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Balancing Childcare and Housework With Your Spouse: Help for Working Moms

Sep 9, 2008
I'm sure I don't have to tell you that being a working mom is a challenge on many levels. In addition to meeting the demands of your career, you also need to balance your obligations to your family and your home.

One important key to being a successful working mom is to work closely with your spouse. If both parents approach childcare and housework as a team, you will both be able to get more things done each and every week (and you'll have more fun, too). Here are some tips to do just that.

If your spouse is very traditional, it may be a bit of a challenge to get him to take on a larger share of the house duties. Try sharing your feelings with him of feeling overburdened by the amount of work you need to do each day. Let him choose the things that he wants to take over with regards to the house and the children. If you give him a choice, he might be more likely to adapt to the changes.

Start by sitting down with your spouse and talking about your weekly obligations. Write down anything and everything that you can think of that has to do with taking care of the children and the house. This includes daily chores (such as doing the dishes and taking out the trash) to weekly activities (such as shopping trips and shuttling the children to their various activities and appointments.) Don't leave out those tasks you complete on a monthly or semi-annual basis.

Discuss what each of you would like to do and the weekly commitments that each of you has with your jobs outside of the home. Plan out what activities are the highest priority (child-related activities, getting dishes done, etc).

Once you have written everything down, start delegating the duties between yourself and your spouse. You may choose to have each one of you take over a duty (such as vacuuming) or alternate based on days. Don't forget to delegate duties to your older children who can handle the responsibility. Equally share the duties so that no one feels like all the burden is on his or her shoulders. Make sure that you agree about what everyone should be doing.

The same goes for childcare related duties. Make sure that your work schedule and your spouse's are in sync. Don't plan on working overtime on a day that you know your spouse will be late. Work out a system for picking up the kids from school, taking them to their activities and helping them with their homework.

Write down everything on a large calendar so that everyone is on the same page. Use a different color for each family member and write down each person's required activities for the day. This way the schedule is clear and easy for everyone to follow. Post it in a highly visible place so that there is no excuse for anyone to ignore their chores.

Have a weekly meeting with your spouse to touch base on the household duties and the childcare. Make any adjustments for the following week to your calendar so the entire family is on track.

If you talk with your spouse frequently about the household duties and how the household management plan is going, you will both be able to share the duties and get things done without feeling overburdened.
About the Author
Jamie Jefferson writes for Momscape.com, a website devoted to helping make everyday life easier for moms. Visit today for money-saving coupon codes on office coupons as well as promotions on great cash back credit cards.
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