Every family has a set of practical tasks or chores that need to get done—whether it is looking after the children, caring for elderly relatives, keeping the house clean, or managing finances. It can all get a bit overwhelming when you have to also juggle between looking after young children, hold down a full-time job and try to stay on top of a seemingly endless to-do list.
Often, the lion’s share of these tasks falls on one spouse's weary shoulders, a move that can lead to frustration and, eventually, relationship conflicts. You can avoid such a situation and resolve these issues calmly with your spouse. Here’s how:
1. Start with a list
Re-look how household tasks are divided. Firstly, sit down with your partner and identify a list of tasks that need to be done daily, weekly, and monthly. This list can include taking the children for their weekly swimming lesson, paying the utilities bill, and home maintenance tasks like cleaning the toilets and meal planning.
2. Analyse the tasks
While you should make your list as comprehensive as possible, do take a hard look at the list and consider any tasks you can stop doing. This can mean lowering your standards so that your bathroom is cleaned just once a week instead of every other day. Or, it could mean not doing things that you grew up seeing your parents do that may not be practical today.
3. Consider your preferences
Looking at the list of chores—which ones do you enjoy doing? You may find ironing a stack of clothes stress-relieving, while your spouse may enjoy cleaning floors. As for the tasks that no one is keen on, group these tasks together and split those up. You can even take turns doing these tasks, or even do the chore together to relieve the tedium.
4. Be flexible and thankful
Your spouse may have a different work schedule to you. Be flexible and understanding so that the chores are completed based on your spouse’s free time, and not according to your preferences. Also, your partner may not wash the dishes as thoroughly as you do. Instead of starting an argument, try taking a step back and dialing down your expectations. Remember that no one is perfect and that the dish-washing has been completed with no sweat on your part.
5. Get outside help
If getting the household chore done week after week is draining your batteries and causing untold stress and marital friction, consider getting some help. If your children are old enough, you can include them in age-appropriate chores, tap on available relatives or even get hired help.