Chore Wars: An Unnecessary Conflict

August 4, 2011

It’s an age-old conundrum, and every married couple will battle it: chore wars, as Ruth Davis Konigsberg dubs it in her recent Time Magazine article of the same title. Who should be doing what? Is perfect equality between the sexes attainable with regard to household responsibility? And really, WHO IS GOING TO DO THE DISHES?!

Konigsberg begins her article by voicing a frustration many working mothers may find relatable: “Do I have to do everything?” Coming home from the office only to find more (unpaid!) work waiting for you at home seems unfair and unbalanced – what about the husbands? Do they get a free pass? But, Konigsberg counters, it’s not as unbalanced as you might think: “…it may come as a surprise to you, as it did to me, to discover that on balance, husbands and wives have never before had such similar workloads.”

Now, more than ever, men are expected to be involved in child-rearing and the inner workings of the home, as well as continuing to bear financial responsibility. So, while women on the whole may still be doing more of the household work, Konigsberg points out that in families with children and working parents, women work only 20 minutes more daily than men (paid and unpaid time combined).

The takeaway? Everyone’s busy! Everyone has their nose to the grindstone trying to make things work. And everyone is frustrated by the little household tasks that must be done – the tasks that take away from time spent relaxing with family and unwinding from long days at work. So we play the blame game. “You should be doing more to help out.” “I do everything around here.”

But what if we could make some of these arguments unnecessary? What if, in this fast-paced, exhausting world where everyone is trying to do so much, there was another way? Ever since the gender dynamic of the workforce changed in the 1970s, Konigsberg points out, we’ve been ironing out the details of how the home will function. It only makes sense, then, that we’d use all the tools available to us now to develop creative solutions that really work – solutions that free up our time and reduce our stress.

So how do we deal with the simple fact that everyone has too much to do and feels exhausted because of it? Outsource! Outsource the tasks that we just don’t have time for – the tasks that make us feel too busy, creating bitterness and resentment between partners and taking away from the millions of other things we’d rather be doing. Have someone else do it! This is the mission of TaskRabbit: to help you get your tasks done while putting much-needed free time back in your life. Take a look at any of our Tasks of the Week and see how it works: like this woman who wanted to throw her husband a 40th birthday party but didn’t have time for the hassle of planning. Or this couple, who wanted a date night and needed someone to watch their son.

In a world where everyone is trying to do everything, we need to stop and face the fact that we just can’t. So, relax. Take a breather. Stop arguing about who should go grocery shopping (“I always do it!”), and let a TaskRabbit help you out.