As wives and mothers, we spend so much of our time trying to “manage” our time while we overlook this one simple trick to manage your household.
All the while, we are misusing our greatest assets trying to do it all.
From the kitchen window, I looked up on the top of our hill where the girls’ playground sits.
Between wooden slats, I saw my 4-year-old grinning from ear to ear and I could hear my 6-year-old squealing with delight. At the bottom of the slide, there was a real life Tickle Monster (aka Dad) lurking, waiting to get them as they came down.
It was 5:30 pm and I felt exhausted. I had been up with both girls in the middle of the night and woken for good at 6 am.
School drop-offs and pick-ups…cleaned the house…prepped dinner…washed clothes…made well-check visits and one sick appointment for my oldest who deals with chronic sinus infections.
And I was nearing the end of my “shift” I guess you could say…though we can all attest that a mom’s work is never done.
And just when I needed him most, my husband came home. Even after a long day at work, he rolled into the house, threw on some tennis shoes, gave me a quick kiss and headed out the back door.
Because he knew I needed a break.
He knew those girls needed their Dad.
And he knew he needed to be with them.
HOW TO EASILY MANAGE YOUR HOUSEHOLD…WITHOUT STRESS
But at the very heart of what was happening was this one simple rule I have found that truly works to manage my household without all the stress – Play To Your Strengths.
You see, my husband and I have worked out this little unspoken system that helps us do what we DO BEST!
Bryan goes to work and makes the money. I stay home with our girls and find the best ways to manage that money.
Bryan does the “dirty” work (mowing the yard, raking the leaves, washing the cars). I do all the dirty laundry.
I fix all the breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. Bryan doesn’t get to be picky.
I make the girls’ doctor appointments, help them with homework and make sure they are at school on time. Bryan builds cool projects with them and takes them swimming. He orchestrates water gun fights in the backyard and teaches them how to fly their kites.
WE WORK SEPARATE BUT TOGETHER
We work together to establish the fundamental principles that will guide our family, our home life, what is important and what isn’t.
We will both decide our vision for our girls. Where we want their lives to go. The kind of people we want them to be. The way we want them to live.
And while we can’t control these things, we will do everything in our power to steer them down the right path.
And while some may see this as an unfair “division of labor” or even label it as falling into antiquated gender roles, I would argue just the opposite.
PLAY TO YOUR STRENGTHS
What my husband and I do is completely play to our strengths. We do what comes naturally. We do what we are good at. And we trust that each one of us will hold up our “end of the deal.”
And while I COULD do all the things Bryan does…wash the car, build things, fly kites (and granted I have done these things)...I would not enjoy doing them. They seem a lot like work to me. But not to him.
And by doing what comes naturally, our household runs a lot smoother. I budget my time according to what I know are my “duties” and Bryan does the same.
SEPARATE JOBS BUT A UNITED FRONT
We have a division of labor, yes.
But it’s not based on what someone told me a wife should do. Or a mom should do.
But on what I’m good at. What Bryan is good at. What is good for our marriage. What is good for our children. And what is good for our home.
And what works for us won’t work for everyone, but I would argue we would all be a lot less stressed and a lot happier if we would fall back on the strengths and talents God has given us.
Because the easiest way to manage your household without stress is to trust in your spouse.And do it together.
Separate jobs…but a united front.
Hillary is a mom to two beautiful little girls and wife to her college sweetheart. She blogs at The Cole Mines about positive parenting and easy but intentional ways to be a better mom, wife, and person. Follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
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