## Ask the grumpies: Time spent on housework by child status and gender

Looking at the ATUS, how does having a kid affect how much time people devote to housework? Is this different for men and women? There are lots of different stories one could come up with: everyone does more housework because there’s more housework to be done. Everyone does less housework because there’s less available time to do it in. Mom does more and dad does less because they wind up conforming to traditional gender roles (and maybe mom winds up working less for pay, and so is the one around to do it). Maybe mom does a lot more and dad does a little more. So I’d love to know what the numbers actually show.

Lalalalala, Stata.  Ok, so I’m using the 2002-2012 ATUS here because I’m too lazy to download the 2013 one even though it’s now available.  In a bit I’ll show how things have changed if you limit to just 2011 and 2012.

How does having a kid affect how much time people devote to housework:

. ttest  bls_hhact_hwork, by(hh_child)

Two-sample t test with equal variances
——————————————————————————
Group |     Obs        Mean    Std. Err.   Std. Dev.   [95% Conf. Interval]
———+——————————————————————–
No |   72370     39.6372    .3054511    82.17145    39.03851    40.23588
Yes |   64590    44.33705    .3295443    83.75224    43.69114    44.98296
———+——————————————————————–
combined |  136960    41.85364    .2241497    82.95358    41.41431    42.29297
———+——————————————————————–
diff |           -4.699851    .4488466               -5.579582    -3.82012
——————————————————————————
diff = mean(No) – mean(Yes)                                   t = -10.4710
Ho: diff = 0                                     degrees of freedom =   136958

Ha: diff < 0                 Ha: diff != 0                 Ha: diff > 0
Pr(T < t) = 0.0000         Pr(|T| > |t|) = 0.0000          Pr(T > t) = 1.0000

Urgh, I can’t figure out how to make this pretty without making it a picture and I’m too lazy to do that (in word you make it courier new 9 or smaller and it’s all pretty).  Anyhow, this is saying that people with kids spend 44.33 minutes on housework and people without kids spend 39.63 minutes on housework during the reference day.  This is a difference of 4.7 minutes.  This difference (two-tailed is the one in the middle, since we didn’t have a prior about which direction it should go) is significant at the 5% level (also at the .0001% level).  So kids create housework.  (Which is no surprise, but the surprise is that people spend time doing housework– childcare is measured under a different variable.)

Note that theologyandgeometry reminded me that I’m supposed to be using sampling weights when I do this, and they do matter somewhat in the regression results.  Unfortunately, ttest doesn’t take weights.   The kludge is a pain in the rear in Stata 11 (which is what I have on my home computer), so I apologize, but you’re getting the unweighted results.

Next:  Is this different for men and women?

Let’s say I want to answer this question in one fell swoop.  I would do a regression with an interaction.  It would look something like this:

unweighted:
Housework_min = 18.96 + 37.47*Female – 1.04*hh_child + 8.21*(Femalehh_child)

I can’t get the standard errors to line up in wordpress, but the se for the intercept is 0.31, se for Female is 0.57, se for hh_child is 0.44, se for the interaction term is 0.82.   To see whether these coefficients are significant, you take the coeff and divide by the standard error to get the p-value.  If that number is bigger than 1.96, it is significant at the 5% level.  These coefficients are all significant.

weighted to take into account sampling weights:
Housework_min = 15.47 + 38.50*Female – 0.67*hh_child + 4.06*(Femalehh_child)

Here everything is significant at the 1% level except the main effect on hh_child is no longer significant even at the 10% level, with a se of 0.49.  So weights do matter.  Thanks for reminding me, theologyandgeometry!

Ok, so what does this regression *mean*?  Plug and chug, my dear Watson, plug and chug.

The way the dataset is coded, if you’re female, Female is coded as 1.  If you’re not female, then it is coded as 0 (it doesn’t allow for female and not female at the same time).  Similarly, hh_child is one if you have a child under age 18 in the household and 0 if you don’t.

So to answer: “how does having a kid affect how much time people devote to housework?” You would take [18.96 + 37.47*Female – 1.04*hh_child + 8.21*(Femalehh_child)] and plug in 1 for hh_child and then plug in 0 for hh_child.

[18.96 + 37.47*Female – 1.04 + 8.21*(Female)] – [18.96 + 37.47*Female – 0 + 0)]

The 18.96 drops out, the 37.47 drops out, and you’re left with -1.04 + 8.21*Female.

For women:  [-1.04 + 8.21*1] => having kids correlates with 7.17 minutes more housework

For men:  [-1.04 + 0]  => having kids correlates with 1.04 minutes less of housework

The savvy econometrician will note here that we’ve seen these numbers before– that -1.04 is the coefficient for the hh_child variable, and the 7.17 is what you get if you add that coefficient to the interaction term.

Doing the weighted version, you get:

For women: [-0.67+4.06*1] = having kids correlates with 3.39 minutes more housework

For men:  [-0.67+0] => having kids correlates with 0.67 minutes less of housework

Now, one concern is that there are a lot more single parent households with women heads than with men.  Let’s see what happens when we limit to married households with both spouses present only.

ttest  bls_hhact_hwork if married==1, by(hh_child)

Two-sample t test with equal variances
——————————————————————————
Group |     Obs        Mean    Std. Err.   Std. Dev.   [95% Conf. Interval]
———+——————————————————————–
0. No |   27875    40.94371    .5036533    84.08898    39.95653     41.9309
1. Yes |   40403    46.88803    .4207222    84.56725     46.0634    47.71265
———+——————————————————————–
combined |   68278    44.46122    .3230849    84.42228    43.82797    45.09446
———+——————————————————————–
diff |           -5.944315    .6569407               -7.231918   -4.656712
——————————————————————————
diff = mean(0. No) – mean(1. Yes)                             t =  -9.0485
Ho: diff = 0                                     degrees of freedom =    68276

Ha: diff < 0                 Ha: diff != 0                 Ha: diff > 0
Pr(T < t) = 0.0000         Pr(|T| > |t|) = 0.0000          Pr(T > t) = 1.0000

Having a child makes time spent on housework go up even more for two parent households than it does for everybody (about 6 minutes).  The difference is about one minute for unmarried households.  Maybe dads make a lot of mess.  More likely single moms don’t have time to do additional household chores while single people do have more time.  (Doing the interaction, this difference in the effect of having children between married and single couples is significant.)

Limiting to married couples only:

Housework_min = 14.23 + 51.44*Female +4.14*hh_child + 2.31*(Femalehh_child)

The interaction term is only marginally significant, and note a sign change on the hh_child coefficient.  Having a child affects married people by 4.14 +2.31*female.  Married men’s housework goes up by 4.14 minutes after having a child, but married women’s goes up by 6.45 minutes.

When you do it weighted, everything is significant at the 5% level.

Housework_min = 13.16+ 50.95*Female +2.51*hh_child + 3.39*(Femalehh_child)

Having a child affects married people by 2.51 + 3.39*female.  Married men’s housework goes up by 2.51 minutes after having a child, but a married woman’s goes up by 5.9 minutes.

Limiting to unmarried people only:

Housework_min = 22.29 + 28.89*Female – 5.41*hh_child + 6.34*(Femalehh_child)

All coefficients are significant.  Having a child affects unmarried people by -5.41 + 6.34*female.  Unmarried men’s housework goes down by 5.41 minutes and Unmarried women’s goes up by 6.34 minutes.  (Note that there are ~8,000 single men with kids and 16,000 single women with kids here, though I’m including married people whose spouses are absent in the “not married” category because we’re talking about housework.  It is more standard to include them in the married category when you’re looking at outcomes we care about like child well-being.)

Weighting the unmarried people regression:

Housework_min = 17.68 + 26.93*Female – 4.36*hh_child + 1.60*(Femalehh_child)

Here the interaction term is no longer significant, which suggests there isn’t a difference by gender in terms how how having a child affects housework.  Makes me wonder who the sampling frame is over- or under- sampling!  Here having a child affects unmarried people by -4.36 + 1.60*female.  Unmarried men’s housework goes down by 4.36 minutes when having a child and unmarried women’s also goes down (!) by 2.76 minutes.

There are other cuts that can be made… by age, by race, by ethnicity, by education, by work status etc.

I’m going to look now at the most recent years, 2011 and 2012.  Men are supposed to be more equal partners these days so…

. ttest  bls_hhact_hwork if year>2010, by(hh_child)

Two-sample t test with equal variances
——————————————————————————
Group |     Obs        Mean    Std. Err.   Std. Dev.   [95% Conf. Interval]
———+——————————————————————–
0. No |   13862    38.72681     .700486    82.47311    37.35376    40.09985
1. Yes |   11060    44.37197    .8187207    86.10202    42.76713    45.97681
———+——————————————————————–
combined |   24922    41.23204    .5330305    84.14795    40.18727    42.27682
———+——————————————————————–
diff |           -5.645164    1.072289               -7.746914   -3.543414
——————————————————————————
diff = mean(0. No) – mean(1. Yes)                             t =  -5.2646
Ho: diff = 0                                     degrees of freedom =    24920

Ha: diff < 0                 Ha: diff != 0                 Ha: diff > 0
Pr(T < t) = 0.0000         Pr(|T| > |t|) = 0.0000          Pr(T > t) = 1.0000

Having a child still increases the amount of housework done by around 5.6 minutes (so more than for the 10-year period).

Housework_min = 20.34 + 33.75*Female – 0.42*hh_child + 8.68*(Femalehh_child)

Here the coefficient on hh_child is nowhere near significant.  The interaction term is still significant, but having a child has no significant effect on minutes worked by itself, only as it interacts with gender.  Men no longer work less when they have a child.  But women still work more!  Results are pretty similar with the weights.

Limiting to married only provides:

Housework_min = 16.35 + 46.28*Female + 4.04*hh_child + 2.50*(Femalehh_child)

Now hh_child is significant, but the interaction term is no longer significant!  Everyone in a married couple works 4 min more (you could argue that women work 6 min more, but that difference is not significant) once they have children.  Again the weights matter, because with them, you get:

Housework_min = 15.06 + 44.79*Female + 1.55*hh_child + 6.22*(Femalehh_child)

With the weights, hh_child is back to being no longer significant and the interaction term is significant at the 10% level.   Married women work marginally significantly more than married women do upon birth of a child.

Limiting to the unmarried (and those with absent spouses) provides:

Housework_min = 22.77 + 27.25*Female – 3.89*hh_child + 7.72*(Femalehh_child)

These are all significant.  Having a child decreases the amount of housework for unmarried men by 4 minutes, but increases it for unmarried women by around 4 minutes.  (These results hold if I drop people who are married with spouse absent, so it’s not like truckers are driving this result.)

Putting the weights in again changes things:

Housework_min =18.15 + 26.06*Female – 3.04*hh_child + 1.41*(Femalehh_child)

Female is significant (as is the constant) but the other terms are not.  This argues that there’s really no difference once you have a kid in how much housework you do if unmarried, either by gender or not.  It could be that there’s not enough unmarried fathers in the sample to say much of anything once the weights are added (perhaps they over-sample single dads, who knows!  Well, presumably ATUS knows.)  Also I should note that their sampling weights seem to be based on 2006 methodology, so if things have changed, they could be introducing measurement error which might tend to bias towards not finding anything.

All in all, there’s less significance with only the last two years of the data, but the story is still very similar.

So, to summarize:  Having kids increases the amount of housework that people do each day by 5-6 minutes on average, but about 1 minute for single-parent households.  On average, having kids means more housework for women and less housework for men.  However, in dual-parent married households with both spouses present, having a child increases rather than decreases the amount of time spent on housework for men.  In households with only one parent present, women do more housework and men do less (though with weighting it seems they both do less).  Potential reasons for this difference could be that men outsource the housework or that they’re more likely to substitute childcare for housework (or that they put their kids to work and women don’t!).

Now, the variable I used above assumes marriage.  It turns out there’s a variable in the ATUS that also gets at whether or not there’s an unmarried partner in the household.

tab spousepres

Spouse or unmarried partner in |
household |      Freq.     Percent        Cum.
—————————————-+———————————–
1. Spouse present |     69,359       50.64       50.64
2. Unmarried partner present |      4,224        3.08       53.73
3. No spouse or unmarried partner prese |     63,377       46.27      100.00
—————————————-+———————————–
Total |    136,960      100.00

You would think that this shouldn’t change the results much.  Except it does.
. ttest  bls_hhact_hwork if spousepres==1 | spousepres==2, by(hh_child)
Two-sample t test with equal variances
——————————————————————————
Group |     Obs        Mean    Std. Err.   Std. Dev.   [95% Conf. Interval]
———+——————————————————————–

0. No |   30366    40.27857    .4782439    83.33803    39.34119    41.21595
1. Yes |   43217     46.9683    .4089027    85.00556    46.16684    47.76976
———+——————————————————————–
combined |   73583     44.2076    .3110836    84.38513    43.59788    44.81733
———+——————————————————————–
diff |           -6.689731    .6314013               -7.927276   -5.452187
——————————————————————————
diff = mean(0. No) – mean(1. Yes)                             t = -10.5951
Ho: diff = 0                                     degrees of freedom =    73581

Ha: diff < 0                 Ha: diff != 0                 Ha: diff > 0
Pr(T < t) = 0.0000         Pr(|T| > |t|) = 0.0000          Pr(T > t) = 1.0000

Having a child when you have a partner in the house increases housework by 6.7 min.

For cohabiters it’s an increase of 12 min!

. ttest  bls_hhact_hwork if spousepres==2, by(hh_child)

Two-sample t test with equal variances
——————————————————————————
Group |     Obs        Mean    Std. Err.   Std. Dev.   [95% Conf. Interval]
———+——————————————————————–

0. No |    2112    33.51657    1.586618    72.91542    30.40507    36.62807
1. Yes |    2112    46.34943    1.895052    87.08996    42.63307     50.0658
———+——————————————————————–
combined |    4224      39.933    1.239569    80.56248    37.50279    42.36321
———+——————————————————————–
diff |           -12.83286    2.471554               -17.67841   -7.987314
——————————————————————————
diff = mean(0. No) – mean(1. Yes)                             t =  -5.1922
Ho: diff = 0                                     degrees of freedom =     4222

Ha: diff < 0                 Ha: diff != 0                 Ha: diff > 0
Pr(T < t) = 0.0000         Pr(|T| > |t|) = 0.0000          Pr(T > t) = 1.0000

Married people spouse present:

Housework_min = 14.08 + 51.56*Female + 4.35*hh_child + 2.43*(Femalehh_child)

Everything significant at the 5% level.  (Results are similar with weighting)

Cohabiters:
Housework_min = 19.42 + 29.04*Female + 2.01*hh_child + 14.56*(Femalehh_child)
(results with weighting are pretty similar, with an even bigger interactive effect)

hh_child is not significant.  Note how much less housework cohabiting women do compared to married women!  (29.04 vs 51.56)  And look how much bigger that interaction of having a child is for cohabiting women– a child only adds 2.43 min (plus the 4.35 main effect that it adds to both parents) to married women, but it adds a full 14.56 minutes to cohabiting women (18.5 minutes in the weighted regression).  The story here is that cohabiters did less work and then were forced to be more traditional once a baby arrived.  With married women we’re probably seeing a lot of housewives increasing that female coeff.  There could also be differences in hiring out help between people who cohabit and people who are in more traditional marriages.  Or in how big the house/apartment is.  There are a lot of controls that could be put into these regressions (age, labor force status, etc.) if one wanted to try to get at causation instead of just the relationships.

Grumpy nation, how does this square with your experience, if applicable? And isn’t Stata awesome?

### 35 Responses to “Ask the grumpies: Time spent on housework by child status and gender”

1. omdg Says:

I wish I had time to read through this in more detail. However a couple thoughts: 1) I suspect that housework is higher in families with younger children/babies than in families with teenagers; 2) What was the definition of housework? Daycare dropoff added about 2 hours of work to my day, and zero to my husband’s. That’s not really housework, but it’s definitely and unpleasant chore. Does cooking count? Also (to me) an unpleasant chore that I felt I had to do more of after the child came along. Fortunately I seem to have successfully fobbed off cooking for the time being.

2. In terms of the married men doing more housework with a child, maybe the fact that their wives are almost certainly doing a f*keloade more of the child care shames them into shirking less of the housework.

3. TheologyAndGeometry Says:

Great post! I wonder if part of the reason that single fathers tend to do less housework is that shared custody means they only have a kid part of the time – making them somewhere in between the “have a kid” and “don’t have a kid” groups. One further analysis I’d love to see you do (in your endless spare time) is how employment affects the relationship between gender and time spent cleaning. In the Laura Vanderkam model of the world, women do more housework because they quit lucrative jobs to scrub toilets. I would guess that, given a level of employment/income, women still do more housework than men. Would be interesting to know what the data say…

• nicoleandmaggie Says:

Good point! I don’t know how they deal with joint custody in terms of kids in household.

I can queue that as an additional ask the grumpies in the future. Unfortunately I am slammed with work until about mid November. :(

4. Liz Says:

This is cool! I love applied math. (Theoretical/high school math just confused me.)

How do findings from this ATUS compare to, say, a pre/post survey of parents before and after they have children? Are there factors that lead parents of children to report higher housework levels than those without children? I, for example, have no children and do not care what my house looks like (too much), but when I have guests visiting I care a lot more. Maybe there is a nurturing effect – housework matters more when you’re caring for/responsible for others, so you’re more likely to do it?

• nicoleandmaggie Says:

I don’t actually know– economics tends to discount survey results and doesn’t care that much about women in general (with some exceptions). The only literature on housework in my discipline that I’m aware of is the effects of modern appliances on amount of time spent on housework and the quality of home goods (as in, modern appliances for the most part didn’t decrease time spent on housework until more modern times, it just raised household standards).

More people in the house does mean more laundry if nothing else.

5. MidA Says:

Interesting! I am 90% confident that DH does more housework than I do ( because I am slightly lazy and he cares more). We are currently expecting our first in March–curious to see how this will impact time overall and distribution across parties. I would start tracking now to get a baseline, but it could be misleading as I am doing even less housework due to being more tired! Also, I will say an extra thank you to DH for his contributions around the house (a little positive reinforcement can only help the trend continue, right?). :)

6. I fall into the married/living together group and I would agree that we both do more since having children. In my experience, I do a little more standard housework because my husband spends more time playing with the kids and doing homework with them. He makes more of an effort to spend “quality time” with the kids as a direct result of his dad NOT doing that with him when he was a kid. His dad worked a lot of hours too and that’s another thing the dad in this family has made a priority (to be home more). He does work his butt off though on home fixing stuff too so I don’t think he does less overall. I have a great partner. Thank God, because it’s exhausting even with all his help. I can’t imagine doing it alone.

7. becca Says:

Really, you’ll do all that work but you won’t use print screen to put in the pictures so the chart will look pretty? ;-)

As a cohabitator with a kidlet, these numbers make me really bummed we didn’t cohabitate before kidlet.

“More people in the house does mean more laundry if nothing else.”
Depends how neurotic you are re: separating colors. If you do a minimum of 3 loads everytime you do laundry (whites, darks and brights), and you don’t wait until you have full loads because you need some of those clothes, then you can go from [incomplete load] -> [complete load] without any additional time. Unless you don’t use a hamper organization system and spend time sorting the clothes, but young kids are good at sorting clothes so it needn’t add to parental housework time.

That’s the *theory*. The practice in my home is very, very different. Adding a baby approximately tripples the amount of laundry to do, and adding a sick elder increases it by an order of magnitude such that you will literally never not be doing laundry.

• nicoleandmaggie Says:

We actually did stop separating upon having children. (Mostly– we still do delicates and not delicates and have separate hampers for each.) We no longer buy anything that isn’t colorsafe. But we always only did full loads before. We both have a lot of underwear in order to make that possible.

And yes, babies make more mess for everyone. Though today the having to wash the pants after first wearing is my fault given I spilled coffee all over my pants (partly because of teething problems last night keeping us up)… usually it’s the result of small sticky fingers.

8. gwinne Says:

Too many numbers!!!

I think probably I spent more time on “housework” before having children, because I DON’T HAVE TIME. I suspect the number will also go up, because I do like having a cleaner house, once my son is, well, not TWO.

I will say I am now as of this week doing about two fewer loads of laundry because NO MORE DIAPERS.

• nicoleandmaggie Says:

The fact that whether the number is more or less for single women with children depending on weights suggests that there are different subpopulations of single moms who are affected differently.

• gwinne Says:

Absolutely. I think I’m less interested personally in the question of housework than “leisure” for single moms vs other groups of the population. The combo of childcare/paid work/housekeeping pretty much leaves no time for the rest (you know, other than blogging, of course).

9. oilandgarlic Says:

I was going to say “No Way” is housework only 5.6 minutes with children than without…my husband and I seem to be running around all the time. However, after some thought, I realized that most of the “extra” work is childcare-related — diapering, baths, driving around to school/activities/doctors, extra cooking as well as reading/playing/interacting with these little beasts we’ve chosen to bring into the world. We definitely have loads more laundry but we just don’t have time for extra housework. We try harder to pick up after ourselves and hire help whenever possible. And we’re just generally messier.

10. oilandgarlic Says:

and oh yeah, lots of hours spent putting kids to bed and trying to get them back to bed in the middle of the night!

11. chacha1 Says:

“The story here is that cohabiters did less work and then were forced to be more traditional once a baby arrived.” But only the female cohabiters. So if I’m reading this right, men who don’t marry their partners even after they decide to procreate are less supportive across the board and having the kid doesn’t inspire them to pitch in more At. All. If I were a young woman thinking about having a kid without being married, I would sure keep that in mind.

• nicoleandmaggie Says:

I may be misreading American popular history, but that’s my perception of “traditional” marriage in the US, at least as it is idealized by people who want to return to it…

• chacha1 Says:

you know, I have no problem with the “traditional” model as long as both partners are fully on-board with it and the male half of the partnership actually sticks to the program. I mean, the full lifetime support, even unto retirement, and provision for the survivors after death program. What I have a problem with is the modern interpretation of the “traditional” model in which the female gets stuck with 100% of the housework and childcare, is prevented from earning any money of her own, is not provided with a settlement (this is the cost of free housekeeping & childrearing for life, guys: you buy your wife. You don’t rent her), and is then divorced when she is “too old” so that the man can start over with a fresh new model. In the 19th century the marriage may have been functionally over when the kids got married, but the man was still responsible for maintaining his wife.

I would be a lot less resentful about doing 90% of the housework if I didn’t have to have a full-time job to pay a big chunk of our bills. :-) My solution is that the housework is done on a triage basis. And he knows better than to say anything about my housekeeping.

12. Cloud Says:

It sure feels like more than 5-6 minutes extra housework per day… but maybe that is because we’re still in the early days. Also, I have a hard time separating child care from housework in my mental model, so I don’t trust my gut on this one. I’d have to go look at old time logs to see what actually happened. I can say that having a second kid was what pushed us over the edge into getting a housecleaning service to come twice a month.

My husband is an outlier on the housework scale, I think. He’s always done roughly the same amount as me, if not more. I have given up trying to understand why because mostly when I try to talk about it people just don’t believe me on that and that makes me grumpy and then we don’t have a productive conversation at all!

(Aside: if you still want to make your text tables pretty- try flipping into Text view on the edit screen and setting the font to monotype directly by putting a style=”font-family:monospace;” on the paragraph tag. You might also have to mess with the font-size to get them smaller. I’d start w/0.75 em and see how that works.)

• nicoleandmaggie Says:

That sounds like more effort than I want to do! But noted if we ever want to take a wordpress blog professional. :)

• Cloud Says:

Fair enough. It would just be a hack, anyway, because people reading on mobile devices have smaller screens and would get extra line breaks. The correct way would be to make an HTML table, but I’m guessing that’s waaay more effort than you want to expend.

Anyway, I was able to get the meaning with the formatting how it is.

• nicoleandmaggie Says:

Taking a picture and inserting it would probably be the fastest way, but, meh.

13. MutantSupermodel Says:

So the whole point is I need to hire a cleaning person. Right?

14. The frugal ecologist Says:

Where do the weights come from & why are you using them?

• nicoleandmaggie Says:

The weights are sample weights. Not everybody who is representative of the population answers the survey. So in order to take that into account, they make some people who have more rare demographic characteristics count for more people. The assumption is that they think more like the people who are like them but chose not to take the survey.

Also some surveys over-survey certain segments of the population (hispanics etc.) because they want to get enough of a sample to say something about that specific sub-population. In those instances, weighting would have each of those people count for less than a full person in the survey results.

15. J Liedl Says:

I would love to see studies that account for the interruption factor of housework while parenting, i.e. that I spent a lot more time trying to say, prepare dinner when I had a small child or two underfoot than I did while childfree. Not only do children create more work in a household, they also can make work more difficult to accomplish.

Cool stats examples here, must say!

16. hush Says:

We’ve been married for nearly 10 years and my husband has always done the lion’s share of the housework. (Yes, these men actually do exist.) He’s the best. I cannot remember the last time I cooked dinner, took the garbage out, or mopped the floor, etc. He has always cared so much more than I do about what our home looks and feels like (because: baggage from his childhood in an abusive, emotionally-chaotic, disorganized, messy, smelly, awful home environment.) Whereas my superpower is letting things go – I have often seen myself in descriptions of “Those Husbands” who don’t notice the mess. We have tried out a few different cleaning people but no one in Podunkville has been up to his exacting standards – LOL. He’s training the kids to be good housekeepers though, so problem solved.

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