Ephesians 5:33 “But each one of you must love his wife as he loves himself, and a wife must respect her husband.”
Today we’re going to look at a common topic that stirs a lot of grief in many homes. Tasks and chores at home and who does more or that it should be 50/50. Which, by the way, I disagree with this idea. When a person starts looking at who does more than the other spouse the lines have been drawn and a battle is sure to follow. Each marriage is different and each home runs differently.
By the time I was twelve I started paying more attention to things around my home. I quickly figured out that my dad and brother took care of the garbage and work to be done outside, while my mother, sister and I cared for the home inside. So naturally I began to think that is how married life worked, men outside and women inside. I was wrong and later in life my mom helped me see things more clearly how things happened around her home that I couldn’t see as a child. We’ll get back to that.
To begin with my husband and I were raised very differently. When it came to trash chores it was another siblings job in his home and in mine my dad did it. When my siblings and I helped with dishes, cleaning and daily chores his mom waited until the family was asleep and did it all. A couple things were universal like my dad doing yard work and his dad did too and my husband enjoys being outside cleaning and creating. So how do you bring two different upbringings into one home and split the chores? Simple, you don’t because marriage is not 50/50.
For me, I got upset when I felt I was doing all “the work” around the home plus raising our kids while he just went to work. It stirred many arguments when I would talk “at” him about my feelings, my biggest pet peeve is the trash. It took time but I eventually realized some things that worked in our marriage. The trash was useless to just expect him to take care of it and now it goes out by whoever sees the need (still mostly me or my oldest). I am slightly OCD and a perfectionist, so I like my home being cleaned a certain way and I have a place for everything, so cleaning was just easier than someone else helping. It took me a very long time to let my children help with the laundry, filling the dishwasher, even letting them clean their own rooms without me. My kids even joke now, ‘Is it just cleaned or is it mom clean’. I also realized a long time ago that I was privileged enough to be a stay-at-home mom which allowed me to have my nights and days to do as I pleased while my husband had to go to work each day or night. For us it worked best for me to run the house while he earned the money. He still helps occasionally with cleaning but is faithful on taking care of our yard, vehicles, and any other maintenance that arises in the home. As for paying the bills, I take care of that only because I deal with our finances better and have a little more patience dealing with those pesky bill collectors. But before anything is paid we go over everything together and talk about what we can spend and not (another step that took some time to grow into). The kids are older now and I have recently taken on a job so now we all try to work together to take care of the chores. This has worked for our marriage, us both giving 100% in what we can.
Back to my mother. She once told me that she didn’t always take care of the home and neither did my dad. There were times she was working and my dad was in-between jobs so he would take on the role as homemaker doing chores, taking care of us and so forth and other times she would. They didn’t split the chores and never did the other spouse’s chores, they shared the chores and helped each other when needed. Sometimes the perentages were greater than the other and that was okay too because they both were giving 100% of what they could.
So, it’s not about the percentage and who does more and who doesn’t. A marriage cannot be built on the 50/50 rule. It’s about working together to make a home run smoothly. It’s about giving your best in where you can help. I’m not about to go change the brakes on my car as much as my husband is better off not taking care of the cooking (he can cook some good meals). I could attempt to help in the yard work and I do my own vegetable gardens but he enjoys it as I enjoy how I clean my home. There are things he helps with inside as I help with outside and there are chores he just does and chores I just do, but together we do pretty well in keeping our home functioning and inviting for friends and family to visit. And there are things we enjoy doing together like planting flowers or taking care of our chickens. And trust me as much as I am a perfectionist inside he is outside so it’s better we do our own chores. And we don’t clean our house daily, in fact it’s a little messier through the weekdays but we do like to keep things tidy looking and picked up and that takes 100% on all five of us living under our roof.
Discuss & Do
Have you been living by the 50/50 rule? What chores do you and your spouse enjoy the most and what are your pet peeves? What chores were yours growing up and who did what in that home? What would either of you like more help with around the home?
On your cleaning day or days step out of your comfort zone and try helping your spouse with a chore or two they do. Turn up some music and just have some fun together.
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