This past two weeks my partner and I did an experiment.
After about 9 years of the same arrangement, we decided to change the rules of how we manage our household.
As we were both bemoaning how hard each other had it, so we decided to put each other’s shoes on to see how it felt.
No, that doesn’t mean Jeremy is now wearing my blue Chucks, or even my sparkly red sneaks.
It means that I am doing the grocery shopping and cooking,
and he is doing the dishes and Vivienne’s laundry and towels.
I definitely had some doubts about this but in fact it has been extremely eye-opening for us.
The first thing we had to do was let go of control (for a control connoisseur like me, it’s been hard) over how our respective tasks would not be done on the same way because they would be done by (gasp!) someone else.
First things first, I took Vivienne grocery shopping with me, which is a job within a job, so seeing it from his perspective was very helpful. She is an adorable handful, and that took some maneuvering (also known as, she would grab something and put it on the cart, and I would have to take it back out again) such fun!!!
<insert heavy sarcasm here>
I did have to call Jeremy 5 or 6 times to confirm the brands he normally gets and questions about what was on the grocery list. It was not lost on me that he answered each time and never lost patience and said, “Figure it out!”
It was okay once I got used to the dance of keeping her away from the shelves and out of grabbing distance. It wound up working out to have her with me when checking out, because she put items on the cart! Thanks Vivienne!
She is such a great helper, she helps with dishes too.
In fact, just last night, we were decluttering and I asked her, “Give away” or “Keep” and surprisingly she opted to give away two bags of toys. So happy that she is already learning to let go of stuff!
But now for what you are waiting for, it’s been two weeks, I have cooked twice (we do batch cooking) and shopped once. Jeremy has done several loads of laundry and dishes, so as we were talking about it, we both uncovered that we are pretty happy with this arrangement. In fact, we used the phrase, “getting off scot-free” okay, that was me, not him, but we are both happy with the role reversal.
Is it permanent? Only time will tell, but I really like it!
The biggest takeaway for me, two weeks in, is how hard shopping and cooking is, so I greatly appreciate all the years that Jeremy has been doing these tasks.
It hasn’t all been wine and roses, we are still duking it out over the dishes.
I am confident we will “figure it out” and for now, it’s still all on the table.
So, what’s your household duty? Can you do a switcheroo like we did to see how you like it? You might even find a new way to do things while experimenting.
I encourage you to experiment and see what you learn and as always, report back!
Think About It.