Monday, November 1, 2010

Monday Morning Matrimony: The Honey-Do List

Okay, so you're married. The honeymoon is over. And now you have LIFE. And life is full of everyday mundane tasks. As a newlywed, I quickly learned the importance of "Honey-Do" lists. My husband is not always self-motivated to do chores & errands, and even more importantly - he's not a great mind-reader! After several bouts of disappointment because I felt like I was doing more than him in those departments, followed by his confusion at my disappointment - I figured out a few tips to make LIFE easier...

  1. The LIST. It needs to be a written list (or typed) I have mentioned before that for scheduling we are now using a Google Calendar. There are ways you could share a to-do list digitally if that fits your lifestyle. But for me, it's quicker to jot a note on the fridge than to try to get to my computer to right it down. The point is: just making a mental list or mentioning things you'd like him to do while he playing the XBox... neither of those tactics work well. I find that women usually have an ongoing list in their brain - lists of different things all lined up and filed away, which we are able to access by just thinking about them. Men are more black and white in this area. If you write it down and give it to them - there is no confusion (or at least much less!)
  2. Divide & Conquer by Strengths. At first, I just tried to divide what I thought he should do versus what I should do, etc. It turns out that we actually *enjoy (as much as you can enjoy chores) doing different things and it's important to find out who not only enjoys those chores more but who is better at them! This may sound strange, but my husband is really great at cleaning out the bathroom tub and tile. I mean - it's amazing! However, I am better at countertops and mirrors. At one point, I tried dividing the lists by rooms - that ultimately didn't make sense though. After years of marriage, here is how our list breaks down:
    Stephanie = Countertops, Dusting (with a mask for allergies), Mirrors, Toilets, Laundry, Collecting Trashbags from different areas and bundling, Pay Bills
    Dustin = Bathtubs, Vacuuming, Sweeping, Mopping, Taking out trash, Cats room (I have only cleaned the litter box like 3 times in about 6 years! He doesn't mind it!), Pet Shopping
    Both = Errands (as needed), Grocery Shopping (we love going together) & Dishes. We both hate doing dishes so the kitchen often gets neglected. It helps that we have decided whoever cooks - the other one cleans. Often that means just loading and starting the dishwasher. Then the other puts them away and vice-versa.
    THE POINT IS: Find what works for you. Don't just make sure the list is evenly divided. That's not the point. The point is to assign stuff that you both will be able to do on a regular basis and can keep up with.
  3. Emphasis on the HONEY in the Honey-Do. It's gotten to the point now where we know our chores and do them. But for the times when there is extra going on and a list is needed, I like to add things in so it looks like
    "Give me kisses", "Pick up the dry cleaning", "Remember how much I love you", "Take the dog to the vet", "See me for our special handshake"...
    THE POINT IS: Mix in fun things so that it doesn't seem like you are 'telling him what to do'. It will not only come across better to him, it will help keep your attitude in check when making the list! If you make a point to add these fun things to the list, you will remember how much you love him! Don't be upset that you are having to make a list! We all have strengths and weaknesses. Just do it all out of love and I promise it will be reciprocated!!!
Looking for a great Honey-Do notepad?! We happen to have some great ones you can personalize! Come on over to Relish to create your own and remember to enjoy the journey!

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