Are you feeling like you are doing more than your fair share of work in the home and you are pleading for a break? Been there, done that! Everyone else is slothing-out practicing their part in the Big Couch Potato contest while you’re slaving away in the kitchen, vacuuming under their feet and getting grunts in return when you ask a question. It’s time to be Superwoman or Superman and break the shackles of servitude. It’s good to serve others, but not so cool to be the only one doing most things in the home.
Men, have the days of Deep South male machoism gone? Most of you will be awesome husbands and dads. Do you know what your wife wants to hear besides ‘I love you’? It’s, “Darling is there anything I can do to help you at the moment?” Better still, is seeing what needs to be done and just doing it. Or ladies, is your husband carrying an unfair load? The days of ‘woman’s work’ and ‘men’s work’ are long gone. I guess that’s why I’ve been married (to the same person) 46 years. I learned the lesson long ago!
It pays to let go rather than let rip. Allow and encourage your spouse to do things around the home to help you out. If both of you have careers, then the tasks around the home and property need to be shared equally. I know, since that was our case most of my married life.
Then kids enter the equation. From about the age of 18 months to 2 years old children can start doing chores. For example, after explaining what you want them to do when they have finished playing with their toys, kneel down and say, “Now Mommy/Daddy is going to help you put away your toys. Come on, let’s do it.” After a few times of training your child to do this task, and giving ‘good job’ messages, you tell them that from here on it will be their job to do this on their own. It can be like that for most chores. Pre-school children can make their beds themselves if they are trained to do it. Three to four-year-old kids can be taught to tie up their shoe laces. School-age children can vacuum part of the house. All children can be trained to keep their bedrooms tidy. Then there are cooking and laundry tasks you can teach them.
Now, by training your children to develop these life-skills you are sharing the load even further and fitting them for the real world. Children can do tasks far and above what we think they can do. We just need to raise our expectations, but at the same time be realistic. You will be thanked later on when your kids leave home and can satisfactorily cope with adult life. Their spouses in the future will honor you, too.
I know many of you are already doing what I have written above and I want to say, “Well done!” Enjoy this week with your family and implement, in increments, some of the ‘amazing wisdom’ above. Ha!
Written by Brian Burgess, School Counselor, PPE, Nashville TN. (These are just my opinions, not those of PPE)