Unfortunately, chores do not disappear when you get older. Although the means of the consequences are different, you still have to get certain things done before you can have friends over. The responsibilities are only out of sight / out of mind when you’re travelling, with the reality of getting stuff done eagerly awaiting your return.
My husband and I participated in marriage preparation courses prior to our wedding. There were some questions asked that were particularly helpful, including, “Who is going to do what around the house?” We gave it some thought and initially came up with a quite gender-traditional list, including my fiance taking ownership of the yard work, with me taking on much of the indoor duties. In reality, we tend to barter the tasks at hand: laundry vs. making dinner, mowing the lawn vs. doing dishes, etc. With the real life experience we’ve acquired, I reckon we could do some damage at any yard sale!
The Good & The Bad
I hold an immense amount of power in this system we’ve developed, as I do not mind cleaning the famously dreaded bathroom. There’s something satisfying about seeing results in what you do, and bathrooms tend to become the dirtiest rooms of the house the quickest, so making it become clean is satisfying for me. Due to the desire to see impact in my efforts, my kryptonite is folding laundry. The clothes are already clean, so what’s the added benefit in folding them into piles? I admit it makes no sense, but it is what it is and helps to give my mister equal playing ground in our negotiations.
There is one good thing about doing chores as an adult: Paying money to your neighbor to get your stuff done is now a favorable decision. When you’re little, it’s seen as bribery and being lazy. Now, if we seek help to get our yard work done, we’re not only ensuring the box is ticked off, we’re also contributing to local businesses, which is a much more positive outcome than getting grounded and/or told off.
The Sibling Effect
I’ve been warned that over time, the relationship of people who live together transform into what I experienced in sharing a room with my sisters growing up. Apparently, resentment over who did what last can build up. You know who moved such-and-such and who used the last of whatever when you live alone, which can become a heated topic of debate with your roommate. I’m hoping that knowing this can occur will prevent it from happening at our bartering-friendly home.