I’m a firm believer that communication is the touchstone in any working relationship. It’s why this is my second post about it in a two month stretch. Communication, and talking to your partner isn’t just one of those fads thrown about by relationship counsellors, it’s one of things that actually works.
So, let’s talk about one of the most argued topics in any relationship – chores. I suck at them. I’ll hold my hands up and admit it, but not in the way you think. I don’t suck at chores in a ‘dyed the whites pink again’ way (though that has happened before), I such at chores in a ‘I can’t physically move from my heat pack’ type of way. I actually rather like tidying and cleaning – there’s something about organisation that really calms me down. However, whilst it calms me down, it makes everything hurt. From time to time, when I have my good days I bumble round the house tidying, but for the most part chores aren’t worth the the pain and fatigue that comes with them. Ultimately, this means I can’t do my fair share.
Now, this is where communication plays a big role. To tie it in with my last piece on living with an empathetic partner, there’s a fine line between communicating your needs, and knowing when you’re communicating too much. Telling the Gent every single part of me that hurts doesn’t help either of us, but what does help is telling him the most pressing issues I have that keep me from helping. Then he can understand why I haven’t done something, and it enables us to plan, and work around the issue.
Planning has led to us breaking down everyday chores into bite sized chunks, and knowing that even then communication, and breaking down things sometimes isn’t enough. We know our limitations, and the point we reach before we tend to argue over housework. It was after a long conversation that we decided to hire someone to help clean.
We didn’t decide to hire someone lightly. We had a long conversation, and decided that considering we both work long and mentally draining days, and that a good handful of our conversations were on the topic of who’s turn it was to do the dishes, it was a justifiable expense. And sure, I could continue to manage the backlog chores on my better days, or push through the pain and exhaustion then pay for it – gotta love the boom and bust cycle, but I really do only have so many spoons in a day. Spoons I need to conserve for more important things – working, taking care of myself, developing my business, and my managing my relationship. I’d much rather spend my good days on those things, rather than stressing out about tidying, and keeping a clean house.
You know what they say “Tidy house, tidy mind, less of a chance to trip up on random things dotted around the house.”