Bas Grolleman’s Blog

Place where I put my written thoughts, though I usually just make video’s these days

I got beef with women complaining about household chores, not so much as that they aren’t right, but that very few address how to solve the issue.

This is a good write up on the problem, though I disagree with the whole “battle” and “family suffering” bit.

For those that don’t want to read, the gist of it, women do A LOT of work. And yes that’s bullshit but there is ZERO effort in this article on the why and how to resolve the issue. So, I’m going to fix that. I’ll use gender neutral writing because all parties need to chip in.

Edit, when I initially read this on my phone I thought I scrolled all the way down, but at a second view there was more. So taking back the ZERO effort, the article tries to remedy it with a few things I feel very strongly about. Like equal paternity leave for male and female and of course less working hours. So see the rest as a more practical view on it.


If you want equal work done you have to accept a few things,

  • The household sits together and divides tasks.
  • The person getting the task is responsible in full.
  • Do not ‘cycle’ tasks, find a clear line. Trash, Vacuum, Dinner on Tuesday, Laundry, Groceries.
  • Write that stuff down!
  • The other party accepts that the way to the result might be different. It’s about what needs to be done, not how it’s done.
  • Read that last line again

Because it’s not always the “family that suffers”, very often it’s “the person that used to do it that suffers”. Because things are done differently, or not as efficient, or not as clean. Yes, you will deal with clothing in the wrong color. That’s not suffering, it’s embarrassing but you will survive.

Also, don’t forget, if you did something your whole life and the other is new to it, chances are, like most things, they are not very good at it. This requires something called “practice”.

It’s just like raising kids, doing it yourself is easier/quicker on the short run, but in the long run explaining it and letting them make mistakes is the way to go. It requires patience, but there is a payoff.

And anyone that goes, well it should be obvious, let’s sit down and compile a Linux kernel, that one is quite obvious to me.

Systematic Problems

People should work less, the 40 hour work week was setup in a time when just the man was working. You can’t both work 40 hours and then just add “household” to it. Work less, or accept that you need a maid or a nanny to fill the void. That is a solution for this problem, there is a separate problem about underpaid workers that are mostly female there but I could fill a whole blog post about that.

Work expects men to be there 40 hours a week, woman less. Guys, if you got kids, work less! Demand a day a week for kids and household. This change is fully on us.

Bad unequal communication, very often one person is seen as management as the household. If you want to change that you need to change communication to be based on equality. A few tips, have a requal retrospective where you evaluate how things are going, make sure you write things down and read up on communication like “Non Violent Communication” and maybe both read something on how to provide positive feedback.


Lot’s of work to be done here, but in the end if we want to see improvement for everyone we need to start at the basics and that is to rethink how a household is run. As a team of equals where everyone makes mistakes and learns new things.

I’m going to improve this article over time for myself and others