My husband and I try to run our house like a well oiled machine. We believe that all of our children (regardless of age) have a part in maintaining the house. And if they do their part, then everyone’s life is much easier. To help make everyone accountable, we’ve implemented a chore checklist for everyone from the smallest child (two years old) to the oldest child (twelve years old) . While we have small ‘hiccups’ when the kids have selective memory and don’t do what they’ve been instructed to do, for the most part our house runs smoothly . When the kids don’t do their chores, we usually will punish them or withhold something they want until the chores are done. However what happens if your spouse doesn’t do their chores?
Let me give you an example.
I came home the other day and noticed that our trash can was not pulled to the curb to be picked up my the sanitation company. As I looked I noticed EVERYONE else’s trashcan was empty. I prayed that this just meant that my husband had already pulled it back to the back of the house. You see, this may not seem like a big deal but if the trash is not taken out, we will have a stuffed trash can for the upcoming week. With a family of five, things can get piled up really quick. As I entered the house, I was tempted to start ‘fussing’ but I stopped to look out back into the backyard to hopefully see a trashcan that was miraculously empty. I was wrong. Not only was the trashcan unmoved, but there was still a week’s worth of trash in it. I literally shook my head. Sensing something was wrong, my husband looked outside and I could see it in his face- he had forgotten to pull the trash out.
Before I have you guys thinking it’s only my husband who forgets chores, let me say I’m also guilty of not doing my chores. Sometimes I forget to do the laundry, go to the grocery store or even to schedule a doctor’s appointment for the kids. Whenever a little chore goes undone life is made harder for everyone.
But what happens when you don’t do chores for your relationship? What’s the end result- an overflowing trashcan or an unhappy spouse?
You see, while these chores for the house are minor violations, the real chores are the ones that keep marital relationships stronger physically and emotionally. Just like we get mad at each other for not doing little things, we need to hold one another accountable for doing chores for our relationship. That’s right, chores are small duties that each spouse performs to keep our relationship healthy. Sensing that not doing ‘chores’ in the relationship was harming us, we devised a chore chart for our relationship. It’s full of small things that keeps our relationship ‘house’ running smoothly. Our tasks range from who’s responsible for planning dates to who gets a ‘mandated’ day off from kid responsibilities.
It’s been about 6 months sense we implemented this chart and already we’ve noticed the benefits of using this to keep our relationship house secure. No longer do I have to plan all the dates because my husband claims he doesn’t know what I would like to do. My husband no longer feels the pressure to always pull the trash can to the front of the house- especially if he’s tired from work or completely forgets.
In the end, just like we ‘stay on’ the kids about completing their chores, we have to stay on one another to make sure we are doing our chores. We are on the battleground of the war on chores by kids. While some days we win, other days we retreat to our room trying to regroup for the next day.
Now my BMWK family, do you guys give your spouse chores?