I asked my husband a couple weeks ago about some topics he thought I should write about here on my blog and the first idea he came up with was this one: the division of household duties for couples. I immediately thought this is for sure a great topic of discussion for us gurls because more often than not it is perceived that household duties should fall on the female and that needs to change.
There’s always seems to be a power struggle in relationships due to misogynistic and “wifey” ideals. Let me elaborate, when I say misogynistic ideals, I’m talking about those men stuck in the old days that strongly believe that they can come home from work, kick back and relax, and their woman/wife serves them dinner while they watch TV and unwind. Meanwhile the wife is slaving trying to cook dinner, keep the house clean, all while taking care of the kids. Now when I say “wifey” ideals, I’m talking about those women who believe that by playing wifey, i.e. performing wifey duties such as cooking and cleaning, they will become a wife.
Now I’m not writing this to shade anyone out there who partake in either ideal. Hell, my husband is low-key misogynistic, however, he knows I am not the one to bow down to any man and tend to their needs before my own. So naturally, we have struggled trying to find a happy medium when it comes to household duties but best believe a happy medium had to be found because I’ll be damned if I’m waiting on a man hand a foot but I have to go to work everyday just like he goes to work everyday.
Ladies it is imperative that we hold our men to higher standards and insist that they help out more, because like Steve Harvey said, what you allow will continue.
Don’t get me wrong there has been a shift in society where more men are found to be taking on more household duties and there are even more stay-at-home-dads these days. However, for those of us who have two working adults within a household it does become difficult and stressful for household duties to be placed solely on the woman.
Let me break this down for you a little bit more so you can see the whole picture. I’m going to use my husband and I as an example: My husband is in the military so he typically works from 9-5 on weekdays, he is a wonderful father to our daughter, and an awesome provider by taking on the majority of our bills. However, I also work a 9-5 job everyday, I am a mother, grad student, blogger, and provider. If I was being completely honest, I’m juggling too many hats at once but the point is, no matter how many roles I take on I am still expected to be the one to cook, clean, and care for my daughter because I am a woman.
This thinking is so old fashioned and needs to cease to exist. Your significant other needs to be contributing to your household just as much as you do. Make them meet you halfway!
So how do you go about doing this you ask? Well, the first step would be to stop taking on more than you can handle. I’m not saying to stop pursuing your interests outside of the home. I’m saying if you feel like you are doing too much within the home with little to no help, and you have a partner, ASK FOR THEM TO HELP YOU OUT MORE! Now in order to get your significant other to respond correctly without getting defensive, I think it is important that you first ask, in order to keep the conversation from going left and make it seem like it’s their idea.
Once you both successfully agree that contributions to household duties should be made on both sides, you two should make a plan on how you will move forward with this new collaboration and STICK WITH IT!
For example, my husband refuses to do my daughters hair. He will send her to daycare looking crazy if I do not do her hair in the morning. So to meet him halfway and for my own sanity, I agreed to do her hair and take her to daycare in the mornings and he can pick her up in the afternoon. This way I’m holding myself accountable to plan enough time in the morning to get us both ready and we don’t have to play phone tag in the afternoon trying to figure out if one of us has picked her up already or not.
Now get this, my daughter is two and half and we just implemented this new strategy a couple of months ago. So be patient, some things you try to collaborate on will not work the first time around, but you have to keep working on it until you figure out a system that works. Do not give up because you literally cannot do it all and remain sane.
With the steady rise of working women and mothers, we need help taking care of the home and it should no longer be a responsibility solely pinned upon women to do such tasks.
So if you find yourself in a relationship, yet struggling to juggle all your hats and keep your house tidy, I challenge you to have a conversation with your significant other and ask them to help lighten your load in any way they can. It is not all on you to do everything!