This series is intended for those of us not in the top 1%, or even the top 10%, in terms of household earnings. We’re not at the bottom either but we don’t have the money or flexibility of CEOs and executives.
I wrote about work and now I’m writing about the other side of the equation: Family, especially those raising young children. Older children are another story and one that I have zero knowledge of! I felt that by focusing on two major areas that take time — work and family — I could help more people find time in their busy lives.
The most important advice I can offer besides the obvious “choose your partner wisely” is to divide your chores equally. If you work full-time and also take on the majority of chores and childcare, the work/life balance will become nearly impossible. If you work part-time or are the stay-at-home parent, you still need to get your partner to be responsible for some chores and I recommend NOT splitting these along traditional gender lines. Many couples do an indoor (female) and outdoor (male) work split. While grass cutting can wait, indoor chores tend to be more repetitive, urgent and time-consuming overall. See this post about cooking for what I mean.
Compared to friends/family who divide chores by gender, I have a lot more free time. I don’t have to do extra laundry to make sure my husband has clean underwear. We can both make a good, healthy dinner. I put dishes away more often but my husband is very capable and willing to do this too. I guess the main reason I advocate dividing chores in gender-neutral ways is that it gives you more flexibility.
It almost goes without saying that young kids and teenagers can pitch in, too. Tell them that they don’t live in a hotel and their parents are not their servants!
Also, check out author Laura Vanderkam’s blog…her book “168 Hours” inspired this series.