This morning the activities at my house moved along like a well-oiled machine. Normally on a weekday morning I have it really easy. Tony works from home most of the time, so I get up, get myself ready, drink coffee and read the newspaper, and head on my merry way. I do nothing to help get the kids ready for school in the morning. In fact they are often still sleeping, or are just recently up and watching TV, when I leave the house. I am so lucky and I know it.
Tony is an ecologist, and his field season is just getting started. This morning he had to be out early to a job site. We had to get the girls up and out at 8:00 am to take them to a neighbour who would walk them to school for us, along with their own two kids.
So we both got up early and we got it all done. I know that this is not earth shattering, and that it is something that many families do every day, but it is not our usual routine. This morning there was no tension, no snapping, no sighing. We just worked together, like we always should, but somehow it doesn’t always work that way. I think that having defined roles helps a lot. Tony made the lunches, I unloaded and loaded the dishwasher, and so it went. When you know what you are responsible for, you just get it done without all of the verbal and non verbal negotiating. There is no resentment over one person perceiving that the other is not doing their fair share.
I think this idea is worth exploring further, with dividing the household chores. I know people who have done this successfully, and I’m wondering how common this practice is?