I always swear I will not be that woman. As you know, the person who makes it seem very easy through her brilliant delegation, but secretly takes care of everything behind the scenes. I always know that I need a life partner who shares equal responsibilities.
Parents now spend far more time with their children than in previous generations, but most household chores – including child care, cooking and cleaning – are still disproportionately placed on women, and the so-called "domestic work gap" in the 1980s was halted. In the United States alone, a normal woman from a married family spends an average of 2.24 hours a day working at home, compared to 1.38 hours a day spent by her male counterpart.
My husband is also a successful and accomplished business leader, but we have very different styles when it comes to running a house, which is apparent early in our marriage: I saw a kitchen that needs to be arranged, you'll see junk food as a snack. I did not quite understand why the task lists did not immediately appear in their brain as they did in my language as soon as he entered the apartment, completing the categories in bold and confirming them, but they did not. After an epic explosion, we reached a solution that is the envy of many: the weekly meeting.
This session, which does not exceed 45 minutes, maintains my mental integrity and allows the following week to flow smoothly – without dissatisfaction.
Every Sunday, my husband and I, without children or any distractions, sat down to discuss the tasks and objectives for next week. The meeting does not exceed 45 minutes (anything beyond our nerves). We alternate the responsibility for writing the list, and assigning the initials next to the homework tasks. We also review the previous week's list and look at tasks that have not been implemented, and decide whether to re-add them. that's easy.
I proposed this simple weekly meeting to my friends, who begin to doubt but change their tone when they see how successful it is. Couples who have previously been sensitive to domestic work are now playing a more participatory role at home. The results are real: some studies have shown that the difference between a happy family and a miserable person has emerged from the design of a household tasks system. What masks simplicity are all the reasons behind the work of the meeting:
No more annoying
Do not want any partner to chase a day to complete the housework. She is a child, and now she has not consciously begun to marry her mother. Before we held our weekly meeting, I was constantly reminding my husband of the tasks and tasks. I used to put him a list of tasks, and every time I handed her over, I wondered if that was a mistake. Have you set up a dynamic that will hurt me later? Affect my independence? How do you gain short-term gains from getting garbage bags, breads, and paper towels in one trip against the long-term potential loss of a real partner who loved me and the life of our family because he upset me? On the other hand, there are only a few times you can ask someone to do the dishes until you are fed up and it becomes easier to do the monotonous work yourself, which is when you show my displeasure.
We agreed on a seven-day course. During that period, I pledge not to rebuke him. Absolutely. It may be difficult for me, and at first, I will catch myself to follow something, then suppress the frustration of not knowing where things stand. Now let me wait until Sunday. Giving your partner the space of seven days to do his share is vital for this system to work.
Your partner becomes compatible with your life goals
Why do people spend years planning a wedding, but they often do not devote one hour a week to dividing work, family and long-term responsibilities? After several months of dating, we and my partner made a conversation that ensured that we would start our marriage on the same page. He asked me, "What is important to you in the husband?" I answered quickly: "He takes paternity leave – a real vacation – and spends some time with our children when they are born." I also told him that I expected my husband to be my father. He may have been surprised, but he did not. I return to that moment as a true value statement on my part, and accept it as important.
In short, our weekly meeting is a form of self-preservation. Creates clarity, reduces resentment, and liberates the rest of our time.
Responsibilities are equally divided
The keyword is "evenly". Men spend more than twice as much time doing gardening activities or doing maintenance and repair work, while women spend more time cleaning and washing. In our house, this is not the case. After setting our priorities for the week, we allocate them equally from categories that include "children", "work", and "home". Creating a shared sense of responsibility is critical to the success of anything – be it business or home. I never heard from my husband that something was "not his job". Within each category we are more detailed. I may be better at picking children's gifts for birthday parties, but my husband does not take responsibility for coordinating playing on weekends or communicating with our son's school bus driver.
Works (at home and work)
My job is to solve the problems of our business customers, whether it means helping them to expand, develop multi-year strategies, and create partnerships to expand their reach. It's no different from life at home. The weekly meeting is about setting a common agenda that we agree on and defining responsibilities through a collective process. If I could not do this for four people in my family (including half halves), how could I do that well for an international conglomerate?
And hey, if a Sunday meeting works well for you at home, you can always try it in the office too.
Alexandra Stanton is the CEO of Empire Global Ventures LLC, an international business development company based in New York City that helps companies in complex and untested markets.