Another very interesting article about the work/life balance challenge from the Chronicle. Basically women spend more time doing house work than men, even when they spend the same number of hours per week working. Interesting... We always thought this was the case, so nice to have some numbers behind it.
At my house, we have fairly equitable division of labor. There are a few things we quibble about from time to time but generally pretty equal in most regards. However, I will say that the mental division of labor is another story. Who worries about schools, activities, gifts for birthday parties, etc. That would be me. My spouse is great about doing things, taking the kids to the doctor (when sick), making dinner (notice I didn't say cooking), meeting a repair/delivery person, etc. However, he doesn't schedule doctor's appointments, research the best pediatric dentists in the area, find out where to go for swimming lessons, birthday parties, etc. So this is where I feel the inequity lies. Time I could be spending thinking great scientific thoughts instead goes into, when will I remember to get all the forms together to register for school or where should we hold kiddo's birthday party. I always thought I would avoid mommy brain, but the truth is that I do think about kid stuff at work and talk to people at work about it rather than science, not all the time be sometimes.
It's easy to hire people to do stuff for you, relatively speaking. We have a house cleaner who comes every other week. We've had one since we started faculty positions. I hate scrubbing toilets and with 2 incomes, we can afford it. It's a lot harder to hire someone to worry about all the little things and chit chat with other moms to get the details.
I'm grateful to have a job that is flexible so I can leave early to take the kids to the doctor or stay home when they are sick. Our solutions is that one of us teaches Monday/Wednesday and the other Tuesday/Thursday. This was when things come up, it is usually the one who isn't teaching that has to cover that day (e.g. sick kids). It's not perfect, but it works pretty well. As one colleague told me, "just don't teach at the same or adjacent times" or you will be passing sick kids to each other in the hall between classes. This was sage advice. I'm not really sure what lawyers or physicians do with sick kids, since they often can't cancel court or patients.