Big confession, well maybe not so big, because anyone who knows me up close and personal knows this. I abhor housework I really do. I know of people who find housework and cleaning relaxing, I don’t, I find it tedious. One of the reasons I wrote this series is because I want people who may be wandering what it’s like to be in an interracial marriage, whether it is different, do we have marital issues involving race, and stuff like that to that we are normal couples. Yes, we have a regular marriage and other than ‘the incident’ which occurred the other day and only represents about .01% of our marriage, it’s a regular marriage with regular issues.
So how do you divide household chores, do you just go for the standard man’s work, woman’s work? Do you try to figure out who likes doing what? Do you go household work halfsies?
Well, the best and most obvious answer is do what works for you. Although that’s a good diplomatic answer real life sometimes present us with other challenges. With more and more couples both parties are now working and when two tired folks come home dividing up household chores can be difficult. Now you’d think as a housewife I’d have some kind jones for cleaning or feel it is something I must do because I stay home. No such luck, I don’t feel guilty if I don’t play Hazel the maid everyday. There are a lot of things I do during the day besides sitting home, I take care of household business mine and his, I attend a lot of doctor’s appointments as well as just take care of myself. I do housework on occasion to be honest but since there’s only two of us in the household it’s not really taxing. The most I do for my husband is pick up his dirty clothes & toss them in the laundry for him to wash. I don’t wash his clothes because I don’t wash anyone else’s clothes with my own. Habit forged in childhood. If he has clothes to wash and maybe I have a smaller load, I’ll use his as a filler. I don’t do dishes but we have a dishwasher, thank goodness. He does the trash, I change the bags. We switch up on who vacuums, I usually do it because it’s easier with him out of the way. I clean the bathroom because for some odd reason I like doing that in the middle of the night. We both cook, I like to cook and he likes to cook. Don’t tell him I told you this but I think he’s the better cook. I really do try my best to cook during the week, I know he’s been working hard, or at least order in for us on the days I’m not feeling my best. If we ever get a house, he’ll be doing the mowing. We have had some minor disagreements about housework. But we’ve resolved them. What my husband is really good at is fixing things and putting things together, he is an engineer. The best thing about when he fixes or puts stuff together is he never does a half-ass job he wants perfection and it’s always done well.
So how do you decide in today’s modern couples who does what? If you both work, I’d say be equal and watch out if you start to feel resentful towards your partner regarding housework. I don’t think that resentment always comes because people feel like they may be doing more but because what they do isn’t appreciated. A ‘thank you’ to your partner for what they do around the house can go a long way. My husband and I are people who both give thanks to each other freely. Housework can be diffucult and even if your wife stays home and has time for housework, thank her. I thank my husband for going to work, tell him how proud I am of him all the time. He thanks me for all I do taking care of our family and home. A little appreciation goes a long way. Do some things together, surprisingly some housework chores can be a good time to talk and connect after a long day. Cooking together or washing dishes together can great time to create intimacy. There are times when my husband and I cook together and it’s fun and brings us closer. You can use yard work as a time for connection, messing around the garden can be a good time for that. So in all the work you do around the house, you may find that housework doesn’t have to be a divider it can bring couples together. Also do the parts of housework you enjoy, the part you do well. My husband is great at the handy stuff and I enjoy cleaning the bathroom, who knew, but doing the part you enjoy certainly takes stuff off the list. When he cooks, I load the dishwasher and put the food away, when I cook we switch. Be flexible about chores, makes things easier also lets your partner know you’re not taking them for granted. So work out your housework and don’t forget to show each other appreciation for what you do around your home, it will certainly make it happier and cleaner.