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Committed: The Ties that Bond

with Angella Dykstra

I'm a mom of three, a professional accountant, and an amateur photographer and writer. I am not a marriage expert. But my husband and I take "Til death do us part" seriously, and here I'll be sharing how we keep our marriage strong while we both do that insane work-life juggle.

Check out my Work It, Mom! profile and my blog, Dutch Blitz.

The newlywed series: Division of chores

Categories: communication, marriage


Another week, another question from my newlywed friend.

How do you resolve chores?  Our current resolution is a list.  I was allowed to make the list, as my standards are higher.  I wrote down what needs to be done and the frequency.  Then we just need to make sure that it gets done.  It’s Day 3.  The house is clean.  My husband is tense.  Oy.

I…am the wrong person to ask. I am no Pigpen, no, but I married a man with very high standards when it comes to house cleaning. I do groceries and I make meals and I do laundry (as does he) but he is, shall we say, particular when it comes to house cleaning.

We both work full-time and while we manage to keep on top of dishes and laundry and such, sometimes I think that the bathrooms can wait a few more days. We have three kids, and extra-curricular activities, freelance work (me) and manly activities such as hunting (him) and sometimes the toilets (and floor scrubbing) can wait. So says me.

It’s definitely been a sore spot for us, but he knows full well that his standards are extremely high and that when I’m away from our house for work fifty hours a week, there really is only so much I can/want to do.

We don;t have a set list of chores - we just do what we can, when we can. Things like dishes and laundry happen every day, by whomever is home to deal with them. Deep cleaning (usually) happens on the weekend. Or the next weekend.

OK, readers. You’re probably better than I am with the advice on this one. How do you deal with the division of chores? Do any of you newlyweds have any questions you want to submit for this series?

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5 comments so far...

  • We work exactly the same. Noah’s cleaning standards are higher and we do our deep cleaning on the weekends. I’m “home all day” but I also leave the house about five times a day to drive people places or pick them up and I have a high-maintenance baby and if I manage to get a hot dinner on the table, I call it a WIN.

    Before we had the baby, we divided the chores by whoever worked more. If I was home more, I did more chores, and vice versa.

    Mrs. Wilson  |  October 14th, 2011 at 9:42 am

  • This is probably one topic where I absolutely adore my husband (and my MIL). He was taught that a man needs to do chores just as much as a woman, so we split things 50/50. We do it without talking about it though, so one week it might be 20/80, the next it might be 80/20, and one week it might be 0/0 if we choose to spend our time together and blow off cleaning :) I’m picky about some things (like the kitchen), so that space is always mine. He’s picky about things like mopping, so that job is his.

    Tia  |  October 14th, 2011 at 4:32 pm

  • We’re the opposite. He was raised in a home where men did no housework and there were all sons, no daughters.Even though his Mom had a full time job teaching elementary school and taught music lessons on the side, she did all the cooking, cleaning, shopping, you name it.
    It’s been a frustrating hill to climb, and after 11 years of marriage I still do more than I should, but I do have to say that he is getting better. My sister in law is having the same battle. It is very frustrating.
    Mothers of sons - teach them how to cook and clean, please!

    Danica  |  October 15th, 2011 at 9:20 pm

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    vdfgdcffffffff  |  October 17th, 2011 at 10:12 pm

  • Use for splitting chores. It’s free and it actually works.

    bob  |  February 13th, 2012 at 7:44 pm