The tally

Any good relationship therapist or book you can read will tell you that it’s best not to keep scores. A constant feeling of I did this so you should do that, is not great for relationships. Invisible tallies created in our minds can only lead to resentment and anger. And so I try my very best to not do it.

But I am not very good at it. I mean its BULLSHIT. And I am VERY pregnant and apparently have lost every little bit of patience and tolerance in the last few days.

I know exactly what the ratio of sleep ins for Rob to me are. It’s about 40/1 (his way). Do I tell him about this? AS IF! I keep a tally in my mind to build up and use against him when I need to most. Because that’s helpful!

As I said, I try my best.

But being a grown up is HARD. And sometimes I like to behave like my 5 year old because: BEING A GROWN UP IS HARD. I have a theory that I would like to see in place for mothers or primary caretakers out there in the world. And after a particularly productive #maintenancemonday today I would like to see this reward system, similar to a sticker chart that is implemented for all the stuff we do each and every day. We earn points for the things we do and we can earn bonus points in other ways that gives us stuff we actually WANT.

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Other things to consider:

  • Getting through family gastro outbreak? 1000 points? Caught vomit in bare hands? Bonus 500 points
  • Dealing with tears at Preschool or school drop off? 400 points

This makes sense right? Why shouldn’t we be rewarded with things (other than unconditional family love) and a home made Mothers Day card every May? My reward system program would have redeemable benefits such as:

  • Girls nights out with an open bar tab of a $ amount based on amount of points earned
  • A night in a hotel with your husband for a good nights sleep, or heaven forbid SEX
  • A massage
  • A custard tart or baked good of your choice free when purchasing bread. Perhaps a free chocolate bar for when you have filled up the car with the petrol because no other bastard seems to remember to do that.
  • Free take away coffees

I wouldn’t feel so bad about changing that doona cover if I knew that there were a bonus 200 points in it for me would I? I wouldn’t feel the need to Instagram said doona cover so SOMEONE could tell me I did a good job. My free coffee or neenish tart would be all the thanks I’d need.

And maybe I wouldn’t need to be such a mole to my husband all the time. I’m thinking this could save relationships! CHANGE LIVES.

So who is with me on this points system?
Anything else you’d like to see added to the “normal life” program?


  1. Wiping out the cutlery drawer because someone spilled red cordial in there again…100 points.

  2. Christie says

    I actually had to read this out loud to my husband it made me laugh so much!! I am with you, i totally support this world changing tally system!!

  3. Bronwyn says

    Last time I washed my child’s doona cover he had a blood nose during the night and I had to wash it again. What’s 2 washings of doona cover on 2 days worth? (I wont tell you I ironed it too for fear of the backlash…)

  4. Great system, I’m for it.
    Now to start lobbying government to put it in place…
    Minister for Maternal Rewards Points Scheme, hows that sound?

  5. Catherine says

    How about….noticing that the dog needs a walk and just DOING IT? 100 points

  6. Shazziebazzie says

    anything involving poo, human or otherwise, go directly to the pub without passing go…

  7. Lisa Mckenzie says

    Fuck yes I am so with you on this Beth ,some husbands don’t even know how to turn on dishwashers in this house!!!
    Sorry I think I’m in a bad mood and I got my hair cut do you think he noticed nope!
    You must implement this system and we can say babymacbeth said so Xx

  8. Victoria says

    a great system!!.too much stuff in my place to add and by now I would be owed a trip to mars..

  9. Let’s do it! I’m always “casting up” as husband calls it (but only because I do all of the work) and who doesn’t love a sticker chart with benefits!

  10. Danielle Biggam says

    Omigoodness yes I’d take this point system and run. I’ll put it against my excel (printed out) spreadsheet for daily chores. Green coloured in means complete, red means incomplete and “maybe this is something you need assistance with”. Points….oh hotel room with room service and a late checkout for me, only me, and no-one else? Yes, thank you!

  11. Bloody brilliant idea!
    Unfortunately I don’t think the vision of our tallies on the fridge door would score us any points at all from our husbands! 🙁

  12. natalie says

    I spent last night up washing gastro stricken bed linen, comforting the vomiting child and chasing the mozzies around the house that kept buzzing me awake. After a full day at work, tonight gastro struck yours truly (hubby too) so no sleep is planned anyway and I’ll be awake just waiting to see which kid gets it next. A gazillion points to me 🙁 just don’t offer to redeem them via food or alcohol. Blergh.

  13. Heidi D says

    My husband does just about everything now because my health is really dodgy but back in the day when we had little ones I saved up quite a few points. Using my jumper, that I was wearing at the time, to catch small persons vomit. Picking up a crying child that didn’t feel well & then spending ages picking bits of ham sandwich out of my long hair when she was sick. Opening a bedroom door (so many times) to find a small person & their entire room covered in poo. Oh the joys 🙂

  14. The point system is a great idea! Need a record of it so that if things DO end badly, ex might think twice before clearing out the savings because it IS his money, earnt while you were staying home having fun with the children!

  15. beth mac, i love you.
    you are a legend and always write the most awesome of things.

  16. can I get an amen? sister, you are preaching to the choir.

    examples in my house….
    Put all the washing on despite recovering from gall bladder removal +200 points

    -200 because hubby did hang it on the line…. but only when I told him to because I cannot lift heavy things. +200 back to me.

  17. You are one of the great thinkers of our times. Truer words have never been spoken (but catching vomit in your hands has to be worth at least 2000 points, been there done that, still waiting to redeem my reward).

  18. Oh my god this is GENIUS. I am going to implement it stat. God knows I have enough sticker cards going for the little angels. I think you could add to that a ‘minus points’ system for husbands who pretend not to have received your 3am text (sleeping soundly in the guest room) after you’ve spent all night catching vomit from your two year old and rubbing her back and not sleeping at all. And said husband goes riding at 6am instead of giving you an extra hours sleep. Minus 200 for him! And I’m not even pregnant. I totally have a tally going in my head and it’s always about 1000 points to me. 10 to him.

  19. I wish I didn’t keep a mental “days husband has doing fun things without the kids” versus “days I have doing fun things without the kids” but I do!

    For the record – it’s a similar ratio to your sleep-ins vs Rob’s sleep-ins.

    Bring on the points system!

  20. Staking the dishwasher 3 million times a day because it’s too hard for anyone but you to open the god damn door.
    By the way, Dark Places is a fantastic book. Did you know it’s being made into a movie with Nicole Kidman and Reece Witherspoon x

  21. Staking the dishwasher 3 million times a day because it’s too hard for anyone but you to open the god damn door.
    By the way, Dark Places is a fantastic book. Did you know it’s being made into a movie xx

  22. Love it! I’d like an app for that

  23. Sex with husband or partner when you are exhausted and would rather go to sleep? 1000 points?

  24. Problem is, I’d have to add up all the friggin points myself, and that sounds a bit too much like BAS.

    ….So then I’d be in the shits about that….

  25. Yep, I hear you. We constantly have ‘discussions’ about who does what. I have suggested getting a whiteboard to write every item down..I would win by a squillion points. My favourite each morning after feeding two toddlers, changing nappies, dressing them, feeding and changing the baby, feeding myself, sweeping the floor, putting the rubbish out – he asks if I have fed the chooks!! 1000 points to me, 2 points to him.

  26. Forget tallying the points because it’d be like 10,000,000,000,000 to none…. just remove the husband from the equation. Everything still gets done but without the headf**k that provokes you to feel so shit from being the general dog’s body, day in, day out. Am I over it? Yeah, just a bit.

    • But then who could we complain about?! I get it Minij…good luck x

    • mrshanksy says

      My husband is away, surfing in the Mentawis and I’ve just noticed that exact thing. I’m happy because I know I’m not expecting him to do anything so I’m not cranky cos he’s not on the lounge! Workload is the same but I’m not breathing fire (under my breath) because he’s not there and I’m not expecting him to help. And I think I’m nicer to the kids! To make it worse the teenage daughter just said “is it bad, that I’m not even missing Dad?” Doh!

      • I bet he isn’t missing you guys either if that’s any consolation! Time apart doing fun stuff for yourselves is SO important!

  27. Okay, I’m going to play devils advocate here.

    Sometimes I feel that way however then I remember that my Husband drives over 1000 kms each week to go to work. He gets up at 5 am every morning, works a huge week and then on the weekends chops wood, slashes paddocks, sprays weeds, does the tip run (no garbage service here), builds rock walls, cooks the BBQ etc.

    I’m worried the points would be stacked against me! Yes, I always make sure the meals are cooked, washing and ironing done, kindling collected and fire started, menagerie fed and watered, garden tended to, cars washed, bathroom and dunnies cleaned, shopping done, bills paid, family disputes settled (mostly), social calendar taken care of….and sometimes I don’t feel appreciated. And then I remember…

    I’ve read lots of your posts regarding Rob (your loving and adoring posts, most recently anniversary post) and I know this is your hormones staging a coup. A peaceful resolution is needed! Have a date night before that baby is born! Mrs D x

  28. Giving birth-1 million points!

  29. I would like to have seen those points equate to a sparkling new slk AMG Mercedes on Mother’s Day with precisely 2 seats one for me and one for my handbag. Alas the previous points will only result in a new food processor type contraption conveniently designed to earn yet more points in the game of domestic drudgery

    I reckon changing doona covers is worth at least 2000 points 🙂

  30. Josephine says

    I’m very guilty of the silent tally, and I’ll add one here, just for fun: Organising mother’s day celebration and gift for mother-in-law (because partner and his brothers would leave it till the last minute), while forsaking all personal desires for said day = ALL of the points!

  31. merilyn says

    tally point scoring systems seem alive and well beth!
    try not to do them as older now! … pointless!!!
    like to clear a point “make it clear and make it happen!”
    however you are hormonally charged! 1,000,000 pts
    love m:)X

  32. I’m in.
    Finding squashed note at the bottom of the school bag-50 points
    Filling out said note and returning it on time with the required correct money-100 points
    Attending school cross country/carnival/disco on freezing cold/stinking hot day-50 points
    Being a timer/helper at said event-100 points
    My next issue is filling and emptying things. The sugar bowl doesn’t fill itself- 50 points. The vacuum cleaner doesn’t empty itself-200 points.
    But it needs to be (sadly) government based due to soon to be ex needing to take some responsibility for his children or pay so that person doing all those things he won’t can afford that nice hotel where someone will cook and clean for her.

  33. Ok, what about doing most of the things you’ve mentioned and then turning around walking out the door to go to work….where l spend the next seven and a half hours figuratively picking up after people there ?

    Never ending l tell you. At least at work, l get paid cold hard cash …… 🙂

  34. Oh Beth, thank god you wrote this post, so needed to hear this right now. I have been SUCH A MOLE to my husband and to think he has been doing Breakfast for me each morning, meaning I can blog and not have to be over at the kitchen at 5am each day – why am I being such a mole. But I do think I managed to accumulate 850 points yesterday….!! I even just had to have a little “rest” so I wasn’t so tired and cranky. So glad I am not the only one. xx

  35. I think the points for mental pre planning and thinking type tasks needs to be high! The work that goes into invisible tasks like reading school notes and remembering an acting on them cannot be underestimated. Eg. The impact on grocery shopping when you need to provide something for a cake stall. Or remembering that a sports uniform is needed twice next week and therefore washing needs to be done on Monday after school. Etc. remembering all this stuff is exhausting!!

    • So true…all that thinking and perpetual planning. Thinking about birthdays of every single member of the family. Sending cards. Reminding them to make calls. ENDLESS.

  36. After just completing a points chart for my kids, I realise that I SO need this.

    BTW, how many points do you get for flying solo on an international flight with children? I reckon I could rack up a few points there!

  37. As a girlfriend regularly says to me. They (husbands) are not mind readers. If you want them to help, just ask them!!

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