Hello, True Agape readers! I’m Brittney from Razorback Britt. I’m a city-girl wannabe living in the country with my husband, our baby girl and two dogs. My husband is a law enforcement officer, which makes for some interesting dinnertime stories. I’m bringing you some tips what we’ve recently employed in our marriage for splitting household tasks.
Our baby girl was born back in October, so we have a new dynamic at our house. There were things that had worked in the past, but all of that went out the window with a new family member, new routine, and new normal. However, we are settling into a routine and figuring out this new life together.
Whether you’re going through a change in your marriage, a newlywed trying to figure things out or just looking to create a new routine, here are 7 tips for splitting the household tasks.
1.Consider your schedules.
Anytime you’re trying to divide tasks it can be difficult. There’s an entire household to run and the list can feel endless. As you are choosing which tasks are best suited for which person, make sure you consider schedules. For example, I’m an early riser. I like to do things in the early morning quiet. My husband, on the other hand, gets up super early for first shift at the police department, and is usually almost running late. Anything that needs to be done first thing in the morning isn’t ideal for him. So make sure there’s a realistic time frame for both of you. My husband handles the trash. However, it needs to be set out by 7 a.m. on trash day. But instead of putting it out in the morning, he does it the night before. He also cleans all the baby bottles, but does them at nighttime. I just place them in the sink all day and he takes care of them before bed. For me, I will start laundry in the mornings and fold it after work while I cook dinner and he plays with our daughter. As you divide tasks, you have to talk about what is feasible for each of your schedules.
2.Each choose your favorite.
This one is easy. Sit down and talk about which tasks you actually enjoy. My husband likes to vacuum. I like cleaning the bathrooms (I turn on a podcast and listen to something interesting while I scrub!). So we both take those tasks. Doing something you enjoy is a great place to start!
3.Luck of the draw
This is our strategy when we have lots to do and not a ton of time (maybe before a holiday or party). We will write tasks on pieces of paper and literally draw for them. When you finish your task, you come get another until they are all gone.
4.Set a timer.
It’s a favorite at our house for before-bed tidying up. I will set a timer for 15 or 30 minutes, depending on the time we have, and we divide and conquer things during that time. Maybe he’s put off clearing his mail and bills off the table or hanging up his uniforms. Or maybe there’s a sink full of dishes for me to do. We split up, clean for the allotted time, and both feel accomplished afterwards. It’s a great way to feel like you’re working “equally” while doing very different tasks. It is also great for watching a show together and doing small tasks during commercial breaks. Instead of fast-forwarding the DVR, jump up during those few minutes for micro-tasks. Refill the toilet paper in the bathrooms. Wipe off the stove. Then return for the next part of the show.
5.Let it go.
If you have assigned a task to your partner, let them do it and let it go. If I ask my husband to organize the garage on his day off, I have to be happy that he did it, and not go behind him and re-do it. This can be tough if you’re a control freak like me! Maybe he doesn’t fold the towels the way you like, or maybe she doesn’t load the dishwasher how you think it should be loaded. At least it’s done. Say thank you and let it go.
6.Try to out-serve one another.
We heard this tidbit of advice at a friend’s wedding: Spend your days trying to out-serve one another. This comes into play around the house when I do things I think my husband “should” do. Maybe he left his socks and shoes by the recliner because he took them off after work quickly so he could tend to our daughter. I’ll pick them up – put the socks in the laundry room and the shoes by his uniforms as an act of service. Maybe he notices the coffee pot needs more water and refills it (even though he doesn’t drink coffee). When you have an attitude of service, it becomes easy, and dare I say fun, to take care of these little tasks for one another.
7.Talk about your one thing.
We all have that one thing that drives us CRAZY. For me, it’s trash on the counter tops. For my husband, it’s not moving the laundry to the dryer quickly (he hates that mildew-y smell that creeps in). Since we know these things are important, we make sure to take care of that one thing for each other. On a day when I’m frustrated, if I can look around and know at least he took care of that one thing, I can chill out a bit.
I hope these 7 tips help you and your partner to divide the household tasks and make life a little easier!