Husbands, Wives & Chores

Running a home is a complex endeavor. Thousands of tasks and responsibilities, but there’s no job descriptions, no org chart, and usually no discussion around who’s best at what or who’s best suited for which jobs. Years can go by, with mounting resentments, chipping away at the emotional health of a marriage.

Or, you can have an explicit, clarifying dialogue about who does what, and have it be a strength of your marriage!

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The following chart is to help you get organized and have that dialogue about domestic responsibilities. Cut, paste & print. Its adapted from marriage scientist, John Gottman, and covers a lot of ground. Answer who is doing the task now, and then negotiate who should actually be doing it:

Who Does What Task List
Running Errands Now:
Taking clothes to the cleaners Now:
Washing windows Now:
Planning the food menu Now:
Going grocery shopping Now:
Cooking dinner Now:
Setting the table Now:
Clearing the table after dinner Now:
Cleaning the kitchen Now:
Cleaning the bathrooms Now:
Putting out clean towels Now:
Keeping counters clean Now:
General tidying up Now:
Getting the car serviced Now:
Putting gas in the car Now:
Auto insurance, tags and taxes Now:
Sorting incoming mail Now:
Paying the bills Now:
Balancing the checkbook Now:
Buying birthday, anniversary, “thank You”, graduation, wedding and Sympathy cards Now:
Writing and sending cards Now:
Keeping the family address book Now:
Handling phone messages Now:

Returning family phone calls/email Now:
Saving money/creating budget Now:
Taking out garbage and trash Now:
Recycling Now:
Washing the laundry Now:
Folding/putting away laundry Now:
Ironing Now:
Sweeping kitchen and eating areas Now:
Mopping and/or waxing floors Now:
Changing light bulbs Now:
Managing repair of appliances Now:
Making the beds Now:
Cleaning refrigerator Now:
Shopping for clothing Now:
Planning travel Now:

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Home Repair Now:
Remodeling Now:
Home maintenance Now:
Buying furniture Now:
Redecorating home Now:
Buying items for the home Now:

Buying new appliances/research/shopping Now:
Sewing and mending Now:
Straightening kitchen cabinets Now:
Yard and garden work Now: Lawn, tree & shrubbery maintenance Now:
Errands to the bank Now:
Houseplant Care Now:
Straightening & rearranging closets Now:
House ready for guests Now:
Party preparations Now:

Buying children gifts (Christmas & Birthdays) Now:
Taking children to school Now:
Picking children up from school Now:
Child care after school Now:
Child meals and lunches Now:
Pediatrician Now:
Child homework Now:
Child baths Now:
Child discipline Now:
Bedtime with kids Now:
Dealing with a sick child Now:
Handling child crises Now:
Dealing with a child’s emotions Now:
Teacher conferences Now:
Dealing with the schools Now:
Special children’s events Now:
Child birthday and other parties Now:
Child’s lessons Now:
Child’s play dates Now:
Shopping for children’s stuff Now:
Buying presents for kids’ friends Now:

Keeping in touch with kin Now:
Preparing for holidays Now:
Planning vacations Now:
Planning getaways Now:
Planning/initiating romantic dates Now:
Planning quiet evenings at home Now:
Planning weekends Now:
Initiating lovemaking Now:
Planning dinner out Now:

Family outings, drives, picnics Now:
Exercise & Fitness Now:
Lead recreational outings Now:

Initiating talks about the relationship Now:
Get-togethers with friends Now:
Keeping in touch with friends Now:

Doing the taxes Now:
Financial planning Now:
Major purchases (cars, researching, etc.) Now:
Managing investments Now:Legal matters (e.g. wills) Now:
Coordinating family’s medical care Now:
Coordinating annual physicals Now:
Coordinating family’s dental care Now:
Prescriptions & other health areas Now:

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