Splitting Parenting Duties
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The moms/authors of 'Babyproofing' Your Marriage invade the Lounge to teach the DadLabs guys a thing or two about co-parenting. Biff! Take that Daddy Clay. Pow! Take that Daddy Brad. It's a 50/50 Parenting mom vs. dad cage match.


Stacie: So you have the list of stuff you can easily divvy up. But then there’s the bottom part of the list of all the activities that are not that fun that we have to have a major negotiation about. Clay: Those are all, those are all women things, I’ve noticed. That’s really better. Cathy: Do you think we have an innate ability to put the trash out and an innate ability to empty a cat litter box. Clay: Women love that stuff. And we’re back on the lounge continuing our conversation with Stacie Cockwell and Cathy O’Neill, authors of Babyproofing Your Marriage. We’re continuing our conversation about the difficulties of living in a 50-50 parenting, marriage environment. And I guess, our question is, our ambition now is to achieve the ideal 50-50. Brad: Right. Clay: What are the best way, that’s the goal, we agree, that’s a fair goal. Brad: And I think the reality in some household. Stacie: Some. Cathy: Two. That’s what we’ve heard, allegedly. Stacie: It isn’t mine, it took some work. Clay: That’s the idea, we all agree, that’s the idea. It’s difficult given, you know sort of the changes in general and all the difficulties we’ve already talked about, it’s a hard ideal to achieve. So what are the best ways that we can all employ to get to 50-50? Because I ain’t there. Brad: Well, yeah, I think you need to figure out what each participants do. Stacie: The first you need to do is make an everything list. Everything from earning a paycheck, to mopping the floors, to taking kids to the birthday parties to buying your mother-in-law a birthday gift. I mean, everything you do. Cathy: Try cleaning, figuring out where you going to send them to school, figuring out probably vacations, Christmas gifts, I mean, we could sit here for the next 10 minutes and list everything. Stacie: But most people don’t do that. Clay: You put making a list on the list of things that you do? Stacie: That’s number one thing you do, you make a list. Clay: Okay, this makes perfect sense to me. You’re going to try and catalogue in an inventory of every task that you’re doing in a given week or a given month in the house. Stacie: Yes, because most people don’t even know the work that’s in front of them. It’s astounding. And everyone is just reacting all day and you get into this scorchy thing arguments of, Oh, you know, I just emptied the trash. Or Well, I just did the dishes. You want to gold star. So you really need to understand what’s in front of you first. Clay: I think, you know, women don’t understand what us guys do. They don’t have any idea. Cathy: This is why we don’t know. You haven’t listed it all for us. Clay: I got to change the oil, do they know that? Do they know that I’ve got to change the oil. Brad: Is changing the oil the same as watering the plants inside? Clay: I checked the tire pressure. Stacie: I changed the oil in my car a couple of weeks ago. Do I get points for that? Clay: With the filter range? You went out there and did it yourself, or you like to go to the jiffy lube? Brad: Okay, so that’s your everything list. It’s a huge list what it takes to keep the household going. Clay: So what do you think women, some of the things that women have on the list that men have no idea about, what did you put on there? Cathy: It should be things like even buying the kids their clothes. Stacie: Weeding out all the clothes. What about the old ones, you got a good will, it took me a whole day to do, I’ve got three kids. My husband had no idea. Cathy: Task like that, everything that involves the micro management of a child. Stacie: All the activities that you signed her up for. Cathy: Dancing to be sort of oblivious to dads. Clay: I know that what I don’t want my daughter to be wearing. Right? Which is, it must be very difficult to shop for but it’s so nothing that says juicy on the bottom. Brad: Is that difficult to enjoy the cloths shopping? Because I’ll say, I think, there are intrinsic male activities like mowing the grass, washing the dog, that kind of stuff. Cathy: When you do your everything list what you’ll see is that you will be able to look at it together and say well, actually I wouldn’t mind doing that. And he can say well listen I’m okay taking responsibility for the cars and you know, I could say I’m okay taking responsibility for Christmas gifts or whatever it might be. Stacie: And it would be scary if say my husband would dress my kids, I wouldn’t even buy it. Clay: What’s that, do you have a draft pick? Do you go one, two, I mean, do you go through, when you say draft okay, for the first choice Daddy Clay takes dishes? Or do you, say, Okay, I’m going to take all these tasks and split 50-50. You’re alternated the diaper pail emptying, or you’re going to alternate the dishes or scrubbing the toilet. I mean, do you split them all 50-50? Stacie: Well, so you got the part of the list that’s the obvious divvying up like the shopping or mowing the lawn. You got the stuff that, again, you have the intrinsic interest. Clay: And are we indulging in this horrible gender stereotype stuff? Cathy: We probably are but what the hell, you know. Brad: Are there any like transturbites out there? Cathy: There probably is. Brad: I do the laundry, scrub the toilets and vacuum just so I didn’t have to write any thank you note, for God’s sake. Stacie: Yes, the thank you note discussion. Yes we’re stereotyping to some degree but, you know, we’re just trying to make a generalization to make a point. So you have the list of stuff you can easily divvy up. But then there’s the bottom part of the list of all the activities that are not that fun that we have to have a major negotiation about. Clay: Those are all, those are all women things, I’ve noticed. That’s really better. Cathy: Do you think we have an innate ability to put the trash out and an innate ability to empty a cat litter box? I wasn’t aware of that really. That’s fascinating, isn’t it? Stacie: Yes, my mother took me aside my whole life and just told me every chore, how to do everything. Cathy: We have secret clubs when we all get together and discuss the best techniques, you know, how to wash the dishes and everything. Brad: Drink beer while you’re doing it. Drink beer to make it fun. Cathy: But for those chores that nobody really wants to do, it probably is a good idea maybe to alternate them, you know, one week on one week off. Or to do look I’m on trash duty, therefore, you’re on, I mean what’s as bad as taking out the trash? Brad: Scrub toilets. Cathy: You know, you got to be fair. Brad: And do these things come, like there’s kind of equal things you should do, do these bottom things that are very unpleasant come with like sex points? You’re more likely to score if you take those? Stacie: No. You don’t want to associate trash with sex. Cathy: Let’s those clean and separate. Clay: The one thing that’s nice is that we know in marriages and raising kids we’re never going to run out of things to do. So there’s plenty of opportunities for us to practice this 50-50 principle and hopefully we’ll all get better at it. If you’ve got any techniques or ideas about splitting up the domestic chores, just drop us a comment right here on the site and maybe on the next meeting, we got a chance to address some of those things. So, thanks a lot. Thank you ladies for joining us here in the lounge. Stacie: Thank you, this is fun. Clay: Who’s job was it to get the beer, by the way? Because the ladies are here, we don’t get any beer? It’s like the lamest segment we ever did, totally sober.