In a typical week, there are certain things that need to get done; things we need to remember and responsibilities we like to take care of. Even before we were married, one of the topics that our pre-marital counseling brought up was how we would take care of responsibilities in our household. Their theory, which I agree with, was that there would be less controversy in the house if we already knew who was responsible for what. We typically split up our household tasks. For instance, I normally take care of the following items on a weekly or bi-weekly basis:
- Meal planning and grocery shopping
- Most of the cooking
- Cleaning (bathrooms, vacuuming, kitchen, dusting)
- Random errands (household, pet and miscellaneous items)
Despite the plans we've made, and the division of tasks we have come up with over the last few years, I still tend to be the type of person that likes to do everything myself. If I write it down on a to-do list, it is my task to accomplish, and somehow, someway, even if it's 6AM and I'm eight months pregnant, I will get it all done. Ha. But, one of the biggest lessons I have learned during our three years of marriage so far is that B and I work really well as a team. God love my husband. When he knows I'm stressed and staring at a mountain of things that 'need' to get done, he almost always offers to help. Whether it be running an errand, vacuuming the basement or helping put away the clean laundry.
And you know what I started to figure out? It still gets done when I let someone help me. It doesn't make me less of a wife if I let my husband pick up some slack when I need it, or even if he just offers. Dinner still tastes just as good if he makes half of it, and the laundry still gets cleaned and put away even if I am not the one that folds every last bit of it.
Don't misunderstand what I'm saying here. I don't push things off on my husband because I'm feeling lazy, and I definitely still fight my tendencies to take care of it all in my way, but I am working on it. I am far from perfect, but I think this is a vital lesson for me to learn in the days and weeks leading up to Gavin's arrival. Because, once he's here, my schedule and to-do lists will be turned upside down and inside out, and I won't have the time, energy or organization to hold everything together like I once did.
By far one of the most common pieces of advice I have received from other Moms in the last few weeks is to accept the help that family and friends will offer when Gavin arrives. Whether it be a quick errand, a hot meal, holding the baby so I can take a quick shower, or just washing the dishes that have piled up in my kitchen, it will be important for me to let other people help me with the daily tasks of keeping this house running.
Having a baby is the perfect time to take a look at the way you divide up your responsibilities and become more flexible, right? How did you handle this with your family when your babies arrived?