Housework – Not for Wusses!

23 Feb

That would be my slogan if I had to advertise how good it is to share housework with your spouse or partner or kids.  Many hands make light work, for starters.

But I should add that I’m not advocating that people have to do everything at once. Some things you’re great at, other things you can train your partner to do, oops, I mean encourage your partner. I’m not keen on dusting or vacuum cleaning so those were DH’s jobs. (Yeah, I have to do that all now.)  His extra height and vested interest in a dust-free house because of sinusitis and allergies meant he did a far better job than I did.

Nothing new in the new book Spousanomics, then. I am already cringing at the title. I mean, Freakanomics was pretty awful, Parentonomics slightly better, but Spousanomics turns me off at the cutesy, let’s-jump-on-a-bandwagon title. Ah, the economics side is stressed by using a love heart turned into a pie chart – OMG I can barely bear it.

The authors, Paula Szuchman and Jenny Anderson, cite comparative advantage as a reason to not split chores 50/50 with one’s partner. Basically, you take on the household chores at which you are relatively better than your spouse, rather than taking on all chores that you’re good at. So if you’re both good at emptying the dishwasher, the one with the superlative skill will get the job. The better one while use their time more advantageously while producing a better result.

If you have kids, you’ll need to re-negotiate. Trade-offs, all that sort of thing. And work out which battles are worth it.

OK, go and buy the book, or get it from your local library. If you find a heap of better arguments in it, please post them here.


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Posted by on February 23, 2011 in House


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