Not to brag, but my husband and I really have this whole teamwork thing figured out. When we moved in together as boyfriend and girlfriend, we did really well in splitting up the household duties 50/50. I’ve lived with an ex before and I can say with confidence that this is the best way to do it.
- We both live in our house. Our house is just that ours. Together, we share the mess. He dirties as many clothes, dishes, etc as I do. Before we lived together, we lived alone. We’re both used to doing all the chores on our own anyway. That doesn’t change when you live with someone else.
- You don’t have to be married to be considered a team. As I said, my husband and I lived together before we got married. Prior to marriage and after marriage, nothing about our roles changed. We both take on our responsibilities to get things done. Whether you’re dating, are married, or have roommates, it’s so important to divvy up household responsibilities.
- One person cooks, the other does the dishes. I remember being genuinely shocked when my husband brought up this notion to me the first time I cooked for him. Talk about teamwork! This works multiple ways for us. If I do the laundry, he folds and puts it away. He mows the lawn and I vacuum and sweep the floors. It’s all about balance.
- You have to get comfortable with negotiating and changing things up. This balance works out really well for us. But we also know that it can’t always work this way. There are certain instances where I have a lot of work to do and he picks up more of the responsibilities, and vice vera. It would be wonderful if we could always keep an even split, but it’s not realistic. Understanding that this can happen every now and then is okay. But, if you end up in a situation where you have to pick up more of the slack than your partner, it’s time to re-evaluate your strategy.
- Being a SAHM doesn’t dismiss my husband from his duties. I feel pretty darn lucky to have a husband that understands and appreciates how hard it is to be a SAHM. I take care of our son all day. Plus, I work freelance, so I’m doing other work as well. He doesn’t expect me to get the house cleaned all day. He doesn’t expect to come home to dinner already prepared. If I do get the laundry done, cook dinner, or clean the dishes, he appreciates the crap out of me for it. If you’re a stay at home parent or you work from home, you know that the household chores can’t always get done.
- Maintaining a home is hard. It is no easy task to take care of a household. It seems like the chores are never-ending. There’s always something to be done. Pushing that workload on one person is a huge burden to carry. Parenting and working are stressful enough without taking on everything else alone. That’s why a relationship is so important. You have to rely on each other to help you take care of the things you share.
- Gender roles are better left in the past. One of the reasons it seems that women get placed with the burden of maintaining the home is because, in the past, the home is where women “belonged”. Women didn’t work. They took care of their husbands, kids, and homes. That was it. That’s not how it works anymore. Cooking and cleaning shouldn’t be considered “feminine”. It’s literally a life necessity to do these things whether you’re male or female. Push these archaic social norms from your mind and life will be much easier.
- Make it fun! Doing laundry and cleaning dishes aren’t exactly fun tasks. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make them fun! These are things that have to be done anyway, so you might as well enjoy it. Get creative and try cooking a new recipe together. Dance around to music you both love while washing the dishes or folding laundry. You get to spend quality time together while getting all your adulting tasks done. It’s a win-win!