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

I Love Otsego but I Love Andy More

Growing up, my big brother was your typical older brother. He loved to torture me and his favorite hobby was making me mad or making me cry. He took my own stuff and made me buy it back from him at a yard sale. He put dog crap in my socks and sneakers. He threw spit balls at me, pinched me and never let me win at any games. Despite his daily doses of teasing and displeasing me, I did notice that he wasn't particularly interested in other people making me mad or making me cry. I'm not saying he was ready to fight on my behalf, or ride up on a white horse to protect me, but he was pretty firm in his position as the number one bane of my existence. Despite the fact that he no longer tortures me quite like he used to, our relationship has left a lasting impression on me, long into adulthood. As a self proclaimed arm chair therapist, I take note that I have been trying to work through that relationship for years-with Andy. Poor Andy had no idea that, when we started dating, I'…

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…

An Open "PM" to Polly

Hey Polly, it’s me- Melissa. Can I call you Polly? Because I feel like I know you. Do I know you? We’ve been in the same social media circles for many months now.I see from your profile that you went to Cornell. I have a lot of friends that graduated from there. It’s an awesome school. What year did you graduate? I also see that you’re self-employed. I really respect entrepreneurs, particularly female entrepreneurs. What’s your business? Are you a photographer because your Facebook profile picture of Doubleday Field is fantastic.I see that you don’t have any Facebook friends, Polly. I understand that. Are you lonely? It can be really lonely around here. Listen Polly, this election got really nasty but at the end of the day are all neighbors right? Do you want to meet, do you want to talk about it? Haven’t seen you on social media since the election. I totally get where you’re coming from, Polly. It’s been hard for me, too. When you put yourself out there with really strong opinions pe…