Sharing the Load Around the House
Article by | Tammy Whitehurst
Household workload. The great marital divide. Someone is always a slacker. Sometimes it’s the man and sometimes it’s the woman. For now, let’s look at it from the woman’s point of view.
The question always arises who should do this and who should do that. The problem is– that question can stir up all kinds of dish-throwing spats that are accompanied by crossed arms, pursed lips, dirty looks and silence that lingers for days.
Instead of domestic dudes, many of us are blessed with domestic duds.
If you really want your husband to work around the house laugh at his jokes. A cheerful heart does good like medicine. A man with a cheerful heart is more likely to help. Do not be tempted to go on the “must-be-nice-to-do-nothing-like-you ” bandwagon or the house will be anything but cheerful. That strategy will always backfire. Just do a few Lamaze breathing techniques and dig your fingernails into the sofa as you grin from ear to ear. If we keep a running mental tally of our tasks versus his, it will not lead to a harmonious family life.
Throw Away the Scorecard.
Most men fall into 3 categories. Most women do too, if we admit it.
The Big Kid — He never grew up. He is a big kid at heart. His mom tied his shoelaces, packed his lunch, and tucked him in at night. He expects his wife to do everything for him around the house and would be lost without her. He most likely entered the marriage with this mindset. He probably expects his wife to wake him up for work. If you have children, your husband will feel like an extra child. He loves it that way because life is one big happy playground.
The Perfectionist — He is of the mindset that it’s a woman’s job is to keep the house clean while he is bringing home the bacon. His thoughts on housework can be a little vintage old school. When he retires he will put all sixty spices in alphabetical order to be helpful. Women typically only use five so it is much harder to find those now.
The Worry Wart– He never relaxes and has a chill-out moment. He worries about his wife, his kids, a mouse in the house, and a caper stealing his morning paper if he doesn’t get it early enough.
Help is on its way. Even if the man of your dreams doesn’t fall into one of those three categories, watching him wrestle with the ironing board or wash dishes while he whistles can be just what the doctor ordered. If he vacuums the house you may just bust out into a full blown celebration.
Maybe your husband loves to grill. [Here is where we get a little sneaky.] Ask him if he’ll cook dinner on a specific night of the week.
Tell him how much you like to watch him flex his muscles when he cranks the lawnmower and I bet he will do it more often. There is something about a man and his “guns” (aka muscles) that makes him feel macho. Singing the lyrics to the song Macho Macho Man might help also.
So, why not do something unexpected today? I’m not suggesting anything that involves sharp edges, flammable liquids, high insurance premiums, property damage, or hurt feelings. Here are a few suggestions to make your man pull his weight?
- Exchange a household chore for a date.
- Tuck a love note in his pants pocket(or anywhere you know he’ll find it) letting him know how much you look forward to seeing him later that night. He’ll be breaking every traffic law to get home!
- Take an interest in his hobby. I realize being interested in it forever might be pushing it …a day is good. Often, men will encourage their wives to do what they like, if they encourage him to do what he likes.
Without good direction, people lose their way. The more wise counsel we follow, the better our chances to make it work. I have a feeling today is going to be a very good day. Go ahead and pull out the bottle of bubbles and blow them all over the house! No worries. Here’s to happy households!
Tammy Whitehurst, a Christian speaker, is the founder of Joy for the Journey Ministries. You can read more about her at tammywhitehurst.com or find her on facebook where she shares a daily devotional designed to kick life up a notch…or two. Her facebook page is JOY FOR THE JOURNEY