This paper will detail the distribution of household management duties in a given household. The discussion will include the description of the type of duties, the way they are distributed, and the reasons for the setup of household management. The last section will describe improvements recently made to household management. Division of Household Tasks Dividing household tasks has never been easy in families, and in my household we try to discuss things so as to arrive at the most convenient distribution of duties for all members of the household.
As a matter of fact, our household is relatively small as it includes my husband and me. We have recently married, this is my second marriage, but we have already agreed on most of the household duties. The nature of my husband’s work defined his frequent absences from home as he spends a lot of time on his business trips. This leaves me with the necessity to perform myself most of the household chores. I also carry the main responsibility if something goes wrong. Most of the things we do about the house can be divided into several main areas.
First, here belongs the cleaning of the house. We have set the weekend as the time when we do a major cleaning of our vacuuming, mopping and carpet care, cleaning the bathroom, and dusting the furniture. This cleaning will usually take us from an hour to two hours, as we do not have a large house. During the week I also get to do some additional cleaning as we live close to an industrial area, and unfortunately things get dirty pretty quickly. I have to dust the furniture at least once during the week.
Then we have a major overhaul of our house that we have determined to have at least once in half a year. This means going over every piece in the house or in the garage, looking for things to throw away. We need to work together on this, as sometimes one of us will want to keep a thing, while the other one insists on throwing it away. This decision-making process requires of us cooperation in the effort to keep the house free from trash and contributes to the development of diplomacy skills.
I try to avoid mistakes of the type I did once when I threw away a couple of old cheap knickknacks that later turned out to be my husband’s high school keepsakes. One of the things that belong to household management is the tasks involved in looking after the pets. We are both animal lovers, and keep a number of pets, including my Persian cat Nicholas, our dog Butt, a couple of small parrots, and an aquarium with fish. We keep the dog in the house during the night, and whoever gets up earlier in the morning has to let him in the open.
Naturally, in the time of my husband’s absence I am the one who does it. I am also the one to clean the cat’s toilet in the house and to clean both of them when they get dirty. As it is understood I take up most of the responsibility for the pets when they are at home, my husband agrees to take them to the vet’s office when they need vaccination or check-ups, and also when they get sick and he is in town, although I am ready to replace him when he leaves town. Grocery shopping is assumed to be the man’s duty in our household.
Although my husband tried to protest when I assigned him to the weekly shopping chore on weekends when he is at home, we finally agreed that it is his duty in compensation for me doing most of the cooking. He does not cook very well though he can help me out with a couple of dishes when I fall ill or have some urgent things to attend to. But most of the time it is my task to make out a shopping list for him so that he can go and buy stuff, and then cook into a ready-made meal. I also do the dishes after the meal. It is my responsibility to manage our finances as well.
This involves bills and money issues, dealing with mortgage payments, and balancing our budget. I have to keep track on our budget to make sure we have some money available to meet the most vital needs, such as mortgage payments, groceries, and some buffer to meet unexpected needs. We are not great wastrels, but every one can get carried away sometimes and override the limit one can spend on certain things. Besides, it is necessary to time the payments to our cash inflows, pay days in my husband’s job and mine. We have a small garden around the house where I do most of the plant care.
I enjoy doing that and almost never ask my husband to help me. His tasks in the garden are limited to duties that are exclusively male, like fixing the fence, etc. Improvements in Household Management Recently I have tried to make some improvements in management of our finances. I bought a new laptop computer that came with a program installed for management of personal finances, named Quicken. I decided to try it out and loved it. Now I plug in expected cash inflows and outflows, and the program helps me to balance between the two.
I can also put in the days when we have to make our bill and mortgage payments, and the program will remind me of the days. I have an option to connect it to online banking, but stop short of doing that since I am afraid of identity theft. But even though I still have to make most of my payments in the old style, the use of the program greatly facilitated my chore as the manager of our finances. I have also tried to teach my husband several important things about our finances just in case I am unable to perform these duties because of sickness or absence.
Besides, we have tried to make our management more organized in terms of duties distribution. We have tried to figure out such a setup that each of us will do at least something in one of the major areas, such as cleaning, food preparation, pet care, etc. The exceptions are the things I am happy to do on my own, like gardening. In all other areas, I like to feel that I am helped at least to some degree by my husband and he can take over if I have to go away too. Conclusion
In conclusion I would like to add that the efficient distribution of household duties and efficient performance of household operations is the basis for sound family relationships. That is why we always try to be patient and quiet in our discussions of home chores and try to be on time with our duties so that they do not pile up and leave us overwhelmed.
Steinmetz, J. (2001). Household Chores. Retrieved on June 21, 2005 from Suite101. com website: http://www. suite101. com/article. cfm/household_management/75654