My husband does the laundry, and he should

By Estelle Erasmus

My husband does his own laundry. Let me repeat those words: My husband does his own laundry.

There is no expectation on me to do it for him, even though I work from home and we have a daughter in kindergarten.

He’s not a stay-at-home husband (not that there is anything wrong with that); he works full-time in a high-powered, demanding job. He also cooks on the weekends, helps clean, and shops for food.

I suspect that many women are gasping right now and perhaps feeling a twinge of jealousy.

And that is the problem.

It should be second nature for dads to do their share of chores. Women should expect it and men should offer it gladly. It should be part of their contribution to help raise happier kids.

Research supports that. One study in the Journal for the Association of Psychological Science shows that girls whose fathers play a part in housework and laundry—no matter what their income levels—directly contribute to their daughter’s health, happiness, ability to do well in school and broader career prospects. Another study in the Journal of Family Issues demonstrates that working a more egalitarian chore schedule improves the relationships of long-term couples with children.

Gloria Steinem famously said, “women are not going to be equal outside the home until men are equal in it.”

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4 thoughts on “My husband does the laundry, and he should”

  1. I love the laundry and won’t ever give it up! He does the dishes. And a whole lot else, more than his share, actually. He makes the bed. He cleans. And also does the majority of the wage earning, now that I’m retired and just writing. I have never had a single complaint on the equality front. I also have an ex husband who was a househusband. He did it all and I worked. Yeah, tradition never has been my long suit.

  2. Years ago, when we were first married, my husband criticized the way I folded his laundry. Since then I wash it all and he folds or all. It is a division of labor that works well together.

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