Skip to main content

The Equitable Relationship

Andy went back to work a week after Caroline was born. When he returned home each evening, I'd be sitting in my jammies with dirty eye glasses and spit up on my shoulder. Maybe Caroline would be sleeping in her bassinett and maybe I'd be lucky enough to be folding some laundry. Our front door leads directly into the living room, so we are usually able to greet one another before taking our boots off. He'd open the door. I'd look up at him. He'd say, "Did you have a productive day?" I'd respond, "You're kid isn't dead. I'd call that a pretty productive day." This went on for the length of my maternity leave and I was relieved to go back to work and have to answer to my boss and not my husband.

Do you remember the story about the divorcee and stay-at-home mom who sued her husband for all the things she provided him during their marriage? The list included chores, caring for the children and sex. The amount of money was significant and I can't remember if she won but the story was pretty funny and brings up a great argument about equity in a marriage.

Andy and I argue daily about who does the most work in the relationship. We have unspokenly settled into our individual tasks. So, which tasks have the most value and who is doing the most? I thought I'd try to lay it all out and assign a monetary value to each task, per month.

Andy: mowing/snow blowing $50 general car care $10
kitty litter pans $20 pellet stove $20
garbage $10 mail $3
bills $50 cooking/groceries $10 (only periodically)
Caroline care $20 (only periodically)
Total: $193

Melissa: laundry $50 cooking/groceries $50
feed pets $10 cleaning house $50
make bed $3 Caroline care $75
Total: $238

I'm sure Andy would have his own opinion about this list and it could be revised here and there to more or less even things out. So, why can't we just call a truce and say, "Hey, we are in this together and we each play an important role in this family"? Can you place a price on a marriage? Can you place a value on being a good spouse and parent?

Making the bed each day: $3. Feeding the pets: $10. Loving your family and doing your share to make life run smoothly: Priceless.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Me V. Parental Judgement

When you are pregnant, there’s so much to think about when considering the future: what color to paint the nursery, what decorating scheme to select from Pottery Barn, whether to go with disposable or reusable diapers, what to name your little nugget, and even deciding to use a cake or a box of balloons for the gender reveal party. You quickly learn that, if you share any of these decisions with anyone, you are bound to get opinions- lots of them. And, while this isn’t the first time we get solicited or unsolicited advice (where to go to college, what to choose as a major, what profession to pursue, who to date, who to marry, what dress to wear to the wedding, who to invite to the wedding, what type of alcohol to serve at the wedding..) the birth of a child seems like the first time that SO MANY opinions are given. It’s already a time of anxiety and unknowns that the opinions of others can easily feel overwhelming.What, I should have gotten the rocker that swings from side to side ins…

Holiday Letters- in Two Versions!

I don’t know about you but I love a good holiday letter. Nothing sends me into a tailspin of self doubt and depression like reading the carefully crafted story of the highs and accomplishments of those in my life. As the letters flow in, alongside the photos of the beautiful smiling faces of my loved ones, I curl up under a warm blanket, look out at the bleak, gray winter skies and think: what the fu#k is wrong with me?We are so fortunate, due to modern technological advances, to be able to experience this self doubt an average of 20-50 times per day as we addictively scroll a variety of social media channels. Yet nothing truly confirms our own personal inadequacies like a yearly summary of others’ successes and happiness neatly packed in an 8 1/2 X 11 sheet of paper, folded in thirds and slipped into an envelope alongside a card collage of beach shots, matching sweaters and smiling, happy faces. I, too, have sent along such letters to accompany our smiling happy faces, providing thos…

Work Family

Did you know that you spend around 90,360 hours at work during your lifetime? I usually only write about my job in the most vague terms but work is, and always has been, a really important and vital part of my life. A hundred years ago, when I left my first professional job, I remember it felt like somebody died. At the time, Andy, who, shockingly wasn't in touch with my emotions, asked me why I was felt this way. I told him I was so upset because I felt like I was leaving my family. I can still remember, clear as day, when I gave my resignation. I had just taken a ride in the Oscar Meyer wiener hot dog mobile (Yeah I know I had an awesome job) and I felt incredibly sick to my stomach. I went home that night and cried like somebody died. I remember Andy asking me why I was so upset and I wasn’t sure how to articulate it. Looking back now I better understand why I had such a visceral reaction to leaving my employer. I think part of it was because it was my first real job. I think …