Division of Labor
by Rachel Paxton
Dividing up household chores is a great way to get everyday household tasks in less time and with less complaints.
It's 5:00 p.m. and I've just walked in the door. I'm tired, the living room's a mess, and the kitchen sink is full of last night's dinner dishes. So whose turn is it to do the dishes anyway? My husband did them last...his tolerance for dirty dishes is much lower than mine when we end up in a standoff to see who can stand the dirty dishes the longest. I always win.
I don't really mind doing the dishes, but I do take exception to doing the dishes, cooking dinner, cleaning up the living room, and making sure the laundry's started. Especially after a 9-hour day at work. So what's the answer? Blackmail, bribery, intimidation? Why not work out a solution that benefits the whole family and encourages everyone to work together?
If your children receive a weekly allowance, you should make them work for it, and from a very young age. I started giving my daughter an allowance before she was told she had to participate in the household chores (besides cleaning her room), and you can only imagine her reaction when all the sudden she had to work for it.
How you determine the division of labor in your home depends on how many children you have, and how much work you want them to actually do. We only have one child, so I didn't figure it was fair to make her do the majority of the household chores. If we had more children who were old enough to help out around the house, they would definitely have a larger share of the workload. So in our case we chose a fairly equitable distribution: one person does the dishes and mops the kitchen floor, one person picks up the living room, dusts, and vacuums, and one person does the laundry. Our schedules rotate on a weekly basis. That way everyone has to do each job, but only every 3 weeks. You wouldn't believe how much it improves your attitude knowing you don't have to do the dishes for 2 weeks. It's suddenly no big deal!
This arrangement has worked very well for us. My husband and I just wanted the house picked up but don't want to feel like one of us is doing all of the work, and our daughter doesn't want to lose her allowance. Everyone's happy. There are a lot of other household chores not covered in our agreement, but we chose to tackle the big, everyday, most overwhelming chores that no one ever wanted to take responsibility for. I usually end up cleaning the bathrooms, cleaning out the litterbox, etc., but it doesn't really bother me. My husband definitely does his share. He insists on vacuuming under the chairs and couches, and that's fine with me. I'll let him if it makes him happy.
I. Fill in the prepositions where necessary:
- The household chores should be fairly divided ___ ___ the siblings.
- Can you help me with beating ___ these mats?
- Kitty is always assertive ___ asking her husband to do the dishes for her tolerance ___ dirty things is rather low but she despises to do the washing-up herself.
- I am trying to cut ___ ___ time spent picking __ the apartment but it’s a real challenge for me as my husband never helps me___ ___ the house.
- If you don’t want to end ___ ___ a standoff let’s work ___ a solution.
- Remember one thing: don’t aim too high, do everything ___ piecework. You’ll see your house will be fixed ___ gradually.
- Our family handle ___ midweek clean-ups as a team and I can say that everybody attends ___ his duties ___ earnest.
- The vacuum-cleaner has gone wrong. Can you fix it ___?
- Before going to bed I always lay clothes ___ ___ tomorrow.
- I’ll go on to part-time job but you’ll help me to keep ___ ___the household chores.
II. Give the English equivalents to the following:
III. Translate from Russian into English:
- Дом был в ужасном беспорядке после вечеринки и никто не хотел брать на себя ответственность за генеральную уборку.
- Ты отдохни, а я помою посуду и вынесу ведро.
- Твой сын должен отрабатывать свои недельные карманные деньги. Он должен помогать по дому.
- Сдается мне, что это умышленно с твоей стороны игнорировать мои советы.
- Перестань торговаться! Все мужчины помогают по дому, один ты такой лентяй!