Saturday, January 14, 2012

Chores, Chores, Chores.....

So, we thought that we'd take this one and run with it.

Chores are one of the most difficult parts to divide up within a household. With roommates, it is honestly really straightforward. You are all living together and you divide up chores equally. Different groups define what equally means and do it in different ways, but it starts with that basic premise. The chores are the only thing balanced in the scale of equality.

However, in a marriage it is no longer quite so simple. Yes, equally is part of the idea, but no longer are you simply roommates. Equal division of labor applies to everything, and chores are simply a part of the list of things that become part of the equal labor.

Part of what has made this a unique challenge for Court and I is that we have such different schedules and commitments. This is mostly because of the unique challenges created by combining a fairly typical work schedule with a fairly typical college schedule. During the semester, who has more time for chores and what chores should each of us do?

And, of course, that's the easy question. When Courtney has extra breaks that I don't have, then what does that do to chores? How does that shift responsibilities? It's a complicated question that has no simple answers.

Then, besides just dealing with the question of how to divide up the household chores equally, there is also an ingrained idea in all of us about who does what chores.

In some households, the mom is the one who typically goes to the grocery store (like my parents). For others, the dad is the one who typically goes to the grocery store (like Courtney's parents). So, who goes to the grocery store in our new family? The list of these sorts of things can go on and on. The important thing to remember is that you need to talk through all of these.

Who does different chores in your family? Does a particular parent clean the bathroom? Vacuum? Dust? How will those chores get broken up after you get married? Will you need to divide up all the chores because you both work? What responsibility is there if one works and one stays at home? How does having kids effect that? There are so many different life circumstances that you won't be able to address every possible occurrence. Just remember that chores are the responsibility of both people within a marriage. Dividing up the chores is not just a single event but can change depending on what's going on in life.


(For Court's, click here)

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