When my husband and I made the decision to purchase a house prior to our nuptials, we had a lot to learn about each other and what each person values in a home. Being new homeowners together and newly engaged brought many challenges regarding the division of labor.
It frustrated us both that we had different ideas of what constitutes a “clean” home. I want everything in its place, labeled, folded in thirds, and tied up with a nice neat bow. Yes, I am a little type-A. However, my husband is not as concerned if there are a few dishes in the sink or shoes left out. Somewhere down the line, my OCD tendencies couldn’t handle the clutter and I set out on a mission to “fix” the situation. However, a new problem developed. My Mr. felt as if I was trying to “fix” HIM. This may sound like a silly issue to those of you with marriage tenure, but we had to learn to COMPROMISE and realize neither person is wrong. We also had to adopt the attitude of “we” and “our home” vs. my chores and your chores.
After our discussion on compromise, things improved for the short term, but schedules became busy and I quickly I felt as if I was doing all the household chores again (except for mowing the lawn, lol). So I decided to do some research online for help on this topic.
I found numerous resources and the one that really made the difference was on A Bowl Full of Lemons. Her daily cleaning chart really helped us manage our time. It’s realistic and visual.
We wrote our names by each chore we agreed to do for the day. We tried to make it “fair”, but sometimes there are things that one person is better at than the other or one person despises. Pick your battles. That’s all I have to say on that… The ten minute pick ups make me feel less crazed and more like everything is back in it’s place. My husband likes the reminder that the chart offers vs me asking or telling him to do something. Win- win situation. 🙂
Eventually I will expand on this and write out every conceivable chore we have, but for now this seems to be helping. At the top of this chore chart I put a simple statement as a reminder for us both “Doing your share of the chores will improve our relationship.” I feel that chores are shared responsibilities and that asking for “help” implies that they are only one person’s responsibility. A visual, written list also helps avoid nagging (something I am guilty of!).
Hopefully, this will help others as much as it helps us. Have you had similar experiences and struggles dividing household chores? If so, what’s your solution?