More than 100 readers wrote in to tell us how their family divvies up housework. Here's a sampling of what they said:
``For the last nine years I have worked outside the home full-time, 40 hours a week. I have cooked, cleaned, washed, ironed, sewn, grown my own garden, canned my own vegetables, etc. ... Yes, I had a real live live-in husband who worked a full-time job - period. Needless to say, my divorce was final last month. Now I may do all of the above things, but I do them for myself, not for someone else.'- Diane Williams, 40 telephone operator
``My husband has always been an excellent provider and I do all the chores. I don't consider the jobs listed as dirty jobs. That's light work to me, a breeze. ... I have been thankful for being able to do what I do. Hope I can continue.'
- Leah Hofmann, 63 homemaker
``Paul does the grocery shopping and cooking, takes out the garbage, mows the lawn, occasionally helps with general housework (vacuuming, washing ...) Carol generally does the laundry, gardening, cleans the bathrooms as well as general house cleaning ... We ended up trying to balance overall work loads accordingly, although Carol often feels that she is responsible for and does more. (Paul has no comment, though he doesn't necessarily disagree.)'
- Paul Matlin, 41 computer analyst and Carol Matlin, 40 nursing instructor
``I'm privileged to be in a situation which I've discovered is not at all common: My husband and I have almost complete role reversal regarding household tasks. ... When our son was born, he stayed home for a year and changed diapers. I've taken on more of the 'bread winner' role. ... The biggest benefit I see growing from our uncommon setting is the example it provides for our son. Not only will he assume that it is natural for both partners to do all kinds of chores, but he should be comfortable cooking and cleaning without questioning his masculinity.'
- Carolyn Williams, 34 training manager and Steve Alpern, 35 school administrator
``This looks like one of those polls that females fabricate so they can get a pat on the back. ... Personally, I'm getting tired of hearing it. ... I can bring home more bacon than most women and cook it, too. I can also repair the stove that cooks the bacon.'
-Steve Foland, 35 respiratory therapist
``Several years ago, I was playing the piano one Saturday morning when my husband came in from an outside chore. 'Is that all you have to do?' he said, not unkindly. Thereafter I played the piano on weekdays and deliberately saved up jobs for the weekend so that on Saturday he would see me working as diligently as he was.'
-Donna Fink, 60 special instructional assistant
``It may be too late for me to change the division of labor in my home, so I hope you stress in your article that this 'martyr syndrome' is inherited from mothers and that this new generation of young mothers should stamp it out!'
- Elizabeth Baldwin, 45 records manager
``In our house we have our 15-year-old daughter (known more commonly as the live-in maid) who for $10 a week does the majority of the household chores. We both work, and her responsibilities are to prepare dinner each weeknight; dust and vacuum the living room, dining room and two bedrooms; clean the sink and toilet, the kitchen and bathroom floors.'
-Carolyn Clark, 45 computer operator