Keeping a tidy home is much easier said than done as any woman knows. But add into the mix a full-time job outside the house, kids at home, and a spouse who works as well? It can seem impossible at times. That’s why we feel it is so vital to spread the chores among spouses as fairly as possible.
After all, this is not 1950 when the woman was expected to do all of the cooking and cleaning by herself! Let’s ﬁgure out a way to get the men involved without causing tension in our squeaky clean home.
1. Choose wisely
When deciding who does what, think about what bothers you the most as individuals and tackle it. Do you hate a sink full of dishes? Get to scrubbing and let the dishes be your responsibility. Does he have a passion for yard work? Then he is the guy for the job.
Buy him some new yard tools to get him excited about getting to work. Every man likes new toys, so use that to your advantage. The point of choosing wisely is, do not divide work without thinking it through ﬁrst.
When you are naturally inclined to notice the dust bunnies or smudges on the windows, you are probably the natural choice to handle those chores. Don’t expect your husband to keep the mirrors streak-free if it is not something that he will ever notice without it being pointed out.
2. Work at the same time when possible
Have you ever experienced the bitterness that takes you over when you are the only one cleaning while everyone else is having fun? It makes for one unhappy wife and mama! So my suggestion is to make it a family effort when possible. Have a house rule that when something needs to be done, everyone pitches in to make it happen.
For example, when dinner is ﬁnished let your hubby clear the table while you load the dishwasher. Is there a pile of laundry to be conquered? One of you can sort while the other folds. The goal here is that one spouse is not kicked back on the couch while the other is elbows-deep in work. Chores will get done in half the time and then you can all enjoy the evening together.
Read also – 8 Creative Cleaning Tips for Lazy Girls
3. Give an incentive
Have you ever realized that hard things are easier to overcome when there is a reward waiting for you? Well, the same thing applies to chores so set a reward for a clean house. Plan a fun date that you will only go on if all of the chores are ﬁnished, and stick to it!
Or if you want to spice things up, promise your spouse a massage complete with candles and oil if they ﬁnally wash the dog. It can be rewarding for both of you so you will be sure to get the chores done quickly. The trick here is that you have to be disciplined. Do not let yourself claim the prize if you have not done the work.
4. Do not go 50/50
The whole mentality of 50/50 should be abolished in marriage in every area of the relationship. Each spouse should be giving 100% effort at all times, that is the only way it is going to work. Studies actually show that when couples keep score they have a higher chance of ending in divorce. We think this idea works for chores, too.
Do not focus so much on splitting housework right down the middle. Instead, commit to being all-in all the time. What does that mean? Show some grace when possible. Realize that there are going to be some days when your spouse truly can’t help around the house, so pick up their slack and know that they will do the same for you when the time comes. Give it your all, you will never regret it.
5. Trade off
Maybe a good solution for your home is to trade off weeks. Have a whole week where the chores are taken care of by one spouse while the other one gets the time off. Is a week too long? Maybe just trade days instead. But do not get bitter when it is your time to work.
It is all part of the agreement and besides, your time is coming. This idea would really ﬁt a couple with an unorthodox work schedule. Maybe your spouse works on the weekends or you work one week on/one week off. Schedule the chores around your work so that your work days don’t continue on into the night after working a twelve-hour shift.
Read also – 8 Fabulously Useful Home Organization Apps
6. Get your little ones involved
Spread the chores even more. Do you have kids that are old enough to operate a smartphone or iPad? Well, guess what? They are old enough to help with chores, too. Of course, you need to make sure that they are given chores that are safe for them. Maybe they can dust the knick-knacks on your shelves or take the clean clothes to the rooms.
At the very least, they can deﬁnitely be in charge of taking care of their own room and making their beds. It may be tempting to do it for them so it is done ‘right’ the ﬁrst time, but resist that urge and give them the opportunity to improve with practice.
Taking care of a home can be overwhelming at times, we get it. But remember that this ‘burden’ is also a huge blessing. Having your own home to tend to is a privilege denied to many so remind yourself of that when the to-do list gets too long. Having your spouse pitch in will deﬁnitely help, too.
I hope that getting them involved makes chores seem like less like a chore and more like a combined effort to build a beautiful home together. So, make a plan and get to work. After all, those dishes are not going to wash themselves. No matter what, remember that a happy marriage is more important than an immaculate home.