Newlywed couples often find themselves arguing over who’s going to take care of the chores in their daily lives. It’s tough when you both work full-time jobs or have opposite schedules to figure out what works best for you as a couple. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed by responsibilities and feel like YOU do it all, but before you rip into your spouse for not pulling his weight around the house think about everything he DOES take care of by making a list. If your list is completely one sided, it may be time to discuss splitting the household chores ASAP for your own sanity! Some couples are lucky enough to work the same schedule allowing them to partake in chore duty together, even making them fun. If you and your spouse aren’t one of these couples, you can still allocate the chores and get them done on your own time.
Here are some of the most common, laborious chores that couples despise along with a few helpful tips on how to share the burden!
Cooking: One of you could prepare dinner and the other could be in charge of washing the dishes. You could even alternate nights and take turns trying new recipes with each other. One way to keep it interesting is to recipe swap with family members or friends. You may find that you and/or your spouse aren’t cut out to be the next Iron Chef, but that you enjoy cooking and most of all, the time spent learning how to cook together!
Cleaning: It’s best not to leave all the cleaning to one person (lets face it, it’s boring and it’s not fair!) A family member once told me that she kept her house ‘clean enough’ at all times just in case someone stopped by unexpectedly. I remember thinking at the time what wonderful advice that was from a full-time working Mother and it has stuck with me over the years. You don’t want to be embarrassed because you haven’t dusted in weeks or there are dirty dishes piled up in your sink. So, you should designate a couple of hours one day per week to dusting, vacuuming and cleaning the rooms. It works out best if you divvy up the tasks (and switch from week to week to break up the monotony of your routine). If one day per week seems like too much work for your busy schedule, at least try to keep the rooms that your guests would see spotless and then clean the rest of your house as time permits!
Money: Ugh, bills! Lucky for newlyweds today, we have the option to pay our bills online alleviating us from having to sit down at the kitchen table and manually write out checks to every company–like our parents and grandparents did. However, it’s very common to allow one person to handle the finances leaving the other in the dark as far as where the money goes each month. Be sure that you both know what’s going on when it comes to your finances so that if one of you is out-of-town or unable to take care of the bills, the other one can simply fill-in. It’s easy to miss a payment if you don’t know when it’s due or worse, you don’t know how to access your online banking account to press the payment button!
Laundry: Hand-wash, hot, cold, colors, whites only, wash but don’t dry—with all these instructions who could blame a man for not wanting to voluntarily take on doing the laundry?! Some couples prefer to stick to the “I’ll do mine and you do yours” method, but if you wish to help each other out it is probably best to do it together the first few times. This way you could show your spouse how to separate the colors from the whites and explain what gets washed using what cycle, detergent, etc. This will ultimately (hopefully) keep him from shrinking your favorite shirt into something even Barbie wouldn’t fit into. Not to mention, you could have a make-out session during the spin cycle turning the laundry into something he will surely want to do again!