Home > It's that time of year... Chore Check-In

It's that time of year... Chore Check-In

August 14th, 2015 at 10:18 pm

When F was a baby, D and I each worked half time. So that meant that we worked 4 hours each (plus more in the evenings after F was asleep) and were each alone with her 4 hours a day. We often met for lunch as a family for what we called the "switcheroo."

Each year in August, we'd meet and discuss the schedule and rearrange as needed. Maybe she had her baby music class on a Tuesday morning and I wanted to go to that, so I was with her on Tuesday morning. Maybe D had a standing meeting on Wednesday afternoon, so I was with her on Wednesday afternoons. We also talked about various chores and who did what; that got revised each year as well.

As she got older and was in school, our work hours increased. In the beginning, D picked her up from school some days and I picked her up others. We still did our chore check-in before the new school year started. We made a whole schedule, and now there were other things on the schedule like soccer (which she started at 4!).

Then D got a full-time job. I was scheduled for dropoff and pickup, which I love, so it's ok. D was tired after work, and I was home with F by 4 pm most days, so besides doing a little extra work while she did her homework, I would get her a snack, undo the lunch box, maybe empty the dishwasher...

Then D got full-time allergies. He couldn't really dust anymore. Vacuuming was out the question. He wasn't feeling well most weeks, so I took over cleaning the mirrors or the front of the fridge/oven/dishwasher.

After the job and allergies started (around the same time) we didn't do our annual chore check-in. Well - it's time to do it again (because I am starting to feel like I am a home-maker but with a full time job, plus D's allergies are a lot better after the shots).

Here is how we do it:
- list all of the household chores in 7 categories: daily, every other day, weekly, monthly, two or three times a year, annual, every so often. These are chopped up into smaller pieces. Like we don't just say "laundry" because maybe I will put them in the wash and take them out and hang them, but D can fold them or put them away.
- we each highlight which chores we're ok doing and which we have really high standards for so we need to do them ourselves.
- figure out what to do with what is left.

Maybe all of this comes naturally for some couples, but my fallback position is do everything and D's is hang out in the living room watching football (soccer).

We need to make sure we don't skip this really important annual check-in.

And here is the financial part of this: we don't have a house-cleaner or a personal assistant, or whatever else people have to make all of this work.

What do you do to divide up all of the various chores that go into running a household?

7 Responses to “It's that time of year... Chore Check-In”

  1. Butterscotch Says:

    I do it all. Everything for the baby- drop off and pick up from daycare, make his lunches, make his dinner, bathe him, put him to bed, grocery shop, laundry on and on and I work full time too. My husband makes more money than I do so it is like he works harder so he's somehow more tired in the morning and more tired after work so it all falls on me. And when my husband does watch the baby it is like he is helping me out or babysitting until I'm available again. So since I pretty much handle everything I have mentally checked out of the marriage and just focus on what I need to get done. It sucks. I wish I had someone who build a chore plan with, but that just won't happen.

    Sorry, I didn't mean to end up venting. I guess your post just hit home with me.

    I miss washing my hair.

  2. snafu Says:

    Our long standing routines daily/weekly/monthly/intermittent recently vanished. Some minimal items will be impossible with DH having a new medical issue identified at his annual physical earlier today but we will adjust. We've always worked as a team and included DSs with age appropriate chores. We've found basic 'protocols' efficient to form the foundation of keeping our home 'company ready' following the old saying 'A place for everything and everything in it's place.' It is presumed when you finish using an item, any item you take less than a minute to return it to it's 'place', ready for use again. , fresh linens in the kitchen, products in place in all the bthrms.

    Each member of the family is responsible for their stuff like clear your place at the table at the end of each meal. Children set table. We don't seek perfection, 'done is good enough' for repetitive household chores. DH likes to make basic salads and has his own 'zone' adjacent to fridge. He is our grill master/BBQ chef and has 5 specialties like spaghetti, roasted root vegetables, baked salmon and grilled cheese sandwich with canned tomato soup. I've always found it beneficial to make one meal and prep a second, two makes four meals with meatloaf/meatballs or salmon cakes with only one mess, roasted chicken packaged into 4 meals or chicken pieces baked/BBQ two ways, casseroles and an endless list of plan-overs. Frozen vegetables are cheap, fast, easy, no waste and supposedly equally nutritious.

    DH and I agree clothing is either folded, hung on hangers or in the white/light or dark hamper. Beds are made by the last person out of bed and ensuite bthrm is ready for your spouse as soon as you leave it. Yet another protocol is never ever bring the car home on 'fumes.' Fill-up before you turn in the drive-way, preferably on discount days at one of the lower priced outlets.

    I've temporarily engaged a college student to come in twice a week for 2-3 flex hrs. to meet her schedule to vacuum, dust and handle laundry paying slightly more per hour than she gets at the take-out place she works.

    likely more info than you

  3. snafu Says:

    Sorry as all too often my ridiculously expensive MacBook Air has dropped sentences...I wish I could throw it out the window

    I tried to say we follow the ETE [Elimnate the Evidence] protocol of many who stop whatever they had been doing about 30 minutes before bedtime while everyone in the household rushes around, putting items away, fluffing pillows, folding throws, adding to DW operating if full, fresh linen in the kitchen, productsin place in all bthrms. Some folks turn on a timer for 15 minutes to 'beat the clock.'

  4. Buendia Says:

    Oh, Butterscotch! My heart goes out to you! It is difficult, but I think it'll be a little easier when the baby is older... I am venting a little, too... I make more $ than my husband, but I also do pretty much all of the housework. So it's not about the money. I think there is a discussion that working moms need to have with their husbands so that we can keep our sanity and keep our marriages harmonious. I seriously believe you can make a chore plan now! We let it go for a year or two and shouldn't have...

  5. VS_ozgirl Says:

    It is so hard and it's pretty much the battle of the majority of marriages world wide.. But when one partner does so much more than the other there's no real energy to put into enjoying your married life, and before you know it men lose their wives and gain a maid, and women lose their husbands and gain an overgrown child.. Which to me is really sad.. Husbands and wives should be a team.. I do more housework than my husband but because he's home earlier he cooks dinner every night. To me, because I am so tired when I get home I just really appreciate that, it's worth a lot to me.

  6. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    The state of my home is all on me, and I would bet that if NE and I get married someday, that isn't going to change much. He tolerates a lot more mess than I do (and I'm nowhere near a neat Nelly.)

    Our plan to make it workable is that he can have an area (hopefully a basement ... way out of the way of potential visitors) to keep however he wants. Do all his projects, cutting of styrofoam for packaging speakers, etc. (One of our major arguments (when I was staying at his place) happened when I had just cleaned the kitchen and vacuumed the living room of his apartment ... then not ten minutes after he got home he was cutting styrofoam ... in the kitchen... which of course spreads ALL over the place.) The other areas would be declared a clutter free zone. No stereo/speaker/magazine boxes. No boxes of spare parts. No dirty dishes left everywhere. No oodles of empty aquariums. All that will be confined to his space. If that happens, and he takes the trash out once a week - I can deal with the rest and be happy. Although we may have to come up with guidelines for the kitchen as well ... perhaps ... whomever makes the spill on the stove wipes it up *before* it sets (especially when said stove is spotlessly clean before the spill ...)

  7. Buendia Says:

    That sounds workable! This seems to be a pretty common issue, doesn't it? I made my list of chores and was careful to put on everything I can think of that D does - like breaking down cardboard shipping boxes and taking care of IT issues. I'm sure he does things I don't think about as well that he'll add. Then we can sit down and evaluate when F is at a friend's house tomorrow. I will let you know how it goes!

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