Rather than just get the household chores done, a lot of energy, time and nerves probably far outweighing those that are required for getting the chores done, are expended on issues around “who does what”, “who does more” and “who does less”.
But, with the right approach, household work need not become a source of arguments, bickering and conflicts that can create tension in the family or tear the house apart.
House work comprises of tasks that arise out of the day to day existence and activities of the family. The tasks include those done in the house like cooking, laundry, cleaning, maintenance; those done outside the house like shopping, car maintenance, yard work, external relations; and those that have to do with the children like child minding and schooling.
The entire range of house work, including husband and wife employment should be regarded by both spouses as an integral part of family life to which each party should heartily contribute.
Hearty contribution means that each party continually anticipates the needs of one another as well as the overall needs of the family in terms of household chores and, without compulsion, does the next thing that needs to be done.
In this context, household chores present an avenue for exchange, interaction and expression of love which strengthens the family bond and enhances the overall well-being of the family. Each party puts a committed effort into creating a well managed home.
The effort to work for the house is spontaneous and passionate. It is not rendered as an effort to grudgingly work through a mechanically allotted set of duties. Contribution is also dynamic, so as the family grows, the part played by each member evolves with time and circumstances.
It may turn out that certain tasks become identified with a particular spouse but the development comes out of the understanding, love and unity with which the entire household management has been approached.
Organizing the home for efficiency becomes a joint effort. No party holds a narrow view of his or her personal contribution to house work and everyone sees what is done by the other as important to the overall goal of the family.
Mechanical sharing of household work is not known to bring about emotional satisfaction in the way each spouse sees the role of the other in the house. Such arrangement is fraught with suspicion, nagging, accusations and counter accusations.
With household work rendered as part of the family life, each party consciously conducts his or her part of family life in a way that does not carelessly aggravate the load of household chores.
With the understanding that exists, areas of rationalization that can lead to savings in time and money can be agreed, while undue repetition and needless chores are avoided.
Each party has a genuine feeling and consideration for the physical and emotional situation of the other and undertakes household work accordingly.
It becomes easy to arrive at joint decisions in respect of those chores that need to be contracted out and children can be assigned duties and supervised as part of family development. On the whole, the family operates as one and without stress.
In the team work of household management, household chores should be seen as avenues for support to one another and as means of expression of love, with each spouse kicking the ball any time it is inside his or her court.