03/19/2013 05:11 pm ET

Spouses Probably Shouldn't Try To Split Household Tasks Exactly Evenly

Marriages should be equal, and that has to mean equal housework too. Laundry, cleaning, child care, scheduling playdates, and buying groceries—it should be split as nearly down the middle as possible. Keeping a running tally of who has spent most hours on what is vital. Ideally, spouses should also sit down together and work out a good rule-of-thumb for particularly onerous or unpleasant tasks and figure out how many hours of those can be translated into regular duty hours, and vice versa. For example, two minutes of changing diapers should probably be worth four minutes at least of just regular doing the laundry. Car pool pick-ups should be placed on a graduated scale depending on how many kids there are, average decibel level, and so forth.