Division of Labour - Christmas or anytime

I have read the (online) papers in my lunch break do today. At least two articles about the stress of Christmas for women and how unhelpful men are. Harsh. Does no-one understand division of labour anymore?

My husband, with help from the kids, is tiling the kitchen floor today. I am not. I select and buy the Christmas presents and Christmas food. He doesn’t. I decorate the house, except for electrics which they will do. He keeps the cars running, keeps the house running and stops me from buying wild things which no-one will want.
If we both did everything instead of diving tasks then no-one would use their specialist knowledge and we would keep tripping over each other. I rather think it is part of being a family.

My son’s girlfriend doesn’t understand. I am an accountant but when I do his paperwork then he is being lazy & irresponsible. When I need software loaded or someone to sort out the TV then it’s his turn to use his specialist knowledge. To me it makes sense that if you live in a community then you don't need to do everything, you can specialise in some areas. I am assuming I won't be asked to help out with her tax submission as I wouldn’t want to encourage her to be lazy and irresponsible too. He says it is because her family really don't operate like a family. Everyone eats a microwave meal from the freezer when hungry and spends their life alone in their room.

Families, or groups of close friends, are brilliant for company, humour, understanding, security and I now realise, efficiency. Operating alone just strikes me as really hard.


  1. Hello Lizzie
    Oh how I have loved reading your recent musings - thoughts that have been on your mind about work and family and life. You know its true that having a back up for when you just don't know or can't do anything is necessary - use their strengths to aid your weaknesses. My husband often queries when I ask him to so something - but I think he secretly is pleased when I answer I need him to do it because I don't know the right/correct way to do it.
    Merry Christmas to you and the family - best wishes for the new year and I hope all your dreams come true in 2011
    Take care

  2. Like they say, jack of all trades but master of none. It is good to know how to do a little of everything but it is impossible to do everything well. How great it is that your family works so well together.

  3. Thank you Cathy, you too.

    Thats it exactly Daizy. They used to scrap more, which I guess is part and parcel of growing up, but now they are all grown up it is easier. Very pleased they are so useful.


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