How To Get Your Husband To Help With Chores
One of the most common questions I get is "how do you get your husband to help with chores"
Playing To Your Skills
Here is what I’m gonna tell you. I definitely learned several years ago not to look at what he and I do in a tit for tat way.
He contributes a certain skill set to our partnership and I contribute a different skill set to our partnership.
I genuinely believe him when he says that he doesn't see the mess on the floor of our home, because when it comes to doing finances, it is truly like pulling teeth for me.
100% the most unhelpful thought is, "he should just know". Here's the truth, he is not mind reader and unless you tell him what you need help with, he will assume you are handling it.
Tending to our home is one of my skill sets. Managing our finances is his. (I have full access, but I am more than comfortable with him taking responsibility.) If he needs me to do something for our finances, he will have to clearly ask. I will not just know. I will assume that he has it under control until he tells me otherwise. The same ideas apply to him when it comes to household duties that are my responsibility.
Often when couples play to their skill sets, there is a bit of an imbalance because one person's to-do's are daily and the other person's are weekly/monthly.
And when you are a stay at home mom of babies, toddlers, and preschoolers (aka kids who are home with you all day) your to-do list can be next to impossible to accomplish.
So, during the younger years when my to-do list daily, was is triple the size of his and I would have to repeat tasks multiple times in a day because as soon as I did it, the kids undid it, during those years we developed a system.
I didn’t want to be his mom who was constantly telling him what tasks need to be done in the house.
Dole Out Responsibilities
We talked about specific tasks that I was struggling to keep up with and he could take responsibility of.
For us, that was dishes. Eric works from home so after dinner, he would do all the dishes and start the dishwasher. The next day, on his lunch hour, he would empty it.
He also took over the kids bedtime routine. He handles jammies, teeth brushing, reading books, and tucking them in. And I come in to pray and give them a kiss goodnight.
Since he had designated tasks, there is no "hey can you help me with this" conversation. We had that conversation once when we designated tasks to him and we don’t have to have it again because he knows those are the two things that I need help with when it comes to maintaining the house the rest I’ve got it.
The good men are willing to help they just need to know what you need them to do.
When You Need More Help
When the kids were little, there were days when time ticks backwards and nothing goes right. Those are the days when I had to speak up and tell him how my day was going.
I would say, "I didn’t get xyz done today. Can you help me finish it before we sit down and watch TV together"
And he either said "yes, let’s bust it out" or he said, "don’t worry about it you’ll get to another time let's just sit down and watch TV."
But regardless, we made sure that neither one of us sat down to relax until we were both ready to sit and relax. (Again this was a conversation that we had to have so that we set the precedent that neither rests until we both rest).
Until you have a conversation with your husband about what you need, it isn't fair to expect him to "just know". His expectations of what needs to be done and yours are different. It is okay to hold the home to your expectations, but you have to communicate what those expectations are. No one is a mind reader.
Each person brings a different skill set to the relationship. Rather than focus on who had a longer to-do list focus on working to your strengths.
Designate a specific task or two you need help with and have him take ownership of it vs expecting him to figure out where you need help each day.
On the crap days ask for help if you need more or agree together to rest and try again tomorrow.
The idea that communication is the key to a happy marriage. This is what they are talking about. Instead of viewing this as asking for help, view it as communicating about the workload in the home.
For topics like this, I so appreciate that you allow me to share what has worked in my marriage. At the moment Eric and I have been married for 10 years and together for 15. We have fought and learned that real relationships are not the romances that you see on tv. We love each other more than we did when we were 17, we genuinely want to spend our days together, and we are happier than we were 15 years ago. I know all relationships are different, this is what works for us, and I hope it is helpful for you too.