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Engaged to be Married: Managing the Home Together

Updated: 5 hours ago

A successful relationship involves more than just romantic companionship; it involves teammates who tackle life's challenges together. Investment in certain skills can strengthen the bond between couples and pave the way for a fulfilling relationship.

This four-part series explores four essential areas where couples can invest time and effort to foster a deeper connection and achieve shared goals.

Managing the Home Together

Supporting Each Other's Career Ambitions [coming soon] 

Planning a Family for the Future [coming soon] 

Engaged to be Married: Managing the Home Together

Managing the Home Together

I have spoken to countless newlyweds at bridal shows and found that they often underestimate the challenges and complexities of managing chores and the home together in a marriage. It's common for couples to assume that household responsibilities will naturally fall into place without much effort because societal norms influence them.

Nothing could be further from the truth. I want them to understand how important it is to establish home management systems in their marriages from the beginning to avoid the conflicts that often arise.

A lack of prior experience or exposure to household management can lead to a naive understanding of the challenges. Communication and negotiation play a big role in establishing an equitable division of labor, and couples may assume that roles will evolve organically.

Differences in upbringing, cultural background, and personal preferences can also lead to conflicting expectations regarding household responsibilities, which can lead to frustration. Managing chores and the home as a team requires open dialogue and evidence-based systems.

The Mental Load

Home management goes beyond physical tasks. The mental load is often carried disproportionately by one partner, usually but not exclusively by women. This includes planning, organizing, and remembering various aspects of household management, such as scheduling appointments, coordinating family activities, and keeping track of household supplies.

Paige Turner, a mother of four who works full time, shares how the mental load can be overwhelming when one spouse shoulders most of this burden.

The unseen work can be mentally and emotionally draining since it requires constant attention to detail and juggling multiple responsibilities. We have to discuss mental load in order to achieve equity in household management and foster a more balanced partnership.



Daily Tasks

The daily tasks of household management include cooking, cleaning, laundry, and childcare. If not distributed equitably among household members, these tasks can become overwhelming. Many households divide these responsibilities based on personal preferences, schedules, and skills. Effective communication and collaboration are essential to ensuring tasks are shared fairly and completed on time.



Infrequent Tasks

Apart from daily responsibilities, there are infrequent tasks that need attention but don't happen often. These tasks include deep cleaning, home maintenance, financial planning, and seasonal chores. Paying attention to them every day may not be necessary, but they're still important for a functional and comfortable home.

Division of labor for infrequent tasks often involves negotiation and coordination to allocate responsibilities based on availability, expertise, and resources. By sharing the burden of daily and infrequent tasks, households can promote cooperation, reduce stress, and foster a shared responsibility for managing the home.

Transition to Marriage Toolkit

We are overwhelmed with gratitude that the nation's leading intellectuals and practitioners in managing money and the home as a team contributed to the toolkit content.

Learn more about the Transition to Marriage Toolkit

Click here to learn more about the Transition to Marriage Toolkit.


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