A paucity of time coupled with demanding schedules may force you to put off household chores leaving your partner to do it all. However, a fair division of tasks can help couples tick the boxes on their to-do list and avoid unnecessary friction
With both partners working full time, dividing household responsibilities can be a bit of an uphill task. Owing to varying schedules, limited time and personal differences, it often becomes difficult to achieve common ground. Certified life coach Gurpreet Singh shares, “In a relationship, when it comes to household responsibilities, the bone of contention is the division of financial duties and a lack of proactivity. The way ahead in such a situation is to allocate tasks to avoid mismanagement, miscommunication, failure and subsequent disputes.” So, a few couples and experts share their tips and experiences on the division of household tasks in order to maintain a healthy and balanced relationship.
Identifying each other’s individual strengths will help in the allocation of tasks. Prreity Agrawwal of WowNow, a marriage counselling centre, suggests, “Responsibilities among a couple should be delegated based on the interests, aptitude and personality of each partner.” Singh believes that in an ideal scenario, both individuals are aware of their limitations and strengths. They also have different skillsets, value systems, definitions and visions with respect to various household responsibilities. By applying the analogy of a partnership, he explains that in a marriage as well, the personal profit or loss of the partners is based on the combined profits or losses of the organisation.
TIP: Dr Meghana Dikshit, Founder of De Mantraa, a holistic wellness centre, suggests, “Allocate household chores based on the strengths of each partner.”
Time, more specifically the lack of it, has the potential to become a defining factor for many relationships. “The ideal way to manage time effectively is by filling the gaps. For instance, pay your utility bills and order groceries online while commuting to and from work. Cooking is a tedious task, so take turns and get the job done. Also, if finances permit, hire a cook. Odd jobs like getting things repaired or serviced can be set aside for the weekends. Sundays should be strictly reserved for ‘us time’ and to cherish togetherness,” recommends Singh.
TIP: Agrawwal suggests using online facilities to pay your utilities and shop for groceries. This will save time, which can then be spent hanging out together.
The roles of partners in a relationship are everchanging. With kids, careers and personal growth come responsibilities aplenty. Born and raised in Goa, Anuhya Dalvi, a practising company secretary, married Shailesh Dalvi, a corporate lawyer in 2006. Based on her experience, Anuhya suggests, “Communication is key. If you’re left with all the responsibilities and don’t express your frustration, you may never get your partner to understand what you are going through. Further, it will be difficult to get him or her accustomed to the idea of sharing duties.”
TIP: Anuhya shares, “The roles and responsibilities of a couple keep changing especially once you have kids. To initiate a fair division of responsibilities, you must communicate with your partner.”
IN MAGIC PORTIONS
Singh suggests that household responsibilities like paying bills, doing the laundry, keeping track of EMIs, savings and investments, planning travel and other such tasks should be delegated among each other to keep disputes at bay. Depending on one’s strengths and resources, you can divide tasks among yourselves and make sure you get them done by setting deadlines and rewarding yourselves with a nice dinner outside or a weekend getaway. Dr Dikshit adds, “By following the partnership analogy, a couple will be honouring their partnership by sharing duties. Also, they will get more time to spend together and to pursue their individual interests.”
TIP: If one partner has a longer work schedule than the other, they can contribute by taking on extra chores on holidays and weekends.
Says Anuhya, while sharing the prime takeaways from her marriage, “It’s a continuous process and the key to making things work is clarity in communication, flexibility in dealing with last-minute developments and understanding the unspoken through observation and awareness.”