I am laughing at your Sunday-night-return-from-work description. There were times I experienced the same. If I came home Saturday and nothing was done, I would beg, plead and demand that the housework (The chores he chose to do!) be done by the time I arrived home on Sunday. Several times I walked in on the same sort of frantic cleaning scene you mentioned or he would just begin cleaning when I walked in the door. So, after 60+ hours that week, I came home to our small house and listened to him vacuum — and complain that he had to vacuum. It came to the point that it was less stressful to do it all myself. Of course, that is exactly what they hope will happen!
My now husband is retired and does a huge share of the housework. Due to some health issues, he can’t do as much as he used to, which was ALL the housework except dusting (more on that in a moment), but he maintains the kitchen, does nearly all the cooking, walks our three dogs (one by dog first and then the other two on a separate walk) at noon and at 5:00 when I can’t be there to help. In the morning and at night, he takes the one dog and I take the other two. He does all the laundry, recycling, and trash. He cleans the cages of our guinea pigs, cuts up fruits and veggies for them to eat each day, and washes the 12 towels that we use to line their cages each week. And, we do the grocery shopping together.
He and his ex-wife raised five children. While she was a stay-at-home mom, he did little in the house but did take the kids on Saturday or Sunday mornings for breakfast and an outing so she could rest. However, when the youngest was in middle school, she went to work. He noticed how much she had to do at home after working all day and started sharing in the chores. He learned to cook and often came home in the early evening (his hours were flexible and dependant upon his clients' needs) before she arrived and started dinner, leaving it warm on the stove for her and the kids. And, he helped with the laundry.
Dusting has always been “my” job. I actually enjoy it. It’s a meditative action for me. I have many shelves with pictures, books, momentoes, knick-knacks, etc. Handling each one brings me pleasant memories, and I enjoy rearranging as I dust. Fortunately, where we live now dust does not accumulate easily and most of the dusting needs only to be done once every two or three weeks.
I work with a 32-year-old woman who recently divorced. The position she had during most of her marriage required some evening and weekend hours on top of a 40-hour work week. She also was expected to attend social and networking events. Her husband did nothing at home and spent most weekends hanging out with his buddies and fishing. She made a lot more money than he did, yet he felt no responsibility to help at home so she could bring home most of the bacon. Nor, did he feel compelled to look for a better paying job, get additional training for a better job, or possibly take on a part-time position to help with expenses!
I don’t know about you but I have always been the financial manager, too, as was the woman I mentioned above, paying all the bills, arranging for repairs and maintenance at home, reconciling the bank statements, filing tax returns, etc. Funny that my generation of women was raised thinking that men did the financial work in a family but I don’t know one household among my friends and family — not one — where the woman isn’t the financial flunky, on top of her job, all the household work, and childcare responsibilities.