Chuck and I are approaching our 3 year anniversary this month. In a lot of ways I still feel like a newly wed couple as we are still getting into our groove with lots of stuff, including sharing the load around here. At one of my wedding receptions I remember talking to someone about how great my life was at that time, I mean seriously I was getting presents in the mail like everyday and people were always making a big deal about me and Chuck and wanting to take my picture… My reception guest said, “Enjoy the fairy tale while it lasts, soon reality will set in.” At the time I was like, “whatever, I will be floating on clouds and chasing butterflies with my soul mate for years to come.” Turns out she was right… a lot of the stuff I do everyday is extremely less than magical.
Taking care of a household is a huge job, not just physically, but mentally as well. I remember reading something in one of Chuck’s psychology books awhile back about the reality of the burden of mental work. It was this huge revelation to me… like Oh DUH that’s why I can be so tried after a day of not really doing much physically. My brain is going nuts all the time. Luckily, Chuck is always really really open to trying new methods of doing things and asking how he can help, so I have been trying to get stuff out of my brain and explain it to him so I don’t have to worry about it all the time. For example the suggestion of doing weekly grocery shopping could immediately trigger the following stream of thought.
“Groceries… hmmm lets see, what’s in the fridge. I think the ketchup bottle is almost empty, and we used the rest of the soy sauce on Thursday when we had fried rice. If we want to cook Curry we will need coconut milk and veggies, lots of veggies, I could also make a….. Fiona wont eat that, so I will need to buy some X, Y and Z and of course baby food for Daphnie, but I can only spend Z$ so I should look for whatever is on sale and make whatever I can with that. Maybe there are some coupons I could bring, I better check my stack of papers….
Oh, and lets see before I go Fiona needs a snack and a new diaper, so does Daphnie. Then I need to make sure to grab a few extra diapers, and some wipes. If she doesn’t have the right sippy cup she will absolutely loose her mind in the middle of the store… What if she looses her mind in the store… Hmmmmmm maybe I should bring a few toys for her to play with and the sippy, or I could tell her that she can have a special treat at the store for being good… but she already had some fruit snacks so it would have to be something that doesn’t have much sugar, she really likes grapes, maybe I will buy grapes for our fruit this week. Maybe Daphnie will sleep in her car seat if I drive around long enough before hand, I wonder how much gas is in the van? And so on and so forth…”
You get the idea…
This week we created our third attempt at a household chore chart… because I seriously, seriously need help to keep the house clean. This time we enlisted my artistic side to make it pretty, we feel like if it is fun to look at, we will look at it more, and therefore clean more. It is hanging in a very prominent place in the kitchen. So far, so good! Our house has never looked so great for so many consecutive days. And it is a huge relief to me because it takes a whole ton of junk out of my brain and puts it on paper. Now Chuck doesn’t have to inquire what is something he can do to help with the house… he just checks the chart and goes to it.
It is also REALLY good for me too because often I have a hard time focusing on one task at a time. With the chart I don’t feel the overwhelm of having to clean the whole house everyday… I just do whats on the chart and that’s it.
Our next project is to get our meals on a rotation and create menus to take the guess work out of the grocery store.
I was just wondering what are some of the tactics you all employ to share the load and avoid feeling like a crazy nut bag with all of the stuff you have to do each day?