Does this sound familiar? The sun shines as the morning welcomes a new day. You get up, get dressed, and start working on the seemingly endless “activities” that you have been putting off. You feel happy because you and your spouse have decided together that this will be a weekend to deal with everything from a broken washing machine to the most advanced hydrangeas. But then you look and you see your husband, who was supposed to wash the car, staring at the TV with a bag of chips- or worse, you find him snoring peacefully in his bedroom. What are you doing?
That’s fine – maybe your husband doesn’t even have a recliner. Maybe you help when you ask him, sometimes. But maybe, maybe, you would like him to do more. Maybe you even created an awesome ‘honey-do’ list more times than you could count and waited as nothing fell.
You may be surprised to learn that men are more helpful in the house than ever before. They are now sharing the work that women once did on their own. Perhaps it is the influx of women into the workplace that has brought about this change. Maybe it’s just a good idea.
In a recent study, couples were asked various questions about their involvement in household chores. About 90% of women feel that their mates are helping them at home. All these women said they appreciated the help they received, although all but 10 percent would like to see their husbands help more. In contrast, 75% of men interviewed felt that they were responsible for part of the household chores. Many expressed that they did not resist helping, but wanted to feel more comfortable with the help they provided.
In this study, men were asked which job they liked best and which one they did not. Answers filled the board. Those with pets did not like to pick up after the animal. Some did not like laundry, while others said that laundry was their favorite occupation. For men with yards, yard work was their first favorite activity. So why is it often such a struggle to do things? Here are some suggestions on how to ‘complete the honeycomb’ before the civil war breaks out:
- Ask well. You may think you are doing this but often, the men I interviewed thought that their wives could talk to them more freely than they could ask for their help. I know, I know, this is hard, especially if you feel like you’ve already asked for a million times! But give it a try – it may pay off.
- Show appreciation and satisfaction for the work done. This goes both ways. Husbands need to appreciate the daily work of their wives. In doing so, wives can easily appreciate their husbands’ role too. No, your husband will not wrap the towels the way you do, and he may use a window cleaner on the counters, but be aware that things do not always have to be done your way. Look at it this way; if he does, you don’t need to!
- Talk to each other. If you do not remember anything else in this article, remember this. Successful communication is the answer here. The fact is, you both want a healthy and happy home. But you do not want your homework to be like grass that breaks the camel’s back onto your wedding day. If she likes to bathe the children instead of cleaning dinner, leave her alone. If you prefer to weed rather than wash, tell her. Compromise.
The key is to talk about what is important to both of you and to find a way to meet the needs of both of you. Be specific about your needs, consider splitting up your homework in a way that makes both of you happy and stick to it! When you work together, you give yourself more time to play together, and we can all spend more of that! And men, remember, as Drs.So stop using the ‘honeycomb’ list as a coaster and think about dealing with it – I secretly suspect you will be glad you did.
Catherine Ipcizade is a freelance writer who specializes in parenting, relationships, marriage, food, and children. She also writes novels for children and adults.