The Domestic Man: What You Should Be Doing Around the House
In today’s society, it’s more likely that both you and your partner are in the workforce with advancing careers and demanding schedules. This means that the housework has to be split up to be conquered. It can be a challenge to find time to tackle household chores, but it’s important that you do. These tips will help you and your significant other balance household duties.
1. Gender roles no more
It used to be that certain tasks fell to each gender in the house. Men maintained the outside of the house (lawn, cars, and house maintenance) and women maintained the inside (laundry, cooking, and cleaning). However this isn’t the 1950s (or even the ’80s), so that paradigm has pretty much been shattered.
In order to keep the peace and get the chores done, it’s essential to divvy up the tasks so you both know who is going to do what. Nobody wants to have to do it all, and if your partner is working his or her butt off while you sit on the couch — or vice versa — it could cause resentment to build. Outline your chores clearly, so there’s no confusion.
2. No slacking
Once you have established who’s doing what, make sure you keep up your end of that bargain. If you are responsible for vacuuming once a week, don’t slack. Knock it out. One good pattern to establish is to try to get those chores done during the work week, so you can enjoy your weekend. Or get them done early Saturday morning, so you can enjoy college football in a fresh, clean house.
3. It’s a team sport, so involve the kids
Everyone who lives in the house should have a hand in maintaining its order. Assigning specific jobs to the kids is one way to help. Have them clean their own room to set a precedent that they need to clean up after themselves. Picking up toys, making their beds, and not leaving their clothes on the floor are easy things that your children should do for themselves.
As they grow up, give your kids some chores appropriate to their age and size. Are they big enough to take out the garbage? How about helping with dusting or cleaning bathrooms? By the time your child leaves your care, they should have an idea about how to maintain their own space, clean their own dishes, and wash their clothes.
Having your teenager cook diner for the family once a week is a great learning tool for when they venture out on their own. Plus, this will ease your burdens of trying to run a household and keeping up with your regular nine-to-five.
Surprise your partner once in a while by doing a task on his or her list. Knock out the laundry or mow the lawn — something he or she usually does. This will go a long way, especially during stressful times. This is better than buying flowers. But still buy flowers too. Hint, hint…
5. Become an expert
Find something that you can be great at, and take pride in that task. Maybe it’s cooking or being the grill master. I was the expert at putting the kids to sleep. No matter if they were upset, tired, crying, or cranky, I could calm them down and get them to sleep.
Simply remaining organized, generally knowing who does what, and keeping up your end of the bargain makes the household run like a well-oiled machine. The benefits will far outweigh the effort, and no one likes to live in filth.