I don’t know about you, but in our marriage we have two very different, but very similar personalities… meaning we butt heads all the time, and it seems that we are always finding ways to create friction. One of our favorite ways to butt heads is over chores/home responsibilities, so here is my input on the top 3 ways to handle chores and which method will bring the most peace for us…
Option #1 – Equally Responsible and Same Standards…
(aka – college dorm mates)… yep, sure! Okay, let’s be honest here – if you think this is how it is in your house, you are the reason your spouse is sent you this blog…
Option #2 – Majorly Uneven and Slightly Bitter
(aka – 1 stay at home/home manager spouse, 1 bringing home the bacon/9-to-5 spouse)…
This is what you get when one spouse is handling all the home responsibilities and the other is sitting on the couch while the other is doing chores. Here is the conversation we tend to have when we are feeling this way “You never help around here, I do everything, I get no time to myself…” “Well, I work all day, I just got home, why are you always complaining?”
This feeling of bitterness comes from 2 places – trying to express frustration that your work at home is never done and trying to express that you want a break. So what do you do? As the person who is home more, you get the privilege of getting to chose how your day goes, right?
5 Easy Solutions
- Pick a time when your ‘work-day’ ends. Just like your spouse, you need to be done with ‘home manager’ job ends, so you can prevent bitterness, and enjoy down time with your spouse.
- Set a chore time, this can be for total time doing chores or per chore before moving on. I like 15 mins, otherwise I get grumpy and bored.
- Put the kids to bed at the same time every night, so you get off work at the same time every day
- Learn to let things go. Perfectionism tends to lead to stress, stress tends to make us bitter if those around us aren’t participating in our stress.
- Check your attitude – sometimes we forget to be grateful for a lifestyle that means unequal work distribution.
(Please note – that in this situation, you haven’t changed the other person, you have set boundaries on your work day and become more efficient with your time, allowing you to not to complain or be bitter about YOUR work load. See option 3 for actually changing the amount of work you have…)
Option #3 – More Sharing and Less Monitoring
(aka – communication and follow through as adults who don’t monitor each other)
If your communication and home expectations were on the same page, you already have this down. But for those still working on it, it can start out with the same conversation as option #2, which will get you nowhere.
To have a successful conversation, you need to take the blame, the accusations and the bitterness out of the conversation before attempting to talk to your spouse about chores. If one or both of you head down that path, you stop the conversation. And, yes, if you tend to have bad conversations, you may need to try this conversation several times to get a good resolution for your home responsibilities. Here is what you need to focus on when you need to have more help from your spouse.
5 (more) Easy Solutions
- Is this about YOUR need to ‘get off work’ or about sharing responsibility? Try to focus on time available and what makes sense for both of your schedules.
- What does your spouse naturally take responsibility? Yes, this requires you to watch and wait on your conversation, because you want to help the family, not just vent… right???
- What are you/your spouse willing to do? Try saying something like, “I am overwhelmed and always stressed about chores, I would like some help with them. I can do ____, ____ and ____ every day/week, what can you do?”
- It’s okay to not do everything every day. Did I already say this a few times? It may be necessary to get some management planners or chore charts (we really like these planners we found in this bundle, check out my review on it at this blog!), but for chores that weren’t choosen above, it may mean that these get done during deep cleaning each month or you just let those go.
- Stop monitoring. I know, I know, you are so much better at monitoring than your spouse! But if they said they would be responsible for certain areas of the house, that’s their responsibility. No managing is needed. See, managing adults is like herding cats… which is nearly impossible, ask my 1 year old who tries to boss our cat around all the time! You DID marry another adult right? Have a little faith and take a deep, deep, deep breath (you may need more than one!).
Okay, sometimes, life is hard, but I don’t think marriage should be harder just over chores. Remember, your home should be your sanctuary, so your ultimate goal in discussing and creating change in home responsibilities is to create peace and less stress. Check out these products on Amazon to help you organize your chore lists –
Yes, I include affiliate (ad) links in all my blog posts, however it is only with companies and products I highly recommend. I receive a small commission if you buy through my links, so thanks in advance! Lydia Y-S