Difference between Chick Chores & Dude Duties in the Household Labor Game

Who's Doin' the Chores at YOUR House? Funny Differences between Chick Chores and Dude Duties! #funny @SoThenStories.com

So then…a few of us enjoy delicious shrimp pasta at our friends’ house (Pam and Rob) when the husband says, “You haven’t been here in awhile. After dinner, I’ll show you the lawn I re-seeded.”

Now between you and me, I can’t imagine anything more boring than watching grass grow – especially if there’s more pasta and wine to consume – but I dutifully tag along for the viewing.

The men nod approvingly as Rob gestures about, explaining the month-long project to rip out the bad stuff and install the good stuff.

Then he takes us into the garage where he shows us a new tool bench and shelving system he built. It’s actually pretty impressive – and he beams as the others compliment him and clap him on the back.

As the women head back into the house, one says to Pam, “Wow, that’s so great your husband’s so helpful around the house.”

“Yes, well,” she says, a smidge less enthusiastically than one might expect.

I shoot her an encouraging smile and say, “What’s up?”

“Well, sure he takes on a project here and there – but he doesn’t really ‘help’ around the house. He’s not doing any of the day-to-day grind – like doing dishes, folding laundry, making meals…”

The other women nod their heads in agreement.

“Same here,” says one.

“Yeah,” says the other. “Mine will happily show you how he refinished the patio chairs – in excruciating detail – but ask him to empty the dishwasher and he’s not interested at all. He’s like, ‘but won’t we just have to empty it again tomorrow?’”

We laugh.

“Exactly!” Says the other woman. “They don’t like doing maintenance chores that are repetitive. There’s no sense of final accomplishment. You fold a load of laundry – so what? There’s another load tomorrow. Clean some dishes? Oh damn, they’ll just get dirty again at the next meal. There’s no final moment of glory – like, ‘TA-DA! It’s done!’”

The second woman says, “So are women wired differently? Repetitive tasks don’t drive us as crazy as they drive the men – or do we just get stuck with those tasks?”

“I don’t know,” says Pam. “And is it different when both spouses work outside the home?”

“Sometimes it’s reversed,” says the first woman. “I have some friends whose husbands typically do the cooking. And some couples seem to do a good job of splitting all the work. But most of the time, I see the wives doing the day-to-day stuff – and the men handle the trash, the car, and the ‘projects.’”

“Yes!” Pam says, laughing. “Don’t get me wrong – I’m glad Rob pitches in – but I just find it funny that some men are much more interested if the task has a clear beginning, middle, and end – especially if the end is something grand that you can point out to your friends and neighbors like ‘hey, look what I did!’”

That’s a really good point. I’ve yet to walk into someone’s home where the wife grabbed us to check out her linen closet to see how nicely she folded the towels in color-coordinated stacks.

None of my pals invites her guests over to the dishwasher to demonstrate the proper bowl-to-plate-ratio loading technique that results in such spotless dishes.

And I’ve yet to see a wife point to the carpet to say, “Look how nicely I vacuumed this rug – it took me three adjustments on the settings to be sure the machine really sucked up all the dirt!”

And yet, I’ve been on plenty of home visits where the husbands have proudly pointed out the results of their latest projects in the garage, the yard, or the house. We get to hear in glorious detail exactly how many nurseries he had to visit before finding just the right size and type of tree to work so well in that northern corner of the yard.

(Of course, with everyone so busy with work and kids, it’s wonderful to get any help at all around the house.)

But the whole time I’m nodding along as these women good-naturedly joke around about task differentiation between some men and women…

All I can think is…

OMIGOD, I’m a dude!

I’m TOTALLY a dude!

I LOATHE repetitive maintenance tasks. I suppose most people do – but I mean I REALLY hate them – and chiefly because they never end – and there IS no sense of TA-DA!

I NEED a TA-DA! I’m a glory-hound of the highest order!

I’d much rather take on a project that has some gloating perks, even if it means working longer and harder than the maintenance tasks!

I don’t want to spend 20 minutes cleaning the kitchen – but I’ll happily spend two hours completely reorganizing the pantry, fridge, and cabinets! TA-DA!

I’ll gladly show you some insane dessert creation that took me hours to concoct –

or a hilarious Powerpoint presentation for my friend’s birthday featuring photos, snarky captions, and inside jokes that took me literally weeks to create –

or anything else OTHER than the mind-numbingly boring chores of household duties.

And since I work full-time, I don’t feel too guilty admitting I outsource some of that work to a fabulous housekeeper I’m happy to pay.

And of course there are plenty of women more talented than I am who accomplish amazing home and yard projects that are definitely TA-DA worthy!

So my questions for you are:

1) What’s the division of labor like at your house – who gets the repetitive maintenance tasks – and who gets the TA-DA projects?

2) Which type do you PREFER – or are you cool with both?

And if you’re cool with both, what time can you be at my house?

— Darcy Perdu

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(What’s the division of labor like at your house – who gets the repetitive maintenance tasks – and who gets the TA-DA projects? Which type do you PREFER – or are you cool with both?)

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22 replies on “Difference between Chick Chores & Dude Duties in the Household Labor Game

  1. Amber said:

    We’ve divided (and redivided, post procreation) our chores, but I think we both do some of each, but we also both ENJOY the “dude tasks” more. He doesn’t complain about doing dishes or changing diapers, but when he gets on his pedestal about being better “than most guys we know” I knock him down to earth!

    • HA! Thank goodness you’re there to keep his perspective of himself realistic!

  2. Julie said:

    Ahhh… one of the dangers (or a perk) of being divorced. All the tasks were mine alone for so long when the kids were little. Come to think of it all the tasks were mine when I was married as well…. Now that the kids are adults, I have much more help. Now the only hard thing is to hold my tongue when they don’t do something ‘right’. Just say “Wow! Thanks for doing _______!! I know you must be tired and I am so happy you pitched in!”

    • Julie said:

      Definitely the TA DA tasks. Cutting the grass, shoveling snow, and sadly in my house often times the dishes in the sink……

      • It’s so cool when the kids are old enough to help out too!
        And I agree it’s best to hold one’s tongue about the “proper” way to do chores, lest the would-be helper opts to let one show them how…
        I’ve fallen into that trap far too often! Ha!

  3. veronica (formely known as artistry by veronica) said:

    Hey Darcy, long time no comment! lol Love this post so much! So here’s how it works in my apartment (no kids yet! lol):
    I do the cleaning, washing, drying, folding, sweeping, mopping, cooking, dressing like the occasional hooker just to “entertain” lololol
    My boyfriend sometimes surprises me with dinner, or an emptied dishwasher, sometimes he even empties it and fills it (he fills it wrong… pans on the bottom blocking the only water jet in the washer from reaching the cups on top even though ive said 1mil times to leave the pans soaking and ill do them by hand)
    he always… i mean ALWAYS takes out the trash and cleans our balcony
    There’s no arguments about things being done wrong, or who should do what. If something needs to be done I do it (including running into the bathroom after he showers to hang the towel correctly so it doesnt smell like wet dog the next morning from being bunched up)

    This wasn’t a role I “fell” into. Instead, I spent most of my teen years and early 20s living with my parents, whom, for a lack of better words, just don’t get it. My stepdad complains about everything being dirty and yet doesnt do anything, my mom does the same. My stepdad use to call me into the kitchen to POINT at a dirty plate to tell me to put it into the dishwasher, or a bottle to put it into the recycling. That was when I decided that life was too short to be an annoying whiny person lol if something needs to be done THEN DO IT! Why am I going to spend the rest of my life telling someone to do something they just don’t have the desire inside them to do? I just compromise! Fine… i’ll do all of this stuff under the understanding that… i clean but i suck at organizing, thats ur job (my bf’s), ill wash clothes and dry and fold, but when i have school or work that is overwhelming folding and putting clothes away become ur job! I don’t have kids yet, but I did basically raise my cousins and my 2 little sisters and the best way to get them to pitch in was to bribe them. Money, trips to the park, candy, lol w/e man it works!

    • veronica (formely known as artistry by veronica) said:

      I forgot to mention, until I was 8 yrs old i lived with my grandmother who was a neat freak. she taught me that women need to be independent and need to be willing to do what has to be done to survive in this world, clean, cook, AND WORK. She taught me that clutter is simply a reflexion of the mind, if life is cluttered or your mind is cluttered, your home will be too. Sometimes cleaning your home is the best way to clear your mind.

  4. Lee A Lewis said:

    We generally split the load, she does laundry I do dishes and cooking, I do not mind doing the dishes because if I do not do them I waste more time looking for items that were put in the wrong drawer. Cooking is usually a Ta-Da moment for me (sometimes only a ta-da but hey you take what you can get). The rest gets split up depending on whom is more convincing with the “I did it last time” and “but you do it so much better than I do. Unfortunately I do the bathrooms better than her, on the plus she is much better at cleaning the hardwood floors. I get all of the Ta-Da tasks but do not mind because I love playing around with tools of any sort.

  5. I would probably say I’d prefer to let someone else do the repetitive stuff, and that I’m hopeless with the ta-da projects.
    William Kendall recently posted..The LeprechaunMy Profile

  6. Totally prefer the impressive jobs with the exception of cooking (which is impressive if I made it without setting fire to anything or impressive if my better half created it because, flavor.
    Hope you can swing by my parenting blog for humor and dodgy cartoons: http://www.pooprainbbows.com

  7. I’m glad to say that Momus and I split the tedious household tasks. We both like things relatively uncluttered, so the kitchen gets cleaned pretty well. Just don’t ask when’s the last time we vacuumed or dusted, ’cause I have no idea.
    Cassandra recently posted..Preparing for MeanopauseMy Profile

  8. geo said:

    The rule at our house is that if I don’t eat it, wear it, or bathe in it, I don’t clean it. In turn, I don’t ask him to pack my lunch, do my laundry, or clean my bathroom. We share kitchen chores (dishwasher, trash, groceries) as well as the dusting, vacuuming, washing windows chores. We are each appreciative when the other says “hey – I’m doing a load of whites…got anything you want to throw in?” That works with the kids too…they clean their own bathroom, & make their own lunch. When each turned 13 I introduced them to the washer, dryer and ironing board…if they don’t have clean clothes (our son) they wear dirty or pull something despised out of the closet (that sweater from grandma H.)….Sucks to be you!

  9. Arionis said:

    The true test to find out if you really are a dude:

    What I want for my Birthday/Christmas/Anniversary is:

    A. Nothing (Total lie, don’t even think of picking this one.)
    B. Jewelry, Perfume, or anything that is measured in carats.
    C. Power Tools or anything stored in a garage.
    D. A pony.

    If you chose A check your pants. They are on fire.

    If you chose B then you are a girly girl.

    If you chose C then you are definitely a dude. Women can not understand how we like to get this stuff for presents.

    If you chose D then you are a nine year old girl whose projects include cooking a cake with a light bulb.

    But I think there is also secret choice B/C. A girl that likes shiny things but doesn’t mind yanking on a starter cord every now and then.

  10. Judy P said:

    When it comes to the projects-the TA DA stuff-I leave most them to the maintenance dude since hubby isn’t handy at all (you mean there is more to life than duct tape and E6000?!). I can do them though if I have enough alone time (otherwise hubby will come in with his testosterone and duct tape and mess it all up).

    Although last week I gave him the task of putting all the drawer rails back and he did it (with a screwdriver!) Then this week hubby was willing to help me clean house so he picked his shoes off the floor so I could vacuum. It was something.

  11. Haha, before I got to your “I’m a DUDE,” I was getting ready to comment that I must be a man. Repetitive chores drive me out of my mind. This is why postal workers lose it, I’m told — the mail NEVER ENDS!
    Gunmetal Geisha recently posted..Oxygen, a Valentine’s Day StoryMy Profile

    • Ha! Right? We’re little dudettes! Hell No to the repetitive tasks!

  12. Oh thank you for this post made me smile and think I am glad I have never had this experience being married to the same man for 30 years and my parents have been married 54 years
    Jo-Anne recently posted..Saint Patrick’s DayMy Profile

  13. Dana said:

    I wish I didn’t have to do any chores, but, being the only semi-able bodied person in the house, if I don’t do it, it doesn’t get done.

  14. I admit it I’m a dude too! I would stab my eyeballs out than do the dishes. I cook and I do laundry those are my jobs around here that and cleaning out closets and organizing. Luckily I am married to the most OCD man you ever saw and he cleans EVERYTHING! Mom does the dishes. It works for us and the house is always clean. If not I would be paying…very happily!
    Rena McDaniel recently posted..OUR ST. PATRICK’S DAY CELEBRATIONMy Profile

  15. I do the repetitive tasks, just not repetitively. If you aren’t repetitive about your day to day chores, you can actually say “TA-DA!” Seeing the top of my kitchen island is a big deal. Unfortunately, Sven doesn’t notice my ta-da moments, because as my sister says, he’s just a grown up Linus. Sometimes by the trail he leaves behind, I swear he’s made of sawdust.

  16. My husband & I are both in our 80’s & neither of us do a damn thing any more, which suits both of us just fine!!

  17. Our division is more of a week/weekend deal. I do a lot of the cooking and cleaning during the week, and my husband does the bulk of it on the weekends. His current Ta-da is finishing the basement, which requires multiple “come look” events each day.