Do you do too much of the housework and childcare? Have you taken the ThirdShift Quiz? Here’s why it’s time for your partner to take the Quiz as well, to start having better conversations about creating a better balance at home.
We launched the ThirdShift Quiz this week, and we’ve had some incredible feedback so far from our users. But one of our users reported their results were a bit strange and a bit surprising. And when we talked to them we discovered why. This post explains what can happen with quiz results, what you can do about it – and especially, why you should ask your Partner to take the ThirdShift Quiz.
The first thing that’s important to understand about the ThirdShift Quiz, is that its purpose is to get you thinking about and examining unpaid housework and the ways we divide it, and to start opening up conversations about how it’s handled. Because it relies on the data you give it, the results will be subjective. But that’s why it’s important to get your partner’s perspective too.
A Stay At Home Mum With Strange Quiz Results
Let me start by taking you through the circumstances of the user who got some unusual results and wasn’t sure why. Let’s call her Jane. Jane is a stay at home mother with three children and two dogs, and her partner runs his own business. And Jane feels like she does too much. She takes care of almost all of the childcare, pet care and housework. Though her partner does help out when he’s not at work, it’s still a lot. The first time Jane took the quiz, her results said that she was doing 30% of the work, and that her partner was doing 70%. Understandably, this result didn’t feel good, and Jane was disappointed because she felt that she really did more than that.
When Jane asked her partner to take the quiz, he got the opposite result. He does 39%, and Jane does 61%. The reverse message to what Jane got!
How Did We Discover The Real Result?
Speaking to Jane, I learned some interesting things:
- Jane was
verytoo generous about the hours of paid work she entered for her partner. On the quiz Jane said her partner works 60 hours per week. When I spoke, she said that was probably on the generous side, and 50 was probably a more realistic estimate.
- Jane was very generous about the share of the unpaid workload she attributed to her partner. Jane told me that she does about 99% of the work in most categories. But that’s not what she had put into the quiz. She explained that since her partner does do some tasks occasionally, she didn’t feel that it was fair to say that she does it all. Even though practically speaking, she does. It can be hard to be objective and quantify work like this when there are so many emotions at play. (We’re developing the ThirdShift app to help with this!)
- Jane’s partner wanted to recognise the work she does at home like paid work but this skewed his results too. Jane’s partner entered 38 hours of paid work for each of them because he felt that her work taking care of the kids during the day should be recognised. This is why his results looked closer to equal than hers did. But showed her doing more of the work than him. This was well-meaning, but meant his results also weren’t accurate.
To try and understand what a more realistic result might look like, Jane and I ran through the quiz. I asked her to ignore what the options asked and instead to estimate for each category what percentage of the workload she does. Her answers almost all ranged between 85% and 99%. Based on her thinking more carefully about the actual time spent and what percentage of work she believes she does, her result showed that she does 71% of the overall workload in her household. Quite a different result to what she got, and much closer to what her partner’s results showed.
Why Should I Ask My Partner To Take the Quiz?
If you think you do too much housework – or perhaps that your partner does too much, this is a good place to start a different conversation about finding a better balance. To get the most of the ThirdShift Quiz, follow these three simple steps:
- Take the Quiz and enter your email address at the end to save your results. This means you can come back and review them later.
- Ask your partner to take the Quiz and enter an email address so you can compare your two results.
- Have a conversation about the results each of you got, and why there might be differences. The Categories of Work results page will be particularly helpful for both of you to compare. Discuss where you think each of you spend your time, and why your results might be different. If it helps, after you’ve each done it individually, you can try filling it out together. Discuss for each category of work what you both think the actual division of work is like currently. See how this compares with your individual results, and if it’s a fair split.
If in doubt about your results – you can take the quiz again. Make different selections to see how your results compare!
What If I Don’t Want To Talk To My Partner About It?
If you’re doing too much housework but concerned about starting a fight or your partner not being open to discussing it, another option is to first try talking to a friend. Get them to complete the quiz, and discuss and compare your results. Talk about how things work in each of your households, how you divide the work, and if this works for you. Talking to friends can be a less confronting way to start thinking about this topic and exploring the dynamics around division of unpaid work in your household. Friends can also be a great way to help you scrutinise your assumptions and how you approach what proportion of the work you attribute to your partner when completing the quiz.
We’re more generous with others than ourselves
Another user we spoke to told us she does more of the childcare than her partner, so it’s not equal. But she didn’t feel comfortable saying that she does most of the childcare, even though that is literally true. When we talked about why this was, she was concerned about not being fair to her partner. This is a great example of why you should ask your partner to try the quiz themselves to see if their result is different to yours. It can give you both a way to examine the problem that’s about the work itself. So the discussion can be more practical and less emotional.
We would strongly encourage you to try talking to your partner about your division of housework and your goals for how it should be allocated. But this can be a tough topic. There are resources on our blog to help you prepare for these discussions if you’re concerned it might be challenging. But if you feel like you’re doing too much housework and want to change this, starting is half the battle. So take the housework quiz – and see what it shows you.
What’s next from ThirdShift? Yes, the Quiz is only the start! We’re developing an app that will help you to find a better balance in your home. You can sign up for the ThirdShift app now – which is in development but will be available very soon. Register today and we’ll notify you when the app is ready so you can be one of the first to start achieving equality at home.
- Women’s unpaid housework is the fourth largest economy in the world – it’s time we valued it
- Why You Should Ask Your Partner To Take The ThirdShift Quiz
- Launch News: ThirdShift Quiz Now Live!
- The Joy Of Not Doing Housework (But Knowing It’s Still Being Done)
- A Storm Is Coming, And It’s Going To Set Gender Equality Back 40 years
Ready to start reducing your mental load?
Find out how you can save time, reduce your workload & free yourself from the mental load. Take the ThirdShift Quiz to start understanding what your work is worth.