Ok, Dads…let’s take a look at what today’s moms go through while still working a full-time job. After getting out of work, they normally pick up the kids from school, help them with homework, make sure dinner is ready, and even do laundry. They make sure the kids are bathed and ready for school for the next day. Some moms also prepare the activities for the week, they set up doctor’s appointments and teacher conferences, and they are the family Uber to and from after school activities. I look at today’s moms as Super Moms because they are non-stop and always on the go.
Making sure everything around the home is in working condition and taking care of the kids, and at the same time having a full time job is not easy. As a therapist, I constantly hear from wives that they want their husbands to do more around the house, to complete a task without being told what to do, or to be reminded of a chore. In a sense, they do not want to be a “nag”.
The definition of “nag” is someone who is constantly harassing others to do something. The Urban Dictionary defines it as to bug, annoy, or irritate; making a big deal out of doing something small. One of the major complaints I hear from couples, especially from males is that they hate it when their significant other tells them to do things around the house and start nagging. A lot of husbands feel they already do enough in the home and after a long day at work they want to rest on the couch or watch TV. Most of the wives I speak with agree that their husbands do help, but they feel they could do more. This is where the issues occur.
Take myself for instance, I am a dad and a husband. I try to be there for my kids and be a good husband. Both, my wife and I, have tiring jobs. We try to split the housework, but it is never equally split. She tends to always do more no matter how hard I try to make things equal. I feel I do enough but I tend to stop when the sun goes down. But just like the Energizer Bunny, she keeps on going and going and going.
Let’s face it, men and women are wired differently. When it comes to the family and home, it appears that women tend to always be thinking ahead and preparing for what is next. However, men tend to complete a task and not worry too much if another task needs to be completed because we know we will get to it at one point. For instance, taking out the garbage, cleaning the kitchen or putting the laundry away are some of these tasks. When these are not completed in a timely fashion, this is where the nagging begins to occur.
How to decrease the nagging and help more around the house…
Remember that you are both tired
- Everyone wants to come home from a long day of work and sit on the couch and not do anything. But realize that your wife also had a long day of work and if she is asking you to do something, she probably needs your help. She might just want your help so things could end quicker and she too can rest on the couch. A good way to assist in the home is to pick up after yourself before leaving a room. It takes a few seconds to check and throw the garbage in the trash or put the clothes in the hamper. This is a very simple task and it only takes a few seconds to complete.
Have a To Do List
- This is an easy way to know what your wife wants your help with around the house. The list should be simple and to the point. Not a long list because then it would appear too overwhelming to complete. The more you complete something from the list, the more she will realize that she does not need to ask for help because you are helping. If something on the list appears it will take too long to complete for the day, communicate with your wife and explain that the task will not be finished that day, but that you will complete it. Communication helps you and your wife be on the same page.
Importance of Co-Parenting
- It is exhausting coming home after a long day of work and then having to deal with the kids and their everyday activities, especially if you are doing it alone. It is even more frustrating if your significant partner is on the couch not doing anything while you are getting everything done. Sharing the duties of the kids goes a long way. Not only does it help to complete things around the house quicker, but it gives the other person a break on the challenges of helping the kids with homework or with feeding and bathing them when they’re tired. It takes two to parent. Allowing the other person to know that you are behind them as a parent goes a long way in getting things done around the house.
Spending Time Together
- This is important. We become so busy at times that we forget to spend time alone with each other. We need to set time aside. This is one of the best ways to continue having a strong marriage, and what better way to build communication than in spending time together. Spending time together also means that you are there for one another and have each other’s backs when it’s time to help out when one is tired.
In the end, we need to realize that being there for one another and helping each other out goes a long way. No one likes being told what to do or living with a nag. But at the same time, no one likes to have to tell their partner that they need help if it is something that obviously needs to get done. If it doesn’t seem obvious what you should help with, then communicate and ask to see what she wants you to do. Offering your help without her having to ask for it will let her know that you are in this together. And remember that the faster the everyday tasks are completed and the faster the kids are in bed, the more time you are able to relax and spend alone with each other.
OVER TO YOU:
Do you and your partner have an open line of communication, if not what can you do to begin opening them up?
What tasks tend to be those that you and your partner tend to argue or “nag” over?
What solutions can you put in place to reduce or eliminate the arguing or “nagging”?