Couples who split up the chores equally tend to be happier and to have higher levels of satisfaction and intimacy in the relationship. Unfortunately, a lot of us still cling to old fashioned ideas about how domestic tasks should be divided, with the majority of the labor falling on the shoulders of the woman. Even in relationships where both partners work outside of the home, it is usually the women carrying more than their fair share of the household labor.
Since the publication of Eve Rodsky’s book Fair Play, more and more couples are understanding that the key to harmony in their relationship is to agree upon a fair and reasonable division of household chores. If that’s something if interest to you and your partner, here are 6 ways to help you split up the chores:
1. Define the Chores
The first step is to sit down together and make a list of all of the chores that need to be done around the house. Be sure to include both big and small tasks. Once you have made your list, you can start to discuss who will be responsible for each chore.
2. Take into Account Each Person’s Strengths and Weaknesses
When deciding how to split up the chores, it is important to take into account each person’s strengths and weaknesses. For example, if one person is better at cooking than the other, they may want to take on more responsibility for meal preparation. Conversely, if one person is not particularly good at cleaning, they may want to avoid taking on too many cleaning tasks. My husband and I like to consider not only what we are good at, but what we enjoy. We are both more likely to be consistent with our chores if we are doing the ones that we like to do. For instance, Charlie likes to sweep — it makes him feel relaxed. I hate sweeping, so it makes sense for him to do the sweeping.
3. Consider Each Person’s Schedule
Another factor to consider when distributing chores is each person’s schedule. If one person works longer hours or has a more demanding job, they may not have as much time for housework as the other person. In this case, it may make sense for them to take on fewer chores. Or, if one partner works typical business hours while the other partner works nights and weekends, you can divide up the chores based on who is available during certain times of the day or week.
4. Don’t Be afraid to Negotiate
If you are having trouble agreeing on who should do which chores, don’t be afraid to negotiate. Sometimes it can help to trade off tasks so that each person gets a chore that they don’t mind doing in exchange for taking on a task that they would prefer not to do.
5. Take Turns Doing Chores That Nobody Wants to Do
There will inevitably be some chores that neither husband nor wife wants to do. In these cases, it can be helpful to take turns doing them so that nobody feels like they are always stuck with the unpleasant tasks. For us, this is the laundry. We both hate it, so instead of assigning it to one partner or the other, we just take turns.
6. Delegate New Chores as They Arise
As new chores arise, it is important to delegate them in a fair and equitable manner. If one person always seems to end up with new chores, it can create tension and resentment over time. Instead, try to share new chores equally between husband and wife whenever possible.
Harmony in the home is achievable through equitably distributing domestic duties. When both partners take ownership of their respective tasks, a peaceful atmosphere will be created as there is fairness among them. Consider these 6 strategies to ensure that your housekeeping efforts result in harmony!