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Love and housework
Balancing love, life and housework
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Negotiating the best division of labour


Love and household: negotiating the best division of tasks © Jupiter
Love and household: negotiating the best division of tasks © Jupiter
To couples who come to her for advice because of quarrelling about the household chores Susan Quilliam recommends the following course of action:

1. Look at the status quo:  Write down together which tasks arise in the joint household and who performs them. This usually also brings to light some tasks that the man contributes, such as car maintenance or all the DIY work.

2. Equitable distribution: If there is a lack of balance, try to find an equitable distribution of the tasks.

3. Set standards: Don't only discuss what needs to be done, but also how it should be done. Here, it should not just be the opinions of one partner that are valid. Together the couple must agree on common definitions of when a kitchen is deemed clean, a bed made, a bathroom floor washed. This requires some flexibility on the both sides.

4. Allow some time: Give yourselves sufficient time to settle into your new agreed-upon routine, and leave some room for mistakes. If he has forgotten to see to the shopping, she should not immediately flip out. Similarly, she can't be expected to get used to his way of doing the cleaning straight away. Keep in mind that everything is a process and that setbacks may happen.


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