9:00 AM
 
It’s the age-old argument — mom shouldering most of the household responsibilities and dad sticking to the yard work or the big screen TV. Could mom actually be the instigator in this situation? We asked a few moms what their husbands do, or don’t do, around the house.

Ask anyone what their least favorite activity is each day, and it's likely their answer will be household chores. A day doesn't go by without needing to complete at least one chore — cleaning bathrooms, doing laundry, planning and cooking meals, vacuuming the floors or wiping down kitchen countertops.

Cleaning by the numbers

Once the kids arrive, the list of daily duties becomes even longer.

Dividing up the chores between spouses can be one of the most frustrating tasks for couples. Once kids arrive, the list of daily duties becomes even longer. Many couples naturally gravitate towards dividing the chores into "inside" and "outside" categories, leaving lawn care and home maintenance to the man.

The 2011 American Time Use Survey released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that on an average day, 19 percent of men did housework, such as cleaning or doing laundry compared with 48 percent of women — while 66 percent of women did food preparation or cleanup, compared with 40 percent of men.

Why he isn't helping

Bruce Feiler, columnist for the New York Times, thinks he knows why dads are reluctant to help around the house or with tending to children's needs. "The most significant predictor of dad involvement is the mom's willingness to give up control and allow the father to do things a slightly different way," he shares. As moms, we have our own ideas about how household chores and child care should be handled. Could it be that in our quest to have things our way we are pushing away a spouse who is willing to help? We asked some of our favorite moms how they manage their division of duties.

My way — or not

Some moms openly admit that they prefer the way they handle a specific chore. Natalie Hoage admits, "I will be honest and say I correct him [her husband] to the point where I would rather he just doesn't help me. It is all me, not him!" Jen Mitchell says, "If I don't like the way that Jeff [her husband] does things, then I don't ask him to do it. For example, I can't stand the way he does the laundry so I don't ask him to do it — but I love the way he mops the floors and cleans the toilets so I ask him to do those things all the time."

Divide and conquer

Katie Sluiter and her husband Cort have a 50/50 arrangement that works perfectly for both of them. "Neither of us is totally in charge of the house," Katie says. "I dust, clean one of the bathrooms, clean the kitchen and do the laundry. Cort vacuums, irons, does dishes and cleans the downstairs bathroom. We split outdoor chores too," she adds.

He rocks

He does the vast majority of the cooking because he's better at it than I am. I need a recipe to follow, he can make stuff up as he goes along.

In some families, one spouse is clearly better at a specific chore. Lizz Porter says, "He [her husband] does the vast majority of the cooking because he's better at it than I am. I need a recipe to follow, he can make stuff up as he goes along," she shares. But she has her own chore she has taken charge of. "I've given up trying to get him to load the dishwasher correctly — or at least correctly to me," she adds.

Katie Kavulla says her husband Josh does the dishes every night. "He's the one who criticizes me for loading the dishwasher wrong!" she shares. "He also does all of the ironing, which is amazing and I hate doing. I've learned, in 11 years of marriage, that if I don't like how he does something — when he's obviously trying to be helpful — to just quietly go back and do it the way I want later, rather than gripe at him about it," she admits. "Much better for our marriage... and for keeping him doing the dishes!"

Tell us!^ How do you and your spouse split the chores? Leave us a comment below!

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