In our house we have a clear division of chores, since Brett doesn't work daily like other bread-winners.
Sure, he is gone for 24 hours at a time when he does work. but working 9 shifts a month hardly constitutes as being gone excessively. Okay, I'm being a wee bit harsh here - he does have some months where he teaches, evaluates and picks up overtime. And during those months (hallelujah!) it can be a bit of a juggling act trying to single parent when he is busy . . . so my point? He does chores when he is home.
Rather, I expect him to do chores.
It's all about perception, right?
So here goes, he takes care of the lawn (mostly, I have been known to pick a stray weed or ten), and the other outside household maintenance type stuff (like pressure washing and roof repairs). We split vacuuming, dishes and general picking-kids-crap up (when he is home). I do the laundry, dusting and all bathroom cleaning (lucky me).
Sidenote: I do it all when he is at work.
Most of the time, this division of labor works for us because we are a team when we are home. However, there are moments, like the other day. . .
I have a very organized system for doing laundry. Okay, I'll take the tongue out of my cheek and tell you the truth: I'm a lazy procrastinator when it comes to laundry and while I get a huge amount of satisfaction from doing the laundry, not so much when it comes to actually putting it away. That's one nice thing about kids getting older, you can make them put their own darn clothes away.
Anyway, we have a little office area near our laundry room/3rd bathroom. This is where I spend time on the computer, work and read once in a while. My favorite couch in the world is also in this little space and it is where I like to dump and fold my laundry.
What? You don't do the dump and fold?
So there were my piles of folded laundry, waiting to be carted to their intended destinations. Suddenly, there appeared a haphazardly thrown pair of shorts and a (whose could it be?) fireman sweatshirt on top of the neatly folded piles.
"What is the deal with this?" I said to the obvious offender.
"What?" His puzzled response worried me.
"These clothes, are they clean or are they dirty?"
"What are they doing here," I asked, "thrown on the piles of folded clean clothes?"
"Well, I figured I'd just put them there and you'd bring them upstairs when you brought the rest of our clean clothes up." He was really trying not to laugh at this point.
I suggested that he might instead, be fearing for his life.
"You mean to tell me (god, I sound just like an old lady) that instead of walking these clothes up to our room and putting them on our bed for after you were done mowing the lawn, you threw them here so I could do it?"
Good thing he was standing far, far away.
"That is a new level of laziness."
And that, right there, is the spice that keeps the love alive.