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Sharing household chores

Cleaning, washing, scrubbing, changing diapers, washing dishes, cooking… there are many things that need to be done around the house. How can we split them equally?

Household chores are the second cause of disagreements in a couple, after money. We must admit that, with a family, there is a lot that needs to be done, from diapers to taking out the trash, scrubbing the bath and tidying the playroom that is worth a good three or four hours of cleaning after the kids have played in it. How can we share these chores more equitably between two persons who would definitely prefer to do something else after work?

Sharing

We asked our Facebook fans how they were doing in that department, and we found out that most women still do everything around the house. Of course, it is nonsense to leave things that way now that women are working too. You must find a solution that will be fair for everyone in order to avoid building up frustrations that will harm your couple sooner than later.

There are several possibilities and, of course, getting along well is more important than all of these household questions, but if you feel like you are doing too much, talk to your boyfriend about it and make sure that everyone helps around the house, because it is legitimate. Of course, if you intend to tell the father of your child that he never washed a single plate in over five years, you must be ready to hear about your pile of clothes that has been right by your bed since you’ve met. If you are looking for a solution, start the conversation in a Zen state of mind.

Furthermore, try not to be too rigid. If you change over time, your tastes change too so a chore that used to drive you nuts could very well seem easy enough a few months later. Other factors like buying a dishwasher could turn things around eventually and make your life easier over time. Once everything is settled for a first time, you can let things evolve naturally.

Plan ahead

To share chores equitably, you first have to know what needs to be done. Draw a list of everything that has to be done in a week, in each room and even outside of the house. Once it is done, look through the list with your husband and children and let everyone choose things that they don’t mind doing. Then, you can share the rest equally, according to the difficulty and length of each task. For example, you can cook if he washes the dishes; go shopping if he takes the kids to the arena on Saturday mornings, etc.

Other factors must also be considered if you have very young children. Who will get up at night to feed your baby? Who will change diapers, give baths, keep track of your finances, get the car fixed, drive your children to the daycare and back and who will drive everyone to the soccer games outside of town?

Chores sharing can go even further than that. Some women told us that they had to give birth so they asked their husband to have a vasectomy in exchange. That way, they are in charge of giving birth while the men in their lives take care of the contraception.

These compromises will vary from one couple to another, of course, and they will depend on your specific needs but in any case, it is important to find a common ground, not just for the sake of fairness, but because you should not take everything on your shoulders and tire yourself out just to avoid this conversation.

By Anne Costisella

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