Fair Play: A Game-Changing Solution for When You Have Too Much to Do (and More Life to Live)

by: Eve Rodsky (0)


Tired, stressed, and in need of more help from your partner? Imagine running your household (and life!) in a new way...

It started with the Sh*t I Do List. Tired of being the “shefault” parent responsible for all aspects of her busy household, Eve Rodsky counted up all the unpaid, invisible work she was doing for her family—and then sent that list to her husband, asking for things to change. His response was...underwhelming. Rodsky realized that simply identifying the issue of unequal labor on the home front wasn't enough: She needed a
solution to this universal problem. Her sanity, identity, career, and marriage depended on it.

The result is
Fair Play: a time- and anxiety-saving system that offers couples a completely new way to divvy up domestic responsibilities. Rodsky interviewed more than five hundred men and women from all walks of life to figure out what the invisible work in a family actually entails and how to get it all done efficiently. With 4 easy-to-follow rules, 100 household tasks, and a series of conversation starters for you and your partner, Fair Play helps you prioritize what's important to your family and who should take the lead on every chore, from laundry to homework to dinner.

“Winning” this game means rebalancing your home life, reigniting your relationship with your significant other, and reclaiming your Unicorn Space—the time to develop the skills and passions that keep you interested and interesting. Stop drowning in to-dos and lose some of that invisible workload that's pulling you down. Are you ready to try
Fair Play? Let's deal you in.

The Quotes

Having to remind your partner to do something doesn’t take that something off your list. It adds to it. And what’s more, reminding is often unfairly characterized as nagging.

Ownership belongs to the person who first off remembers to plan, then plans, and then follows through on every aspect of executing the plan and completing the task without reminders.

Only when you believe that your time should be measured equally will the division of labor shift toward parity in your relationship.

The Reviews

As a professional women who took a career detour (aka, requested demotion) 3 years ago after having a child, I 100% relate to the stories in this book from women who have grown resentful because they are making most of the sacrifices in their relationship and putting in full-time hours in the office and then full-time hours in the home. For that reason, I think this book is validating and makes me feel like I'm not alone and I'm not being ridiculous, which is very valuable since I was starting to think my expectations were unrealistic. On the other hand, because this book is written by a woman, from a woman's perspective, and for a woman audience, I have found it difficult for my partner to understand why I want to make his busy schedule even busier and play a "chores game" with him without him reading something with which he can truly relate - as I did with this book. For that reason, I think it would be most helpful for the author's spouse (or a male friend, etc.) to write a Fair Play II from the man's perspective, so that our partners might better understand and empathize with our situations and even learn about the positive benefits for men of taking on more responsibilities at home.

To each mad man his own mania, to each lunatic her own lunacy. I kept waiting for the author to get past the privileged urban female "hear me roar" nonsense. About one third of the way into the book she starts to let up. The author repeatedly identifies the wives she is reaching out to are victims of their own self inflicted wounds, and yet blames the husband for the pain of the wound. The book is incredibly singular in perspective (urban setting) and one sided (female), if you can get past this and read to the end, the game she created seems promising if you live the urban lifestyle where you work a single job, hire everything out that takes skilled labor, and only have mundane chores at home as a daily task and both spouses are relatively emotionally healthy. It is a quick read.

I'm not a Reese Witherspoon book club member. I'm a working mother and wife (I found Fair Play through a recent finance podcast). Two years ago I hit a similar breaking point to the author's "blueberry meltdown." After 13.5 years of marriage, to a man willing to share the work, I woke up and realized he was treating me like a doormat - I'll spare you the details.I tried and tried strategies to improve my situation. After a few failed mini-efforts (including trading lives for a week to promote empathy), we finally landed on a system that is extremely similar to the cards recommended in Fair Play (we use assignable to-do lists in the Wunderlist App). Every strategy in the Fair Play system is part of our own. We’ve needed it all — the dredging of work from the shadows to the light, the value setting, the ownership from conception to execution, the avoiding using your spouse as back-up for everything, and even the built-in time-off for self-development. We hit bumps. I worried what my in-laws thought — but we stayed the course.It worked, and we are better than ever (and, yes, that means more and better sex, too). The system freed us not only from the nit-picky day-to-day misery but also from the feeling we could never leave the house. We found free-time. My husband revels in the friendships and activities he can leave his family for, guilt-free. I traveled for 10 days of business last March (with manageable preparations for my “cards”), and all they missed were hugs.The first 100 or so pages of this book set the context for the issues women (largely) are facing. This is the context I lived. It's definitely a downer. I say this to say, that if you need a ‘why' to get yourself moving on this Fair Play plan, then read it. But if you can buy into the plan without it — SKIP it (for now). For husbands/back-up partners: It's hard to stare a problem like this in its face, and still have the energy to do the work. Do the work for your family. Do the work for your daughters (and sons). Do the work for yourself. There are so many issues in life that we can not control: This is one we can.Fair Play will lift women's spirits. Fair Play will make them feel loved. Fair Play will give them back their energy and joy — and they, in turn, will bring their true gifts to you and the world. It is truly one area where you can take a small step for a woman, and a giant leap for MAN- and WOMAN-KIND. (I’m only sorry I can not go back in time and take some cards for my mother.) For what it's worth, it's not men's fault. We are all working hard. Through discussion, we raise our shared-expectations. For some partners in a family it will feel like more work in total. Early in the process, old resentments can sometimes target the system, making things worse. But, if you can get to a place where both partners sincerely try, you will be busier AND happier. TODAY.If you choose to play, the time you spend on Fair Play tasks (the grind; emotional labor, etc.) will be what allows you, on your death bed, to look back and say, "I’m glad I was there for my family."

Great book & concept but where are the cards? The product description says this book comes with a game. The game is described in the book but there are not any cards. I’m I supposed to make 100 cards?!

Then this is the book for you! Whether or not your husband is useless, bringing this book home will make him feel like he wasn’t pulling his weight. For real, I definitely recommend that you buy this book before you decide to have kids so you can make an informed decision about how much work is involved on a daily basis. If your husband is overwhelmed by the work involved, tell him to sit in the hot tub for an hour a day or schedule an appointment with the urologist. -BobUpdate: This is Bob’s wife. He didn’t even read the book so disregard this review. Great book, the author did the best she could to not make men feel browbeaten or ashamed but apparently men just don’t want to hear it.

This book is an ABSOLUTE must read for any and every relationship. It directly addresses the insidious details that lead couples to bicker and build up resentment. Fair Play is a beautifully written roadmap to navigate the smooth running of a household in true partnership. What's more, it creates a space for partners to have meaningful conversation that often get overlooked in merely assigning "to-do's." Not only is Fair Play positioned to shift household dynamics but the larger discourse itself. Nothing this exciting has hit the bookstore in years.

If only I had this book 20 years ago when married, then going thru a divorce and ending up a single parent. It is a must read for anyone in a relationship with or without kids. Great, great book!!

This book is hard for men to read. That said, I decided to read it because I could tell that I was missing my wife’s expectations. I have almost completed the book and I am excited to implement the solution with my wife to improve our relationship and to hopefully improve the role model I want to be for my girls.

I absolutely loved this book! It really is a must read for any couple who wants to find balance in their domestic life. Eve Rodsky developed an easy to implement system for couples to help divide up domestic responsibility and it actually works. I truly believe this book has transformed my marriage while bringing positive change to my life. I even learned how to find my unicorn space = tap dancing!

I got these ASICS shoes for my husband because I’ve had pretty good luck with them myself and they are a good price. He said they are fairly comfortable. They also look good. My husband likes them a lot. His main complaint, however, is that the soles are not super cushiony.I was a little skeptical about buying them on line, especially since he has not worn this brand before, but they fit as expected. My husband also wears inserts that he gets from the podiatrist, and those fit inside the shoes okay without making them too tight.One downside is that the podiatrist does not recommend them as the best for preventing ankle twists. If you are prone to that, then our podiatrist recommends NB.I write honest reviews to help others make informed purchases because I read reviews myself and appreciate how helpful they can be. I hope that my review helped you!

The bottom of the shoe is cheap hard plastic - slippery on wet roads - not very bendable - and not the normal 'rubber' type of bottom that I am used to with Asics running shoes. I returned it before I even wore it. I always buy Asics, and they have always been good -but this time I bought two different ones from Amazon/Asics - and the Jolt is made of cheap plastic, and the other one which was $90 came without the inside soles! so it was obviously used or a prior return from someone. But whoever shipped this didn't even look to see if the soles were inside the shoes!

In less than a month these shoes are falling apart. Not durable at all. Disappointed!Don't wast your $.

I'm not a runner, but workout daily. This shoe has awesome support. I feel better since wearing I would definitely recommend them for purchase.

Seem to be a cheaper ASICS pair which is fine for what I am buying it for. But fit much narrow than any of the past several ASICS purchases where I wear standard/medium width and never had a problem. Just a heads up for other ASICS M/D size guys.

These are very comfortable shoes and a high-quality build. They fit as expected. The colors seem to be consistent with the official product photos. I recommend them.

Great fit and comfortable.

Well worth for the price!!

I am sharing this with all my friends-male and female-who I know are still recovering from the trauma of transitioning from a pre-kid love affair with 2 equal partners to a full-on family corporation with a ton of competing interests and stress. This book is so relatable -it was an honest reflection of so many moments that my husband and I relate to. And it shares solutions for appreciating your partner and supporting each other to live a full and rich life! A new playbook for treating your family like the most important organizational structure in your life and bringing intention, planning, enthusiasm, compassion and strong communication to the household.

Made this for a recipe that called for it and I couldn't locate anywhere in town. Nice unique flavors and I will be purchasing again. Shipping came quick.

Used this to make butter chicken and it turned out well! The chicken was a bit spicy but delicious.

good product!

Shan mixes have always been consistently perfect in flavor and mix, and these don’t disappoint. I have used the chicken tikka mix as instructed, and modified as well as a dry rub on lamb leg, steak and even in ground beef as a Tikka burger… my mouth is watering just writing this… I know what I’m making for dinner!!!

Yum! Tweaked the recipe to juice of 2 small limes, 2tbsp olive oil, 16 oz plain greek yogurt and box of seasoning for a 24hr marinade in fridge of cubed 5# boneless chicken breast. After marinade, put the chicken on bamboo skewers and grilled to 165degrees. Discard used marinade.Serve with bazmati rice (seasoned with saffrom) and fresh mint with a dollop of plain greek yogurt.Leftovers were foodsaver vacuum sealed and perfect as warmed leftovers.I've already reordered more seasoning.

We cut up a whole chicken (5 lb)removed skin, made deep cuts in the meat. We used lime instead lemon, no oil and used 2 tablespoons of both ginger and garlic (blended in small blender with the lime juice until fine.) marinated 3 hours**we will marinate longer next time. Really wanted the Chicken Tikka BBQ mix but couldn't find it. We will buy again!

Wonder chicken barbecue seasoning. First time I used too much and it was delicious but a little too hot for our taste. I used a 1/2 an envelope for about 10 chicken thighs and it was just right. Also, added yoghurt closer to the end of the marinade.So good, I bought a 6 pack of it.

I followed the recipe and was delighted at how well this turned out. This is SIGNIFICANTLY superior to any of the jars of sauces or spice packets I've seen at the store. You have to bring your own Greek Yogurt, lemon juice and red food coloring but everything else was amazing.So tender, so flavorful. Highly recommend.

Very interesting and I’d love to see her book and game for parents and teens and young adults at home and how to divide responsibilities! Looking forward to reading Unicorn Space now!

Let me start off by saying that today's book is one that many not be popular in many Christian circles. Fair Play: A Game-Changing Solution for When You Have Too Much to Do (and More Life to Live) by Eve Rodsky is not a "Christian" book. In fact a lot of people would probably deem it a feminist text and move on. But, before I jump into that, lets talk about what this book is.Fair Play is an acknowledgement that in most marriages the majority of work inside the home falls primarily on the shoulders of women. In fact, modern women are being CRUSHED by the weight of everything that they are rightly and unjustly expected to do for their families.Fair play is a system that helps couples to balance out the work load. The best part about this book is that Rodsky says clearly how to do that. In a lot of marriage books this idea is summed up as, "have a conversation with your spouse about responsibilities" and then they move on. This book IS the conversation you need to have with your spouse, it is also the conversation on how to make the changes needed.I will say that when my husband and I used this system we had to add in categories because we are a military family and we homeschool. Both of those qualifiers have specific needs and requirements that this book just didn't cover.Now, as to the idea that this book is unbiblical... if you have read the Bible, sharing one another's burdens and having dominion over your sphere of influence is not a male/female thing. It is a Christian thing. There isn't anything in the Bible that says a man can't help with household chores. The word of God places a great deal of significance on treating one another with respect and a great many Christian marriages could use this book to help get out of some ugly, un-Christlike patterns.Overall, I give Fair Play: A Game-Changing Solution for When You Have Too Much to Do (and More Life to Live) five stars. I have come back to this book often and I have already loaned it to a friend. While it isn't a Christian book, there isn't anything in the text that compromises my theological standard.

This is a great book, so much work has been put into it. I found it to be very fair for both sides and would recommend to any couple. I have bought 3 as wedding gifts with the cards. The author has thought of most everything and I even found myself saying "I didn't know I got to count that as work" because yes buying birthday gifts, wrapping and getting kids to parties is a lot of work!!

Who among us working moms has not felt the pure rage that arises when we've worked a full day at the office but also made the orthodontist appointments, looked into summer camps, put "find a new math tutor" on the list, got up at 5 to do the laundry, prepped dinner, cleaned up after breakfast, thought about school application deadlines for the following year, gave the cat his medicine--basically pulled a full-on Alice from The Brady Bunch--while our partner MAYBE drives a kid to practice a couple days a week or loads the dishwasher and then expects a medal plus a TV news crew to come cover it? I want to scream just thinking about this situation that used to be mine. BUT then I read this book and I'm happy to report -- Eve Rodsky has our back! This book saves marriages, sanely. Most partners actually want to be involved 50/50 and FAIR PLAY shows exactly how to do that. Step by actionable step, backed by research and real-life examples. HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK.

I got this little kit as an addition to my emergency survival kit. Unfortunately this is a pretty hot seller and runs out of inventory pretty fast and I missed my shot to buy one. While I was waiting for it to come back in stock I went ahead and purchased a smaller version from another seller so I could have a compact one as well as test out two kits side by side. Here's the compact one I ordered -  High Quality Compact Sewing Kit for Home, Travel, Camping & Emergency + 50 Pins & 50 Safety Pins. Best Premium Sew Supplies Expansive Case Set. Great Gift for Beginners, Kids, Girls, Boys, Adults  - I love this one too and would highly recommend it if you want something a bit smaller and more compact for hiking or to stow in your laptop bag.I went ahead and purchased the set from Evergreen Art Supply when it was in stock again and when it arrived I compared the two sets. I did a ton of research on all the different sewing kits available here on Amazon and they all have complaints of quality or not matching the photos. This kit had really high reviews and it was for a good reason! The scissors are great quality and do a ton of sewing and use all sorts of scissors and this little pair is definitely higher quality. It came with all sorts of extras like the big plastic needle and crochet hook which will come in handy for so many projects. The zipper is higher quality and really easy to zip up. The supplies are a little inexpensive/cheaper but that's expected in a kit like this. I can't even count all the garment emergencies I've had over the years and really could have used a kit like this! Plus you always forget to bring scissors for some reason and having a little backup is such a lifesaver. This is really one of the best kits on amazon and I would highly recommend purchasing this one. This kit is going in my camping supplies. I'm ordering another one as well to stow away in my car. All the emergency supply lists recommend having a kit on hand! You never know when you will need it. :)

Would have given 5 stars, but when I opened the package, the box was kind of falling apart (not the Amazon box but the actual packaging of item) and there was a weird powder/dirt on the outside of the item. Weirded me out because who knows what it was but I Clorox wiped it and the inside seems completely fine. Definitely worth it, especially for the price!

I am THRILLED with all of the cool items included in this little sewing kit. I am NOT a seamstress, by any means! I struggle with sewing on a button! (not really, but you get the gist!) so I don't already have ANY of the items included, with the exception of safety pins, but they only include 4 of those. I won't give you a list of all of the things included because you can just read the list above where they list what's included in the box, but suffice it to say that I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the case, the products, and the pins (with the little colorful balls on the end..forgive me but I don't know what they are called) are HUGE! They even include a "knitting" needle"! Ok, so I said I wouldn't list what they include in the kit, but I'm a little excited. I'll just say that if you are like me and don't already have the "basics" to just sew on a button, or fix a stitch in something, this is perfect for you. It will allow me to repair all kinds of things I previously would have just tossed out! Even for those of you who do sew, it would be perfect for traveling, or back-up, or even as a gift! It's awesome!

useful tools and a nice variety of colored threads. really love this

I had some problems with this kit when I got. It but the company address the issue and quickly corrected the problems I had. I was looking for a kit to carry around for quick repairs, or to take on vacation this kit is perfect for keeping in the car, a purse, a suitcase.etc. the size is perfect to fit into a bag to help the wedding party for emergency repairs, which I used it for last weekend. Is it perfect, well it is for handling emergencys, it is not my sewing kit from home but I can't fit my sewing basket in my purse. So if you need a handy dandy kit on the run this is exactly what it is described as the extra thread is a bonusI recommend this kit for as described, a. Handy kit for emergencies, and if and when you have the opportunity to use it you will be the star!!! As I was for a wardrobe malfunction last weekend.

This kit is absolutely perfect for those who just like to sew things back together once in a while. I'm by no means a sewer but it's nice to know that I have everything I need if a button falls off or I have to sew something back together. The case is small enough to throw in a travel bag, keep in your car, or stow away somewhere in your home. It has everything you could need to fix the occasional mishap.

I purchased this kit in 2015, and have been using it ever since. It has held up to careful but constant use as I travel (and teach sewing where I go). In 2015 some reviews were concerned about the zipper-mine has lasted perfectly! In 2015 there were no extra threads, but the little spools easily refill to the colors I use all the time. And thanks for the 2 spools of black and white each! It has plenty of room to include the particulars I like-I gave away the scissors and thimble in favor of my personal favs, and use different pins--but surely each crafter/traveler has preferences. The scissors were good enough to give away, not the cheap dull ones usually in kits.I will use mine as long as possible, and will certainly purchase my next one from Evergreen if it still makes them.

Bought this book because I seen it on instagram, so far both me and my husband are loving it. Even if you can’t directly relate to it it’s a great insight into balancing a relationship

She brings and honest and needed fresh perspective on the intricate dynamics between parents. Great examples and research. Definitely recommend this book

Fair Play shows these things well:• The massive amount of work that really goes into running a household• How unbalanced the workload is for most couples• The ways women are punished for having children• How women are expected to be the default parent, or as the author says, "the she-fault parent" and what that does to women• What couples can do about it in their homeWhen women read the first part of Fair Play, they'll be nodding, unsurprised but affirmed. Later in the book, they'll be equipped.When men read the book, if they are open to seeing reality (instead of defending the way things are and denying that there's a problem or that they should do more around the house and with the family), they'll have an opportunity to be transformed and make such a difference.If everyone would read this book and apply it, we'd have a much better world within a year.

Great read for both sides!

This is exactly what I was looking for. Good size, quality, color and fabric. Thx

Perfect size just what I asked for. Love this. thank you


Although this book has some awesome tools (specifically CPE) I had an extremely hard time liking it fully for two main reasons. The first being that it is extremely heteronormative. She briefly addresses this at the beginning, but never tried to be more inclusive through out the rest of the book. The second being how hard it is to relate to this book if you don’t have kids!! There are so many example when explaining concepts about how unhelpful the husband is with the kids that it can be hard to relate as a couple who never plans on having kids and could really benefit from this method still. This book can also be potentially rude and degrading towards male readers. It feels like this book was written ONLY for women to “fix” the household imbalance. That just doesn’t seem right.

This book explains so much, in such an accessible manner. I want to buy extra copies and hand them out to people, if only I could find a graceful way to do so! Well edited. Book binding held up well through my reading. Well organized chapters. It would be nice if there was a card deck that came with the book or could be bought separately.

The story part of this book is very biased. I am AFAB, so don't gang up on me as a gender traitor.I believe that social conditioning has shaped the conflict this tries to fix, NOT purposeful and willful incompetance. The story part vilifies men as people who willingly and willfully ignore their responsibilities. I argue that most men (yes there are probably bad seeds out there) are just conditioned so differently through life that they don't understand what they really do need to pay attention to. And it isn't a woman's job to educate and recondition a man. It's his job. But villifying someone on the basis of gender and conditioning is not the way to get cooperation.HOWEVER- the fair play cards and explanations part is a game changer. This is where the book shines. It requires cooperation, mindful presentness, and helps show, not tell, the conditioning differential. Get this for the card tool, if nothing else.NOW, a book and some cards will not undo years of built-up resentment. If you buy this book, I firmly suggest couples-counseling and individual counseling. I'm no doctor, but have enough experience to say that getting an objective 3rd party referee for the initiation of this process is probably necessary. You could try it without, but if there is even a little resistance, it won't be sustainable.It's a good tool, but not a panacea.

At the beginning she does state that she’s writing from a “man / women - dad works and mom stays home to do the rest” perspective but it’s a tough read if you are any other relationship group. But I get people need a space to complain about their husband and feel seen so if you are a straight women who is resentful of your husband this book is for you!I also found it very repetitive but I guess repetition does help drive the points home.Some good points. But I think it would hit home better if our household fit more traditional roles of sahm/ working husband.

Fair Play: A Game-Changing Solution for When You Have Too Much to Do (and More Life to Live)
⭐ 4.5 💛 1617
kindle: $13.99
paperback: $11.11
hardcover: $11.80
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