Tips for sharing household chores with your partner.
Since I was a child, my mother taught my brother and me that housework was not the job of a specific sex. That both men and women can perform the same tasks without changing our personality or social situation. That was how she got us used to having shared responsibilities and helping her with the chores. He washed the dishes one day and I swept, the next day it was the other way around.
This left me a great lesson that I brought to my family when I got married. Although the beginning was difficult, since in each home the customs are different and living in Mexico where a patriarchal culture is lived and it is usual, generally, for women to serve men almost in everything, it was like having everything against it. For this reason, if someone wants to share household responsibilities with their partner, I share these tips based on my own experience, hoping they can put them into practice:
1. Start with a friendly chat.
The first thing we did was talk and reach an agreement, since we began the relationship we shared what we wanted for the future family, making it clear to support each other with the maintenance of the home. Many times we think that expressing our opinions on this subject is a waste of time, because many times we do not reach the agreement we want, but the simple fact of expressing our feelings with a lot of respect and common sense makes our partner focus on the things that we we consider important. The important thing in this part is the conversation, knowing the position of the other in this regard. The agreement can come later.
2. Delegate small responsibilities.
If our spouse is reluctant during the conversation, starting by asking for small favors is a good way to include him in the chores. Asking them to please take out the garbage that day, or to pick up their plate from the table, put in a washing machine, ordered as something special just once, can open the door to future more meaningful collaborations. Remember to ask for small things, if we start with washing the bathroom, it will surely take longer to achieve our goal. A better idea is to ask for a new toilet paper to be put in or take the papers out of the trash can. Little by little we can regulate the level of difficulty of the task, until we gain the necessary support. This stage can take a long time, but it is always better to have a little help than to have none. Always appreciates favors, praises the task done even if it was done in a bad temper.
3. Establish a chart of responsibilities.
When enough confidence is gained, we can begin to establish schedules or charts of responsibilities. These consist of writing on a sheet of paper a table with what each one has to do. The day and time can be included, but if this has been done with a lot of work, it is best to leave freedom for when the other person wants to do the activities. It is important that husband and wife are present and even that each write what their tasks will be, so that they do not feel the imposition of the other. You can advise on what to write, but without getting to the discussion. At the end, it can even be signed and placed in a visible place in the house for both of you, such as the refrigerator or the mirror.
4. Receive awards.
When reaching a pact for help at home, it is best to receive rewards for what has been done, especially when at first there was not much agreement. Since the awards motivate young and old to continue with what has been undertaken. Set a goal for how long to complete tasks. For example, a month or two weeks, if at the end of the period both fulfilled their responsibilities, they can reward each other with a movie night, a favorite dessert, a romantic dinner in a restaurant or a week off for either of them. What you earn does not have to be exclusively money or something expensive. Find ways to reward yourself without spending too much but with great satisfaction and motivation for both of you.