The role of what it means to be a mother, parent, and worker is evolving. The new modern American family is learning that we need to juggle work and family in order to survive. It is now becoming much more politically correct to have more-involved fathers and also less-overburdened mothers in parenting and household efforts.
So as working mom numbers continue to increase it will only be a matter of time before all working people will be equally responsible for both income generation and household chores. This is wonderful news! Proud Working Moms, let's begin paving the way. We must teach our companions what it means to be a real partner.
List your responsibilities: A good first step is to keep a one-week log of everything you do around the house and for your family. Have your partner do the same. Then compare your lists.
How do you each feel about the items on your list?Do you feel you operate from a partnership position? Are there things that jump out at you that could be more evenly shared? Is there any task you intensely dislike? Is there anything your partner is doing that you could take on?
This exercise can be eye-opening. Don't be surprised if your list is very long and your companion's is not. You are not alone in this, but you can change. By taking a look at what is really happening now, you are taking one step closer to a true partnership.
Divide and conquer: How many of us have watched television images of an inept dad who can't change a diaper, open a jar of baby food, or start a load of laundry? It is not the 1950's anymore. Expecting a real partner means you expect them to help out with all things evenly.
Unfortunately, major advertisers continue to launch campaigns imposing the stereotype of a stupid dad who is clueless in the home and a mother who seems to really enjoy cleaning while wearing heels. I don't, do you?
We know there are a ton of dads who fit this "dumber than a box of rocks" stereotype. Just don't let it be your partner. Here are a few examples of things you could divide and conquer. Think about these and the many others tasks you could get your companion to help with:
Laundry: One parent does whites and the other does darks. Or, one parent does the washing and folding, the other puts away (my least favorite part).
Bill-paying: One manages the day-to-day stuff (credit cards, monthly bills), while the other keeps on top of long-term finances (college funds, retirement accounts).
Groceries: Keep a list on the refrigerator so that the parent who stops by the store can get everything at once. Or, if you've already mastered technology, use OneNote or Evernote, which are tools that allow you to keep notes on your phone. Make a page listed as "stuff to buy" and sync it with your partner. On the way home, whoever is closest is the one who hits the store.
House and vehicle upkeep: One parent keeps the house working (air conditioner, heater, major appliances) while the other is in charge of the cars.
Pet Stuff: One parent does the feeding, another does the scooping and walking.
Cleaning: One parent is the duster and sweeper, the other vacuums and tackles bathrooms.
Nighttime stuff: One parent takes control of dish duty, the other takes up the bedtime story, bath, and laying out tomorrow's outfits.
Cooking: Assign meal preparation to the parent who is home at dinnertime, and trade off preparation meals when you're both around.
Taking out the trash: On trash night (assuming you have weekly curbside pickup), the parent who is not putting the last child to bed gathers and hauls the trash outside.
General house tidy: In the evenings, whoever is not on nighttime duty can work on straightening the home for the next day.
Arranging health appointments for children: Make one parent the doctor coordinator and the other parent the dentist coordinator.
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Samantha Knowles is the author of Working Mom Reviews. Have an inside look at the male brain and know what they want in a relationship. See He Is Not That Complicated. Learn about eliminating the problems related to hypothyroidism, visit Hypothyroidism Revolution
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