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Dear Metro: "I think my wife is mad at me after I suggested KPIs for the home"

Oh dear.

Dear Metro: I think my wife is mad at me after I suggested KPIs for the home

Jun 12, 2019 Society

Got issues with work, love, sex, family, friendships, money or the crushing existential angst of modern life? Each week our Metro advice columnist answers a reader’s query and (we assume) solves all their problems. 

Read last week’s Dear Metro advice: “It’s lonely at the top when you own a small business”

Dear Metro,

I think my bae is angry with me. I work really hard and so does she. It’s just that I work in an office where I have strict performance criteria and she works at home looking after our daughter.

If I don’t meet my sales targets every month then I sit down with my boss and we figure out what went wrong. So anyway since my other half works in the home it’s kind of annoying when she’s not on top of things. On the first day after the weekend, I realised my daughter’s school uniform wasn’t washed and asked about. “Whoops” she said (not for the first time) “I didn’t get around to it.”

This was really annoying, so I suggested that we could agree upon some KPIs to help ensure things were running on track at home. Needless to say, the suggestion did not go down well – though I can’t see the logical reason as to why it’s not a good idea.

I’m really at a loss as to what to do. How do we bring some accountability into these arrangements?



Dear Worried,

It’s weird and gross you want to manage your wife as if you were her boss. Your wife does work in the home, but she’s not employed in the home – she doesn’t have to be accountable to anyone in the same way you are, and thank God for that because a world where homes are run like little businesses is a nightmare scenario too depressing to even contemplate.

I’m not surprised she got annoyed at the suggestion of KPIs. Given you don’t work in the home, why would you have any idea what’s reasonable to expect her to get done on any given day? You can’t performance-manage a family, and you should stop trying. If she doesn’t have time to do every single job, maybe it’s because, I don’t know, domestic labour is an endless and unceasing burden usually carried by women and you should be grateful she’s raising your child and looking after your home rather than nitpicking at the odd forgotten job. I’m also unsure what about this arrangement means you couldn’t just wash your own daughter’s uniform every once in a while anyway – why do you think being in paid employment abdicates you from all parental responsibilities?

Quit being a jerk, appreciate that she’s your equal, not your underling, and apologise.

With love,


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