Updated: Apr 13, 2019
In a short story: It's a teamwork thing not a "what's fair" thing.
Playing fair when it comes to chores relates more to circumstance and having a little self-awareness.
Longer short story:
There may be night during the week where myself (or Lucas) may not be home until much later and there are things to be done. The expectation would be that the spouse at home would take the time to clean up the house a bit, do the dishes, take out the trash. If we divided the chores so it was fair and it was my job to do dishes and trash, it probably wouldn't get done that night, and now we're both living with an overflowing sink and stinky garbage, and I get to look forward to it when I get home from work the next day.
Now, you may think: If Lucas is gone later three nights a week, I'm going to end up doing most of the chores. That may be true, but I'm the one available and able to do it and we're a team so that's a sacrifice I'll make. Now not all the responsibility has to fall on me. I'm talking about doing the basic minimum during the week to keep our home in an orderly fashion and saving all that deep bathroom scrubbing to conquer together (not leaving it to Lucas because I did more cleaning than him this week, but together).
That's the scenario where circumstance is a deciding factor. Now consider a scenario where having self-awareness takes place. For instance. I've had a terribly long day at work. Something has frustrated me. I pick up a needy baby from daycare which is not improving my mood. All I want to do is go home, put baby down for a nap, sit and watch one of my shows. Lucas could come home, notice our messy home, dishes aren't done, and supper isn't started. He could think I'm a lazy pile for just sitting on the couch (and justify it as a reason for him to join me) or I could tell him about my bad day, and take it upon himself to get supper started and let me decompress a bit. I just hope you're as lucky to have a husband as awesome as mine.
All this to say. We don't divide the chores so it's fair. We work together. As a team. It's like the old marriage adage of what was once mine, becomes ours. We share our belongings, we share our income, why wouldn't we share the chores?
We live in an era where the traditional expectation of household responsibilities, even life expectations, is being redefined. It seems like the idea of roles and responsibilities are forever changing.
We can do what we want, become who want, and if we don’t want to do it, we don’t. For the sake of this post, I will be discussing my viewpoint on household responsibilities, whose responsible for them and how to still love one another at the end of the day.
To see my perspective is to first understand my ideology on what makes a relationship work. When Kate and I got married and started living together, we had many questions and discussed on who was going to do what, be responsible for it and how to co-exist together under one roof. We found, and are still working on, that in order to make this work is to communicate and listen, show compassion, empathy, integrity, respect, love and ultimately pray for guidance.
Living together is more than just trading duties and taking turns, it’s about being intentional with each word and discussions made. It’s about recognizing each other strengths and praising each other about them. Also, even more so, knowing each other’s shortcomings, not to point them out but to be able build and support each other. With this direction, I am able to have an attitude of servitude to Katelyn and same for her to me.
If we have time we look at our daily tasks and talk about what our goals that need to be done around the house and make a list of “to-do”. Often times we find doing our chores together, having a cleaning date and at the end we recognize by saying “thank you” and showing appreciation for the areas each of us cleaned. When there are times where we aren’t privileged to clean together, and there are random dishes piled, bedroom that needs to be picked up, living needing adjusting, I go to the servitude attitude. I say to myself because I love my wife, “This needs to get done and if I do this, she will appreciate the effort and it’s not left for her to do so and I know she would do the same for me”.
So when it comes down to who is responsible for household chores, it’s both equally but if you have a servitude attitude and do it with love, it won’t feel like chores but rather than healthy marriage.