I loved the post Sarah wrote on how things work in her house. I’m just fascinated by how other families do things. Anyway, here’s how things go in our home.
I work Wednesday through Friday. Two of those days, I’ll work 8:30 to 5:15 or so, and one of those days, I go home in the early afternoon.
H works from 5:15 to 6:30 or 7, then 8:10 to 5:30 and he’ll usually find time to do another 30 minutes to an hour at night. He works in the early morning on the weekend and will try to find some time for a few more hours on the weekend if he can. It is worth noting that he’s paid by the hour. H is currently working three different companies, though he spends most of his time on two of them. His two primary customers are based in CA, which means periodic business travel.
Our nanny comes Wednesday through Friday, 8:10 to 5:30. One of the things we love about her is that she is never late. We panic when she is sick, but on the flip side, she takes care of the kids even if they are sick.
At night, I read to both girls and then put B to bed. Then H finishes up L’s bedtime routine and puts her to bed.
On the weekends, H will often take both girls in the morning for an outing, and I’ll usually take them in the afternoon for a while so he gets a break.
While I probably spend more time caring for the girls in total because I work part-time, he probably spends a little more time than me watching the girls on the weekends.
H will usually get the girls breakfast, though I do sometimes. On days I don’t work, I usually finish up breakfast with them. On days I don’t work, I do lunch; otherwise, our nanny gets them lunch.
I plan our meals for the week on Monday mornings and do the shopping for the week. I cook Monday and Tuesday. Our nanny cooks Wednesdays and Thursdays. Fridays, we have pizza. Saturdays we eat out. Sundays, I will usually cook. Sometimes H will cook.
Until recently, H would usually do the cleanup while I took care of the girls, but recently B has been preferring to be with H, so I will do the cleanup.
House Cleaning & Laundry
As I mentioned, H did the kitchen cleanup until recently. I usually do the bathrooms, which means they really aren’t that clean. H does most of the vacuuming. We don’t really dust. Perhaps we should start.
H and I split the laundry. I feel I should really do it, but H’s tolerance for laundry buildup is less than mine, so he often does it. One of my ongoing resolutions is to do the laundry before H beats me to it.
Last summer, H did most of the yard work while I watched B. Traditionally, I have done a lot of the gardening – planting flowers and caring for them, and I’m hoping to get back on top of things this summer now that B is older. It’s still cold, so we haven’t really done any yard work of note yet this year. Our new house has an irrigation system which I love so much. Watering in the summer used to be a major effort.
H often will take care of major maintenance for the cars. We tend to take care of minor maintenance for the car we drive more often, except for oil changes, which H has been doing lately.
H pays the family bills. I pay my personal bills and some of the kids medical bills or just things that happen to fall under my name. I track our net worth every month or two and review our accounts to make sure there are no unexpected or unaccounted-for expenditures. I watch the market and invest money when it dips in our various education and retirement accounts. Neither of us has any kind of pension, so we’ll be entirely reliant on social security and savings when we retire, so this is rather important. (Using a rough rule of thumb, if we wanted to live of $100,000 per year in retirement, we’d need to accumulate $2.5 million in savings, all in 2016 dollars. That’s all a bit conservative since we’d presumably own our house by then and might have social security. However, it doesn’t account for taxes, and depending on our health, medical costs could be very high.) We don’t have joint accounts, but we have access to each other’s passwords.
I take the kids to all the doctor’s appointments. (We have one pretty much every other week. If you add in mine, it’s nearly every week we have some appointment to go to.)
I do all procurement in our house, from clothes (including my husband’s) to diapers and wipes to food to shoes and toys. Basically, if it gets bought, I buy it.
I usually plan our vacations, buy the plane tickets, pack, etc.
Life doesn’t feel easy to either of us, but we are happy. We both think that this time of having very small children will likely be one of the more difficult, but also one of the more joyous times, in our lives.