I am a stubborn person. About most things. I'm not that stubborn about housework. I figure it will get done however it needs to get done.
Which is to say: I don't care how the dishwasher gets loaded. Just that it does. And that it gets run and emptied accordingly.
I say all of this to start because how we do housework in my household has changed just a bit since I started working four ten-hour shifts. I get home from work each night after normal dinner time, and that gives me limited time in the evenings to get stuff done. And my mornings? Well, there is only so much I can get done before it's time to leave.
The shift in my schedule and housework was spurred by a statement I made one night while we cleaned up from dinner: it just feels like everything is half done. And at the time, it did in a way. We were still adjusting to my work schedule, I was trying to fit in far more than I should have been on my days off, and there was a lot of partially completed tasks. Most of that came from my decision to take on a lot, and I realized I took on too much.
So, we redivided how we did the housework, cooking, and cat care, all to make our days, weekends, and days off a bit easier, and to bring some cohesiveness to the household that I was sorely missing.
To start that process, we both sat down and wrote out what we do every morning and evening to keep the house running. We put down everything we do, from the little stuff like feeding the cats and packing lunches, to the big stuff like cleaning bathrooms, cooking, groceries, and vacuuming.
And then we looked at what needed some additional attention and decided how we were going to divvy it all up to get done. What we determined was a new cooking schedule: since I get home after eight on the days I work, Allen cooks those evenings. On my off days, if I'm not visiting family, I cook. Whoever cooks handles the surface cleaning (counters, stove, sweeping the kitchen) after dinner. Whoever doesn't cleans up the dishes.
That's just part of it. We've split up the laundry duties in half - Allen does what he can while I work during the weekend, and I finish it up during one of my weekdays off. And there's other cleaning we've redistributed, mostly things like floors and various rooms. That's where we've ended up with almost a fifty/fifty distribution - housekeeping.
What we do before work has basically stayed the same, but the evenings have changed up just enough that we're still adjusting. But it wasn't until we sat down and looked at all that we each do to keep the house running that it all made sense. Changing up who does what chores is where things are now just that much easier - the house runs a bit smoother, and nothing feels half-done anymore.
The redivision of housework to get it all conquered is totally worth it to both of us - even on days when we both feel extra lazy. It's not quite fifty/fifty, but it works for us, and that's what matters.