November 16, 2009

Divide The Labor

Keeping a household running smoothly and with a minimum of stress involves management and cooperation. Even so, stress crops up over household matters, and no matter what how small the issues, perspective can be hard to maintain when the irritations are staring you in the face every time that you come home. It's worth some creative action to keep theses small matters in their place.

For example, when couples divide up their household labor in the early days of living together, they may decide who does what based on the traditions of their parents households or according to perceived individual preferences and strenghts. Often, however, these early decisions leave something to be desired. Perceived strengths turn out to be not so strong, preferences change, and the parental model doesn't apply by virtue of a different era, different personalities, and a different style of life. Stress develops.

Stress can also grow out of the simple human need for variety and revitalization. Household chores can be remarkably unrewarding.

Clothes are no sooner laundered than they are back in the hamper. The day after a good dusting, surfaces look fuzzy again. There's no keeping the kitchen sink free of dirty dishes.

Something as simple as periodically trading off household jobs can have a remarkably positive effect. It offsets boredom, brings a fresh eye to various chores, and gives each partner a greater appreciation for what the other does. You may create some fresh energy, as well, if you turn a solo job into a team effort from time to time. In addition to cutting the labor in half, you gain the pleasure of being together.
Maybe most invigoration of all-not to mention most loving-consider giving one another periodic vacations. One partner may agree to carry the whole load for a week. Or partners my decided that some part of the household work can go without attention for a little while. Better yet, if resources allow, a couple may want to hire someone to do what they usually manage themselves.

Whatever your solutions, keep household business out to the stress zone by giving it some creative attention. It's not worth fighting about it.---Richard Carlson


Favoured Girl said...

Yeah.. household chores.. tell me about it. It seems to be a never-ending cycle of cooking, dishes, laundry, and did I mention dishes. lol
I like the tips you've raised and hubby and I take turns to do some chores. It makes me really grateful when I discover hubby has done my chores and he's also grateful when I help him out with his.

Lady A said...

@Favoured Girl, hey there! Lovely pic. It is a never ending cycle of cooking, lol. I can deal with the dishes, but not the laundry, OMG!!!!!!! I'm glad your hubby helps out. So does mines which plays a huge part in my sanity. Cheers to husbands that do chores!