…Toilets are not self-cleaning
This one is fun. ha ha. But in seriousness, this is something that could lead to a lot of unnecessary marital strife if it’s not discussed early on. Again, it’s related to your growing up home environment. If it was always your dad cleaning the toilets, you may think your husband lazy for not doing so now…but he might think you’re lazy for not regularly taking out the garbage since his mom has always done it. It boils down to what gender/marital roles you’re familiar with….in combination with what you’re skilled at or enjoy doing. It’s certainly not as rigidly defined as in our grandparent’s day….and this is for the better. =D
Skywalker and I completed an exercise in our premarital course (and I HIGHLY recommend all couples do a premarital course…heck, even pre-engagement is a good idea) that deals exactly with this (and is also recommended in this book) so that there wouldn’t be any surprises later. It goes like this:
- Each make a list of EVERYTHING that needs to be taken care of in a home (interior, exterior, budget, maintenance, cleaning, etc)…then combine the list into one big list
- Individually go through each item and initial whether you or spouse or both will likely take charge of it
- Sit together and go through the list. Share opinions and do negotiations where differences occur.
Revisit the list every now and then because we are constantly changing…and maybe six months or __ years after marriage (especially as you have children or aging parents to care for) you’ll find something’s not working so the roles need to be adjusted. It’s a good reminder for myself that it’s not about splitting the list down 50/50 either….in a previous post about “Counting” it really is about putting in your all to make your marriage and household work.
Looking at Skywalker and I…
First, I TOTALLY appreciate that he’s a clean guy to start with and that we don’t have major discrepancies in definitions of cleanliness to deal with. Second, I’ve mentioned this, we learned he’s actually more thorough in cleaning than me! I totally got schooled in the art of toilet bowl scrubbing….and bathtub scrubbing. He’s got way more cleaning supplies than I did when I lived on my own. I had a swiffer, pinesol spray, glass cleaner spray, toilet brush, scrub sponge and rubber gloves. Skywalker had a swiffer, pinesol spray, lysol spray, windex spray, oxiclean spray, toilet duck, ajax powder, toilet brush, scrub sponge and rubber gloves. Umm…yeah. Well, I’m a much better cleaner now. Third, I bring organization skills to the table. Like arranging pantry and cooking ware for more efficient storage in the kitchen and closets. I’m pushing for additional shelving in the basement next. =) We’ve also successfully done garden work as well as household repairs together. I think we make a great team. (^_^)