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The Couple that Does Chores Together, Stays Together

clean together

On a recent episode of the sitcom “Raising Hope,” the married couple in the show clash over the division of their chores. They each make the other person do the chore they hate most, but by the end of the episode they’ve started doing those tasks together. They find that the jobs they hate most aren’t really so bad when they do them together.

It struck me just how true to life that is (which is a rare thing to find on television). If I really don’t want to do something around the house, I’ve found it’s a lot easier if I do it with my husband. I can think of a good recent example.

We’re currently putting down some hardwood floors in our house. One of the many necessary steps in this process is, once the carpet itself is torn up, to pull up the staples left behind in the sub-floor. This is usually my job, because Jonathan knows how to use the power tools necessary for later steps better than I do.

Pulling up the staples isn’t that hard (unless they’re rusted into the floor, a problem we had in one of our rooms) and it’s not even terribly time consuming, but it’s tedious. I often find myself doing it in bursts – half an hour of work on it here, another half an hour of work there.

One day I worked on the staples at the same time Jon was doing something else in the room. I found myself kind of having fun. Then Jon had to leave the room for a while, and it’s like time ground to a halt. Once he returned, it sped up again.

Jonathan and I weren’t even necessarily speaking to each other the whole time. So it’s amazing how just his presence made time go by so much more quickly. I did more in that day than I’d done any other day.

A lot of the time I let Jon do a chore around the house if I don’t feel like it. This is fair because overall I do more regular chores than he does, just because I’m around most of the day to get them done. Lately I’ve been thinking that perhaps I ought to join him when he does some of his work, if there’s anything for me to do as well.

I don’t know why I didn’t clue into the joint project idea sooner. Sometimes Jon and I sweep up the floors together (I use the broom and he follows behind me disposing of the debris) and we often cook our dinner and clean up afterward together. The work always goes more quickly when we do these things, and I really enjoy the times that we cook and clean in the kitchen together.

I know that once we have children it just might not be possible to do these chores together, at least while the kids are younger and need constant attention. But actually doing chores together is a great way for busy couples to spend time together – after all, these tasks need to be done. Who knows, you might even find yourself having fun doing a tedious chore, just like I did.

Related Articles:

Breaking Big Tasks Down Into Smaller Ones

When to Ask the Big Questions

Worrying Too Much

Supporting Your Spouse

*(The above image by scottchan is from freedigitalphotos.net).