The battle of household duties has been raging for thousands of years and isn't going to stop any time soon. OK, maybe not that long. But if you're in a relationship and share a space with someone, chances are you've experienced a bit of tension when it comes to who does what around the house. After kids, the strain only intensifies as a hundred other chores arise that weren't there before. No matter how helpful you've been in the past, there are plenty of ways dads can (and should) help out around the house. And trust me, it will only gain you more brownie points in the long run.
Statistically speaking, women are still doing the bulk of the housework, regardless of whether they work outside the home or work at home, according to the Department of Labor. And although it's fair for each family to have their own system worked out, assuming that the woman will handle the vast majority of the "household chores" is not only sexist and unfair, it will likely lead to unnecessary stress on the relationship.
Although this is in no way a man-shaming, lazy dad stereotypical piece, it should serve as a reminder of the age old, unfair assumption that housework should be handled by women only. To all of you men who already do help out more than your fair share, you're the real MVP's. And to those who aren't, here are some ways you can help.
1. Trade Off Dinner Prep And Clean Up
Cooking for a family is a lot of work. Whether you or your partner do the cooking or you switch off and on, letting the one who didn't cook handle clean up duties is a fair way to alleviate some of the work load.
2. Handle Part Of The Bedtime Routine
Bedtime usually isn't as straightforward as it sounds. Between winding down after dinner, taking baths, brushing teeth, reading stories, or however it looks for you, breaking up duties is never a bad thing. Have one person give baths while the other reads stories. Figure out a routine that gets you both involved so that one person isn't handling the bulk of the weight.
3. Pick Up Your Part Of The Mess
You don't have to clean the entire house to contribute. Just handling your part of the mess will make a noticeable different in clutter.
4. Ask What Needs To Be Done Most
Chances are, your partner has a pretty good idea of what needs done around the house. Simply asking her what the biggest help would be will earn you some major brownie points.
5. Look At Things From Her Perspective
You've probably both realized that the word "clean" can have many different meanings. You standards and her standards might be on totally different levels, so try seeing things from her idea of clean and go from there.
6. Switch Up Your Usual Cleaning Routine
If she usually does dishes and you usually mow the lawn or take out the trash, try switching things up and do something that's usually "her chore" while she takes over your duties.
7. When In Doubt, Just Do Something
Just because she hasn't asked (read: passive aggressively hinted a thousand times) you to specifically do something, doesn't mean there's nothing to do. Take the initiative, be it with the kids or cleaning, and trust me, it will be the sexiest thing you do all day.