I have always been a little bit afraid of having a routine or schedule. What if I have a schedule, and something better comes up? For a long time, I refused to take a class at night after work because, OMG, there might be something I miss by doing that. I finally got over that when my old roommate and I took swing dancing lessons – I learned that having solid plans one night a week wasn’t the end of my social life.
It’s part this, and part bad experience that has kept me from making a chore schedule. In the past, with people I’ve lived with, we’ve agreed to a chore schedule, and then it falls right apart. The other party won’t do their chores, so I won’t do mine in retaliation, and it all goes south from there.
I think Jeff and I would both agree that, since we have lived together, I have done most of the housework. There are a couple of reasons for this: for the last year and a bit I have been home full time. If Jeff is having to leave the house once a day and wear real pants, I feel that I should do most of the housework.
And honestly, I care more about the house. It makes me happy to have a clean, well organized abode. I like decorating. I like cleaning. I like running a house. And since I care about it, and Jeff doesn’t as much, it seems only fair that I do what I care about. He’s not going to let us live in squalor, but he’s not going to line the pantry shelves with pretty paper. And I don’t think it’s worth the stress that it puts on a marriage to make him do things that he doesn’t care about, house-wise. He doesn’t make me watch football, I don’t make him re-organize the salad dressing alphabetically.*
A few months ago, when we were preparing for Liam, we discussed that Jeff might have to do more of the house-type stuff. He had already been doing all the laundry and other heavy things (the minute I got pregnant he decided I could neither lift nor go to the basement), but I thought I might need some more help with the things that I usually take care of.
He told me that he’d feel more comfortable if we put together a chore schedule.
My inner hippie totally came out. Dude, you’re harshing my mellow. I didn’t know I was married to The Man. Don’t you oppress me with your “schedule” and “grid”, man. We can just let things happen, man. It will all work out, like nature intended, man….
And then this happened:
He’s adorable, but takes a lot of time. And my house is a sty.
It makes me a bit cranky.
A couple of weeks ago, I told Jeff, I’m not doing s’good with the house thing. Schedule?
He agreed. Schedule.
So for the last couple of weeks, I’ve been trying to put together a schedule. And it’s hard. Not because I don’t know what needs to be done – oh, I do! – but because I don’t want to have to do it. I want the gnomes to come out of the woodwork in the middle of the night and mop the living room floors.
I have a lot of woodwork, people. There is some nice living space for gnomes in there.
But it’s not happening. So tonight I am, for certain, sitting down and putting together the chore chart. And we’re going to try to follow it. And I’m going to try to let go of some of my control/go-with-the-flow issues.**
Wish me luck.
*I’ve never done that. CDs, however, are another matter altogether.
**Does anyone else find it interesting that I want things in my house a certain way, but I’ll do them in my own damn time? Me, too.