We live in a society where many women are doing their best to turn their men into clones of themselves. In the name of equality, roles have changed for the worst and gender balance has been lost. We vote yes to sharing responsibilities and house chores but we vote no to men being turned into housewives. The same way we love our female nature and  everything that comes with it, men love their male nature, too. They should always be there  as loyal husbands and devoted fathers, attentive boyfriends and caring, loving individuals.

When it comes to cleaning the house, the division of household chores has been lost within busy, fast lives, kids, responsibilities and overloaded schedules. Although, we don’t want our men being turned into full times cleaning ladies, we DO want them to help us around the house.

Here is how:

1. Make a list of what needs to be done

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Note down everything from children’s outdoor activities to laundry and emptying the trash. Identifying the exact chores will help your husband realize what constitutes household work. Make a weekly list and the name of the person in charge of that task, next to it. This way, you can both check who is doing what and what is still left to do.

2. Divide chores into easy, moderate and difficult.

Rate each task depending on how time consuming it is, how strenuous and how much often it needs to be done. Always bear in mind that men don’t have the same cleaning intuition that we have. Appoint your man fairly easy cleaning tasks to start with and see how it goes over time. We don’t want him to become a cleaning expert, we want him to help us out so we both have an easier life.

3. Ask him to help you.

You will be surprised at how many men are not even aware that we do need help. No, they are not ignorant, they are just…men. Unless you ask, you will never know of how much your husband can contribute to the household chores. You might want to set up weekly meeting with just the two of you, and maybe a bottle of wine. Sit down and discuss what needs to be done during the week. Specify who needs to do what and don’t’ forget to make it ‘fun’.

4.Tell your partner how much you appreciate what he is doing.

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Remind him that you already appreciate what he is doing and show him how much this has helped towards the smooth running of the house. Explain that all the things you are in charge off might be too much for you to take on and that you need a bit more help. Show him the list you have created of all the household chores so he can see for himself how much there is to be done daily. Also, make sure you underline how much his contribution would help you and the rest of the family and save you a lot of time that you could all be spending together.

5. Ask him to choose what he wants to help with.

Let him go through the list and decide for himself what tasks he feels more comfortable with doing. Avoid guiding him through how to complete the tasks the exact same way as you. Instead, explain how you do it and what has worked for you. Don’t expect your husband to clean the house to perfection like you do it. The most basic point to remember is that he IS helping and that all that matters.

6. It’s all about teamwork.

Once your husband starts helping you out a bit more round the house, he will realize how much better things are for all of all. You will feel less exhausted by the end of the day, you’ll both have more time for each other and your own things and also you will feel more appreciated and happier. Drop in the idea of setting a day and time during the week or weekend to do the household chores together. You could do the dishes while he dries them, he could hang out the clothes while you take them back down and fold them etc.

7. Be patient.

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Changes take time; old habits, also. Avoid keeping scores of what he has or hasn’t done but rather gently remind him of he agreed on. He has got used to doing all the household chores so far so it is hard to change that way of thinking now. You need to be patient and flexible and avoid getting into arguments of the house cleaning. Keep persisting and sticking to the list and task completion until it becomes the norm in your household.

8. Motivate him.

Some people believe that men are like babies that want their candy when they are good. In this spirit, make sure you show him how much you appreciate what he is doing and reward him at the end of the week. How will you do that? Well, I’ll leave that decision to you.

9. Consider hiring a cleaning lady.

Once in a while, when things become hectic and your work schedules or children obligations too much, then it is not a bad idea at all to get some outside help. Have the phone number of a cleaning lady handy, thus avoiding unnecessary stress to both of you and arguments.

10. Involve the whole family.

howto5Give some of the jobs to the children. They do need to learn from an early age and you can make a fun to do activity for the whole family. Read here for some very useful tips of how to get your kids involved in the house cleaning.
Always remember: if you want more help, you have to accept someone else’s way of helping.

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Psychologist, world citizen, mother - Effie is one half of the alwaysladies.com founding pair. She can bring to life any party with either a smile, or a strong opinion. If like us you can't get enough of Effie, visit her blog at www.thethinkingmomblog.com

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