In a relationship, any relationship, how do you figure out what is the fair split of crap that needs to be done? This can be in a work situation, family, connecting with friends, etc. How is this decided.
I would like an unbiased third party arbitrator to help me figure this out. I am thinking specifically in my marriage/family life.
The third party would be impartial, and would be able to just look at the hear and now. I think that is another complicating factor in this situation, past memory. It is difficult t think about past situations and want the present to remediate previous imbalances. It can't. It's a silly notion. The present is the present and this is where we should dwell and focus on. That can be flingin flangan difficult. A third party would know nothing of previous times and would be able to focus on just right now.
Just as a side note, this is in no way a public, or otherwise, dig on my husband. We do the best we can splitting things and finding ways to make things seem fair. It's just difficult and, at times, unclear if what we have come up with is cheating one party or the other. We have always openly discussed these matter and continue to do so. Noted: this is not a rant about my husband, he's lovely.
So, back to the arbitrator. I want someone to sit down with us and make a list of everything each person in my family does. Work. Taking out the trash. Scrubbing toilets. Going to school. Running children. Keeping the family schedule. Paying bills, Yard work...... You get the point. And I want them to assign a point value to each item that reflects the amount of time and effort it takes to perform each of these tasks. That will give information on how much "work" we all do to keep the family going.
Then, the all knowing, all fair arbitrator will figure out how much time we all get to do the things we enjoy. Reading. Sleeping (yes, I enjoy sleeping and this is quite the source of contention in our house at times). Art activities. Hanging out with friends. Cycling..... These things are also necessary to keep a house in order and running smoothly. If people are not feeling fulfilled, they will not be able to do the work portion as willingly or without bad feelings. Fulfilled workers are happy workers.
Now then, the arbitrator, who is ever kind and all knowing, will look at the numbers and figure out who needs to shift their work load and who needs to shift their fun time so that everything is fair and even. This sounds so simple. Where do I sign up for such a service. Is there an app for that?
Here is where I think it gets messy. What is considered work and what is considered play? In some cases I think there may need to be a third category. Let's call it purgatory. It's a neutral area. It's not necessarily work, but it is not necessarily play either. Here are some examples:
1) Taking the kids to gymnastics/activities: It's not work, I don't have to do anything but, I am not necessarily doing what I want to be doing. I am not having to clean or fold anything at the moment, but I may have to make small talk with random people, not fun. Or, there are days when one of my friend's are there and I can chit chat with them and that is awesome. So, it is a case by case situation.
2) Freelance meetings. Blaine gets out of the house. He often gets to go to a coffee shop (something that is forbidden on a regular basis because of the cost), and talk with cool people about cool projects. Well, it is technically work. It is a freelance gig. But, this is "fun" work that he gets to pick and choose. He gets to drink coffee, a favorite activity at our house, but he is also generating income or cool things in trade for the family.
3) Church committee work. As most of you know, this takes up a lot of my spare time. I love it, but it is also a lot of work. At the moment I am in three leadership positions with various activities, and have three other commitments that are more low key. I enjoy these things, but I also do them because I think that it is so important to do community service work, and this is a great outlet to fulfill that important piece. I am at meetings/activities for 2-5 hours a week. How does this time count? It is enjoyable a lot of the time, but it is working for the greater good.
4) Family commitments. There are a lot of these in my family. Some of my best memories are of spending time at my grandma and grandpa's on Sunday afternoons with all of my aunts, uncles and cousins. I am blessed to have tons of family in town and be able to provide a small glimpse of this to my kids. But, it is a time commitment. Blaine works all day, every day, and I run all day, every day, so our weekend time is precious. I do not think extended family time is wasted time, but I know we all have things to do and it is not always easy to have 4-6 hours of Sunday or Saturday afternoon spoken for.(No, really, there is no dropping by for an hour. Have you met my family? We can't hardly say hello in under an hour.) I love, adore, respect, crave and desire this time, but it is time.
So, who can fulfill this task? Who can decide what is work, play and purgatory? How should they be measured? How do we equalize these things? How can you get an unbiased, all knowing, third party arbitrator. Would everyone even agree to the outcome?
There are days that I feel I am doing all of the work around this place. There are days that Blaine feels he is doing all the work around this place. There are many days that we feel the girls are doing negative their share of work around this place. I think we are all right, some of the time.
I will post the name and number of anyone that I can find. I will also offer my services as I do this work for my parents all of the time. It's weird I know, but I am impartial and blunt with them. They're both crazy, so it is easy. It's like arbitrating between the Mad Hatter and The March Hare. Don't worry, I'm not telling you anything that I have not clearly told them.
Have a good day at work, play and in purgatory. Think of ways to measure these things. Let me know what you come up with. Good luck and God speed.
This blog is a stream of conciousness from my head to the keyboard to the screen. There will be talk of random subjects. If you have delicate eyes, proceed with caution. I like to talk about controversial subjects and sex a lot. So, take heed my friends. This is not a blog for debate, but for love and sharing. If your views do not match my own, love to you, but don't bring the rest of us down. That's all I'm saying.