Dear soft hearted loves,
Whether you’re a mother-son-grandchild trio, husband-husband romantic partnership, or any other type of relational dynamic the household duties are likely divided. If you’re feeling the weight of the household duties heavy on you keep reading because there is so much hope for this to change for you starting today. You’ll get a few tips from this blog on how to approach chores in your home.
What comes up for you?
If you’re feeling passive aggressive, resentful or angry it’s okay to gently, non-shamefully examine what’s coming up for you around the division of chores in the home. It can be helpful to create some internal boundaries around sticking to the topic of chores and not overgeneralizing to all things. I know; easier said than done right?!
You can assess where your reaction is coming from. Did you grow up in a home with complete disorder and you craved bumpers on the bowling lane? Did you grow in a rigid, perfectionistic home where you felt suffocated by all of the rules? Or perhaps the reaction is coming from a more recent situation in your life. Dynamics are ever changing within cultures, genders, and related to financial and home obligations. What does this look like for you today? Has anything changed in your home with chores since the virus?
When you assess where it comes from you can then give yourself tender reassurance, validation, and loving kindness. For some this might be a hug, a cry, or perhaps nondominant hand writing with your inner child reassuring her that no matter what happens you’re listening to her and not abandoning her. (Feel free to reach out and let me know if you want to know more about this inner child stuff my dear one).
What can you do about it now?
So often we don’t know what someone else in the household is doing. This means we do not know the full extent of their contribution to the home. This is not to dismiss your experience. I’m simply illuminating that most people believe they are doing more in the home than the other person in the home thinks they are doing. It can be difficult to come to the chores discussion without shame and blame so not only is it helpful to look at the data (meaning that they are likely contributing more than you see) it also helps to highlight what you do see them doing. We are also generally more receptive to feedback when our contributions are highlighted rather than simply being hit with criticism.
It can also be helpful to ask about a time to discuss the chore division. Sometimes we assume the other party is ready to discuss division of labor when we’re ready. Perhaps they too need reflection time or maybe today was a hard day for them and they can discuss tomorrow.
In the meantime do all the loving care you need to in order to care for that sweet inner child we mentioned earlier. The inner child is within and craving your attention whether or not the laundry is done. The more validation and love you give yourself the more likely you’ll be equipped to exude that same energy.
Yes, you’ve got that correct! Put your nicest “communication pants” on. I’m not going to say what that looks like for you because everyone is different. Your pants may have reflection pockets whereas someone else’s pants may have “I feel” statement pockets. Some people’s pants may have nonviolent communication fringe. Other folks may have affection while talking it out belt loops. Anyway, you get my point. Bring your kindest, most effective communication skills to the table. All this stuff is generally easier said than done. If you give it a try please know that it may take a few tries given we don’t always change the first time.