It’s official: no one likes doing chores. You’d always find that strange kid in high school who actually liked to do homework, but show me one person who actually likes to do all the chores that have to get done around the house and I’ll be duly amazed. Chores are the most mundane part of being married, but believe it or not lots of couples have huge fights over chores. Before you begin to argue over whose turn it is to do the dishes or who has to take the trash out, it’s a good idea to split up the chores in a way that’s agreeable to the both of you.
One of the biggest deciding factors on who is going to do what type of chore is who is going to be home and who is not. Some couples have similar work schedules, but quite often, in today’s economy, one spouse is working much later than the other, or on days that the other spouse has off. Before you can begin to split up all the household chores that you have to get done, you need to make sure that you set realistic goals. You can’t expect someone to take out the trash every Saturday morning, for instance, if they have to be at work at 7 am on a Saturday. Take their work load into consideration before you even begin negotiating.
When you start splitting up the chores, volunteer to take everything that you truly enjoy doing. Do you like making meals? Do you not mind folding laundry? Put on the table everything that you actually enjoy doing. If you both like to do similar things, you can bargain for things that you dislike to do, like taking out the trash or sweeping the floor.
While some couples divide up each and every chore, others are more fluid in their division. For instance there are many couples where the wife is in charge of most of the household chores (with a few thrown in for the man), while the husband is in charge of vehicle and yard maintenance. Or vice versa. What works best for you is what’s important, and that you both agree on the division of labor. And remember: if you ever start to have an issue over the chores that you’re supposed to be doing, don’t get upset or passive-aggressive, actually talk to your spouse about the situation. Bargains and changes can always be made!
What deals have you and your spouse made about chores? We’d love to hear about your division of labor!