Photography: Ali Harper
If you think that domestic duties are plain easy and as straightforward as "I cook and you wash the dishes", then you better think again. Conflict over the household chores in daily life at home ranks in second in marriage, after conflict about money. The chores may seem mundane and pointless, but married couples have long proven its great impact on their marriage.
Domestic duties - or otherwise known as chores and errands - include keeping financial records, maintaining the house, shopping, planning, cleaning, cooking, child caring, maintaining the vehicles, and the list can go on and on. And when you think about, it is no mundane task. It is serious business.
In order to avoid conflict on this matter later in your marriage, discuss and agree on an arrangement early on. Set who will be responsible for which household chores. Don't be sucked into the Hollywood ideas where doing household chores is fun and sexy, because that doesn't really happen in real life. However, your domestic duties can be fun too, if you have clear division of the shared responsibilities and if you both hold up to your ends of the bargain. Adjustments can be made along the way, but set the ground rules first. If you have a list of your current routines as a single person, start with that.
The most common pitfall is assumption. Wives take care of the house and the family. Husbands bring home the bacon and provide for the family. However, in this day and age where double income households are very common and where women are also committed to their work, whether outside of the home or at home, this assumption is no longer valid. Women and men should not be confined to that thinking and are free to define the roles and set the arrangements that work for their family.
Talk it through with the person who will be sharing in the responsibility. Be committed to the arrangements and whatever you have signed up for. Enjoy every bit of challenge that may hurl towards your direction. In the end, it's all about making your family work. Remember, the longer you leave this subject on the shelf, you leave room for irritation to grow and misunderstanding to surface, giving a lot of reason for a conflict. And fretting over mundane stuff is not really worth it, right?