Did you know that more than 80% of couples fight about housework?
That’s according to a survey conducted last year that also found respondents were spending up to 13 hours a week on housework!
And while it was an American study, it hits pretty close to home, especially for couples spending more time under one roof thanks to Coronavirus.
How to Stop Fighting over Housework
That list of chores alone won’t cause a relationship to fall apart but unequal division of housework and criticism about the quality of work could be an indicator of a difference in values or lack of respect.
So, before you start bickering over whose turn it is to take the bins out, check out our tips below to help you resolve your cleaning conflicts.
1Draw the Battle Lines
Have a discussion (preferably when the kids, if any, have gone to sleep and not in the middle of an argument) about what chores are a ‘must do’ for each of you.
Prioritise what chores need to be completed first when either of you have a moment to clean. Folding that pile of laundry might be important to you while your partner may recoil at the sight of dirty dishes in the sink. Both jobs are equally important.
It’s crucial to discuss how often you each think chores should be done – you’d be amazed how much this can differ between two people!
Where you can, assign jobs that each of you don’t mind doing. For example, I enjoy cooking so my husband is happy to fold laundry while I’m preparing dinner. Arduous tasks like cleaning the bathroom should be shared.
If you really want to get organised, you can download a range of chore charts online.
2Negotiate, then Re-negotiate
Life is full of changes so you may need to adapt your housework strategy as needed. When career changes, moves between homes or kids occur, you’ll need to reassess. Someone may have to take on more of the housework or your chore priorities may change.
Reviewing your chore chart and asking the same questions from tip #1 when your situation changes may prevent future arguments.
3Don’t Forget to Outsource
Staying on top of household chores is tough, particularly when leading busy lives. Outsourcing housework is a great way to reclaim your weekend and spend more quality time together.
Instead of spending money on material items, outsource your chores to buy yourself a little extra leisure time. These are five questions you might like to consider before bringing in a house cleaner.
Smaller tasks can be handled through websites like Airtasker, where you can hire someone to do a range of tasks for a fee.
If the kids are old enough, get them involved in chores around the home. It may take time and patience but enlisting their help (for a little pocket money as a sweetener) will certainly make life easier in the long run. Here’s just some of the jobs the kids can start helping with at home.
4Remember to Be Kind
With so many of us spending so much time on the housework, it’s no wonder it can become a point of contention between many couples.
These are a few ways to keep the peace.
- Do your best not to nit-pick how your partner does a certain chore.
- Be constructive and kind if you want to bring up their poor form. Don’t be critical of what their housework priorities are.
- Play fair and do your share to ensure a happy and clean household.