Sharing chores

by Philippe

How to share household chores evenly?

The answer to this question will probably determine how healthy (and happy) the relationship with your significant other will be.

Being a dad (living in the twenty-first century), I am happy to participate in all household chores so that there is not an unbalance in our daily lives. As a caveat, Anna and I both work as lawyers on a full-time basis (Louise goes to kindergarten). Our daily routines look a lot like marathons, often finishing late at night by working from home. There is no reason for one of us to do more than the other.

My answer is simple. Make a list with your partner.

Draw up two columns—each one with your name and responsibilities.

Take a good half-hour or more and think about what each of you does for the household.

Write it down. Transparency and fairness ensure that a sense of unfairness disappears in your daily life (isn’t the goal to set aside the chores as efficiently as possible so that downtime, when the little one is asleep, is enjoyed with a bottle of wine or other lively pleasures?). The goal is obviously to have a load that is equal in a way (not necessarily in quantity but in what matters for your household). For example, I take care of cleaning up every-night (dishes, taking the garbage out, mopping floors, or other) after dinner while Anna will bathe Louise during that time. We reconvene to put her to bed and then enjoy the rest of our evening if work does not get in the way.

As a result of that initiative, we each take care of our tasks without being told to do so. I also suggest revisiting the list every three months or so. There is always room for growth.

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