During the pandemic, the women’s movement seems to have been set back by about fifty years. We’re not going to quote articles at you or produce a bunch of stats to prove this but we are going to share what we’ve noticed. During Lockdown, the majority of our female friends went on furlough so that they could home school their children whilst their husbands carried on working (despite the fact that their jobs were equally important). The women had to put their careers on hold and look after the kids so their husbands could focus on their work. WTF?
We’ve had complaints from friends that they seem to have become stuck with all of the housework, cooking and shopping as their partners have prioritised working over pulling their weight at home. Come the weekend, it would seem that their partners just want to relax whilst our friends have to carry on doing laundry, making meals, looking after the children and pulling their hair out. Just what the hell is going on here?!
It would seem that when it comes to couples working from home, one person in that couple has become responsible for doing every fucking thing, despite the fact that they are both working similar hours. The sad thing is that it’s usually the woman. From rustling up some lunch to calling out the plumber, it’s assumed that because we’re working from home, we’re also a housewife now!
It’s time to put a stop to this and shake those lazy partners out of this misogynistic programming. It’s not the 1950’s anymore. Women are working the same hours that you are and should not be expected to do every fucking thing around the house whilst you finish work, head to the sofa and put your feet up for the evening. It’s not on!
So, for women or men with lazy partners everywhere, today’s blog is just for you. We’re going to share some top tips for motivating your partner to get off their arse and help you. One person in the relationship shouldn’t have to do all the housework, laundry and cooking. You signed up to be someone’s partner in love and life, not their bloody housekeeper and personal chef!
Lead By Example
Alright, this may seem counter-intuitive but sometimes making a point of keeping busy and openly tackling the chores around the house can serve as good motivation for your partner to chip in. Mostly they’ll do this out of guilt, but we’ll take what we can get! If you make a point of cleaning up around them and then start doing the jobs that they have been putting off, you’ll likely stoke the fire in them.
They won’t be able to resist jumping in and saying, ‘I was going to do that’. This is the perfect opportunity for you to then say, ‘oh would you do that now? That would be great’. This is a fairly sneaky and passive aggressive way to get your partner to do something but if you’re at your wits end and the boxes that you asked him to put in the loft 3 weeks ago are still sitting on the landing, then what’s a girl to do?
Make Them Your Hero
We all like a bit of praise and your partner is no exception. Rather than nagging him to do his chores, try reframing the request for him. Make a point of highlighting how much you appreciate it when he does something to help.
Share with him how good it makes you feel that he cares enough to help you when you’re feeling tired. This is a much more effective way of motivating him then screaming at him to pick his dirty pants off the bedroom floor. Plus, when we feel good about ourselves, it’s a lot easier to motivate ourselves to get something done. Your partner is no exception.
Unluckily for us, men can’t read our minds. There comes a point when you just have to talk about it. If we don’t tell them what is bothering us then they’ll likely assume that everything is fine. For example, for the longest time my partner assumed that I really enjoyed doing the weekly food shop on my own. Then one day I told him how much I fucking hated it and now we do it online every week instead. It’s good to talk.
When it comes to chores, make sure you specify exactly what you need them to do. If you ask them to ‘put the washing on’, this just isn’t clear enough. They’ll put the washing on alright but that will be it. They won’t get it dry or fold it up or put it away. So be crystal clear with your instructions all the time.
Also, fun fact, some men just won’t think that they need to do any chores unless you ask them to. Even then, they may assume that it’s a one-off thing and that the magical house-cleaning fairy must be on holiday. If you want him to do the same task every week, then you’re going to have to ask him every week for quite a few weeks until the programming sinks in….
This is the dream scenario! One where your partner actively engages in helping you to get all of the chores done so it takes less time and frees up the weekend and evenings for both of you! But how to get to this point?
Well, talking is good for this too. Try highlighting just how much there is to do, how much work you’ve both had to do that week and how good it would feel if you could get all the chores done before the weekend. Another way to get your partner to chip in with you is to challenge or bet them that they can’t do a particular task as well as you or as quickly as you. Time each other. Put some music on. Make the chores fun!
Let’s face it, your partner will likely have had a different upbringing to you. Unfortunately we don’t know many men our age who were made to do housework or cook when they were kids. There are going to be things that he is either just not willing to do or has never been expected to do before.
If your patience and your relationship is going to survive then eventually one of you is just going to have to compromise. If you don’t want to cook seven nights a week and he’s not willing to put his apron on then get a takeaway a few nights a week. If he’s not bothered about cleaning the windows every week then hire a window cleaner. Pick your battles and put up with what you can.
Sometimes the best thing to do, is to do NOTHING. That’s right – just stop. Stop washing up, stop doing the laundry, stop cooking. Stop. Let it all pile up.
Eventually your partner may twig that something is going on. At that point, you can calmly ask for help or point out just how much you do and how you would appreciate a little help every once in a while without having to ask. Be warned, the strike may cause a fight and is to only be used in the direst of circumstances…
We hope that some of these tips help you to whip your partner into shape. For further ideas on how to achieve domestic bliss, take a look at our previous blog on that very subject here. We all need a little help every now and then and in this day and age you shouldn’t be expected to do everything. Our grandmothers and mothers burned their bras for a reason so don’t let the flame go out now.