Do you divide and conquer or Eccl. 4:9?
We did some painting recently and it reminded me how we habitually attempt to do most of our household chores and projects together. We help each other and talk while we work. It makes the work go faster, we keep each other company, and we end up growing closer through communication and shared experience. Once, we even literally watched paint dry together! (That’s what happens when you are exhausted and collapse where you are when you finally finish!) We might get a little snappish when we get tired or if something goes wrong, but we are quick to apologize and make up and get back to work together.
Is this your experience?
Divide and conquer. We both have differing approaches to chores, so it rarely turns out well if we work together. Plus, as an introvert, I use chore time as Me Time.
It’s probably not the best way to do this – I forgot about that Bible verse and am now thinking that I need to change some things up. My husband is usually the more diligent worker, and he’s said he wishes we could work together more (which I’ve ignored.)
And I literally prayed yesterday for God to show me how to be more submissive.
So your post seems to be the answer to my prayer. Which is good. But I’m fighting it. Looks like now I need to pray for an attitude change. Because right now, I’m feeling pretty grumbly about getting involved on this board, lol.
We apply the “two better than one” to our family and life as a whole. Not in every individual task. That means within our “uniting of two”, we divide and conquer. We are united in purpose, vision and mission, but we each have our individual roles in fulfilling it….sometimes it’s seen in togetherness, many times it’s not.
We work together where we can, without really thinking about it. I guess we do what we can to help each other and tackle some large, unpleasant (like cleaning out the garage! ) together. Than the fun stuff, we also together.
We are total opposites, but work well together. DH takes his time and is methodical in his work. Lol I supply the ‘get up and go’. We are also both perfectionists, but in totally different areas.
We will on occasion work together on the same project but that is not the norm. However, we consider the objective of our goal as the sum of the parts which we worked together to accomplish. We do not perform tasks in the unity of presence but in the unity of objective as though we have worked together.
It depends on the task…As a contractor, I like when my wife can help me, but there are times, I’m faster alone. I remember one time she helped my get an entire unit of 2×4’s to a second floor…I couldn’t have done it without her. There are times I NEED her to go. I have go on service calls for HVAC, and if it’s a woman from Church and her husband isn’t home, my wife goes. If it’s cars…I do it ALONE!
We are more divide and conquer, each with specific “sweet spots”.. I do all the household repair jobs pretty much by myself – like the replacement of the suction pump and leaky gaskets in our dishwasher that flooded our kitchen floor Sunday night; thankfully after our company had left – for which the replacement parts will be delivered by the EOD tomorrow so I can start fixing it on Friday morning. We and our company will be eating off of Chinette on Thursday LOL.
Although I mow the lawn and do most of the hedge trimming, she loves planting, trimming, and raising flowers and is in charge of similar non-strenuous yard work .
She is a hard worker (as am I) but she’s had several back operations and I have to keep an eye out to detect the need for and to do any heavy lifting (literally) required by her projects. She often overdoes it and is laid up for days afterwards. We usually work together on painting projects – me on patching and scraping and work up on a ladder – she’s great at trimming the low stuff, baseboards, and around doors etc but for most other things we specialize and it has worked out pretty well for us over the years.
We’ve developed a rhythm of doing certain day-to-day chores and household maintenance individually, on a shared basis, and together (when two are better than one).
Mrs. Oldbear does the dinner cooking and all baking. However, I make our breakfast from time-to-time, assist her in the kitchen on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter, and always make my own lunch.
Mrs. Oldbear does the laundry. However, if a load of laundry needs to be done, I’ll do it. She has never had to pick-up my clothing, packed or unpacked my luggage – we each are very orderly. She does most of the ironing, but if I need a quick press for my slacks, shirt, or sweater, I do so.
Household maintenance is my forte. If a light bulb needs replacing, it’s done within the day if not the hour. Furnace filters, water filters, softener maintenance, etc. are done routinely, and Mrs. Oldbear can count on it being done.
We do fall and spring cleaning together – even schedule it. Some things we do alone (single person tasks) and others we do together (two-person job).
She’s the wallpaperer with my assistance, if needed. (We can wallpaper together in perfect harmony, although she is extraordinary at it and prefers to do it alone). I’m the painter, although she can roll paint with the best of folks.
Garbage? Trash baskets and recycle bins are emptied by either of us into the main receptacles in the garage throughout the week as needed. The main receptacles are put out each week by either of us – first available/first serves.
We each wash and gas-up our own cars, although she loves it when I do it for her (Act of Service).
Throughout our married life from the time our kids were toddlers to teens and now as empty-nesters, whenever she returns from a weekend retreat with the gals or other trips the kitchen and house are 100% in tip-top shape. This has been done as an act of service for her and giving her a break from facing any todos upon her return.
Finally, I’m ready, able, and willing to join her on grocery shopping. She (barely) tolerates grocery shopping and whenever I join her it makes the drudgery just a little bit better.
We are hit and miss on this. I’m highly logical and methodical which means to me, there’s a right way to do a task because it logically makes sense. Wifey says she has selective OCD and has her way of doing certain things that no matter what I do, I won’t do it correctly in her mind. (not trying to make light of those with a real issue with compulsive behaviors, that’s just what she calls it) There are plenty of things that we can work together on, but more often than not our perspectives on how to accomplish a goal are different.
We are almost entirely divide and conquer. Generally we divide home and farm work/chores along traditional lines. I do sometimes iron and wash dishes. If I start washing dishes she’s got 24 other things needing to do so there is no working together. We are at the “not enough time in the day” stage of life. Work, farm, homeschooling prep, and feeding the family in a healthy way all take an enormous amount of time. Paul would have a field day counciling us on being too busy. 🙂