Doing All the Chores?
You know how you start thinking you're doing the bulk of the chores? Or that you're stuck with way too many on top of your exhausting paid job?
You are not alone. Most wives feel this way. And so do most husbands.
How can this be? Surely one of us is trying to put something over on the other. Surely one of us needs to pick up the pace a bit and relieve our mate, no?
Not really. Even paying attention to who is doing how much is exhausting. It riles the stomach, kills the libido. And for what? Has it ever changed who does what for more than a couple weeks?
We all measure what we do against our own list of what needs doing. If we hate potato chips on sofas, cleaning them is on our list. If we cringe at what old oil can do to an engine, changing the oil goes on the list. If something smells bad to us, removing it is on our list. And then, to our complete dismay, the things we take care of comprise well more than half the list!
We assume that lazy bones who shares our home should be doing all of the rest and then some. How can we feel cared for or respected if they don't?
But our spouse has a different list. If chips on the sofa make no difference, removing them is just not on our list. If that is what our spouse is doing while we change the oil, we are obviously working harder. And it feels this way even if we are sitting in the waiting room while someone else changes the oil, even if those are our potato chips on the sofa. It feels this way because what we are doing is a chore and it is on our list of must-do chores, the list we always do more than half of.
And if we work in a place where the boss frowns on napping during work hours, how can we not feel this work is harder than work at home, where it is obviously possible to nap as needed? If we work at home, where it never seems possible to get things done if we stop to nap, even if we could get the kids to sleep when we're tired, we imagine that this work is much harder than work that allows for coffee breaks or lunches with friends.
If you get stuck with all the chores, change the list. Take it off your list. Your efforts to put it on your spouse's list will never succeed until everything else on your spouse's list is getting done, and that is never going to happen.
Take it off your list so you can enjoy your marriage. Eat your meals off paper plates and you can take dish-washing off the list. Move your TV into the kitchen and the chips will get swept up with the rice and peas instead of landing on the sofa. Leave the oil in an extra three weeks and see if it really matters, or if you can free up the time for one of your annual oil changes.
Or try an easier way so you can enjoy your marriage. Ask for a week of telecommuting. See if it really is possible to do more in the same amount of time at home and squeeze in a nap. If you work at home, make a daily lunch date at the local sandwich shop for every day next week and see if it makes your work feel any easier to do.
Your list is your list. You have complete control over it. Why leave any item on there that causes you to feel resentful instead of wildly in love?