Chores TRULY

Fame doesn’t count for much when it comes to shar­ing the house­hold du­ties, writes Luaine Lee

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Front Page -

WITH the hus­tle of Christ­mas, the bur­den of house­hold chores seems to ex­plode. Who does what around the house is all a ques­tion of ne­go­ti­a­tion, and it’s no dif­fer­ent with celebri­ties.

Even though it may be two show­busi­ness dar­lings shar­ing the sheets, of­ten some­one still has to drop the kids off at school, take the rub­bish out and make sure the bills are paid.

When it comes to house­hold chores, Sarah Jes­sica Parker says she and ac­tor-hus­band Matthew Brod­er­ick have reached a com­pro­mise of sorts.

‘‘I’m sorry to tell you they’re not divvied up very well,’’ she says. ‘‘I mean that early on, I set a bad prece­dent. I think I did a lot of tak­ing care of house and laun­dry. I’m messy, but I al­ways clean up the mess.

‘‘Matthew will take out the garbage and change light bulbs. And that’s very hard to do be­cause they’re high up and dif­fi­cult to reach, and I’m very ap­pre­cia­tive of this. But be­yond that . . .

‘‘Now we are for­tu­nate enough to have a house­keeper who helps us, too. But I clean ev­ery Sun­day night without fail — I clean the house, or­gan­ise, put things away, give things away, make stacks, blah, blah, blah. He has no in­ter­est. You know what? If that’s the big­gest flaw, I have to learn to live with that.’’

Des­per­ate Housewives’ Fe­lic­ity Huff­man and her hus­band, William H. Macy, en­joy de­mand­ing ca­reers and car­ing for their two chil­dren.

‘‘My hus­band cleans more than I do,’’ Huff­man says.

‘‘Some just go down by gen­der lines, we’re just so typ­i­cal. Bill picks up the garbage more than I do. I do more of the baby stuff than he does, it just so hap­pens. Some­times it’s just who hates what. What do you hate do­ing? I re­ally hate clean­ing the kitchen, so Bill cleans the kitchen a lot. I re­ally hate get­ting gas and he puts gas in the car.

‘‘We talked a lot about the kids. The kids came and I went, ‘Whoa, I’m no bet­ter at this than you are, have no more pro­cliv­ity for this than you do. Just be­cause I’m built dif­fer­ently’, so there was a lot of ne­go­ti­a­tion about that.’’

And when it comes to Christ­mas, Kelly Pre­ston says she and hus­band John Tra­volta usu­ally pull out all the stops.

‘‘For many years we have fam­ily par­ties at Christ­mas or at cer­tain times dur­ing the year. Be­tween his Ital­ian fam­ily and my fam­ily, we’re a fam­ily of about 50 or 55, so we’re quite big,’’ Pre­ston says.

‘‘We used to put them all un­der one roof in our house in Maine which would hold a lot of peo­ple. Af­ter six days you’re ex­hausted — but it was a lot of fun.

‘‘My func­tion is the com­plete plan­ning and ex­e­cu­tion.

‘‘It’s a lot of fun but it’s ex­haust­ing. A lot of hol­i­days now we like to keep it smaller and sim­pler, but for many years we did it and I planned ev­ery sin­gle as­pect, ev­ery sin­gle meal, ev­ery sin­gle treat on the bed, play things, ac­tiv­i­ties and ex­cur­sions. I’m an ex­pert party plan­ner.’’

Richard Gere and his wife, Law & Or­der and Six De­grees star Carey Low­ell, share the tasks. ‘‘We both do so­cial plans but I’m not there as much,’’ he says.

‘‘I’m work­ing, so the house stuff gets done by her, most of it. Carey takes care of the house.

‘‘She’s such a pi­o­neer spirit her­self that she kind of does it. What­ever’s there to do, she does it. That’s one of the things I thought was so great about her when I met her. If there was some­thing to be done, she just did it.

‘‘There’s a piece of pa­per ly­ing around, she just picks it up, it wasn’t a thought to her. I re­mem­ber my mother be­ing that way.

‘‘I started off re­ally bad about time. I just lose track of time, I’m a bit of a dreamer. But I’ve be­come much bet­ter and am con­tin­u­ally praised by my wife about that.’’

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