Ha! I sound like a mom, don’t I?
I probably also sound like a drill sergeant. I’m both blessed and cursed when it comes to my partner doing “chores.” He actually finds (what I fondly call) “surface cleaning” to be soothing and a stress reliever. So he likes to do it.
On the other hand, he only likes to do it when he “has the time.” Which in our world is only in the winter when he isn’t working a million hours a month. So most of the year, the “chores” fall on me and the kids.
But I’m rethinking my strategy … especially with baby number three just around the corner. Based on a study done by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, a mom’s cortisol level dropped when their partners got involved in scrubbing down the kitchen.
And I don’t know about you, but I’m all about a lower stress level.
On the flip side, the study also showed that a man’s stress level dropped when women were busy.
What a sad bunch we are, eh?
And yes, it makes sense. Why wouldn’t our stress level drop when someone else is picking up dirty socks and we’re able to watch the news for a change?
But the study goes on to point out that men are much more likely to take advantage of a moment to put their feet up, while women feel like their responsibility, even after a long day at work, is still childcare and housework.
So what should you do? In the words of my very smart husband, “Just tell me what you need.” So, talk to your partner. Don’t ask for help; just say it plainly.
One strategy that worked for me in the early years was to say, “OK, Ella needs a bath and dinner needs to be cooked; which one would you rather do?” That way (sneakily) he felt like he was getting a choice, when in reality, I knew that if I didn’t speak up, I’d be doing both anyway.
Creative minds, my friends, creative minds.
Does your husband help out around the house? Do you feel like you need to motivate him?