Tomorrow is our five-year wedding anniversary! Here are some thoughts on how we keep the balance with chores, parenting, and time.
It’s our five-year wedding anniversary this weekend!
It’s hard to believe our five-year wedding anniversary is tomorrow. I feel like it’s been maybe two years since that amazing day! (See our wedding blog posts here!) But all it takes is to realize we have an almost-FOUR year old to know it’s been longer than it feels!
While to some of you five years is still in the newlywed zone, I wanted to share a few of the ways we keep the peace in our household. From the get-go Thomas and I have “done life together” very well. We have similar habits, preferences, and goals that make working together feel easy.
Generally I am the CEO of the inside of the house (organizing, décor, design) and Thomas is the CEO of the outside (lawn card, gardening, plants). While we might give input on each other’s space, I rarely interfere with the yard/garage/tools and he doesn’t question when I re-organize a closet. Play to your strengths! These just naturally made sense based on what we love to do.
Decide On Chores
While we share a lot of the household duties (vacuuming, general tidying), we each have tasks that we started doing and they have transformed into “our chores.”
Me: emptying the dishwasher, putting away kid laundry, cleaning the kitchen after breakfast, tossing boxes in the garage (HAHA!)
Thomas: making the coffee, taking out trash, kids lunch making, breaking down boxes ( 🙂 )
And then for cooking / dishes we tend to swap. “I cook, you clean” style, or rather, whoever isn’t doing Birch’s bath cleans the kitchen. We tend to switch that task based on mood. Whoever does kitchen and not bath, then does story time.
Have Your Own Money
In general I’m a big fan of the “everything is ours” approach to money. While I know there are couples who keep their finances separate and love that set up, I have always been a joint account believer. 97% of our money is jointly owned and jointly planned through shared goals.
But I think it’s really important to have some money that you can spend without anyone caring. Thus, we both have allowances for our personal expenses. If I knew every time Thomas bought himself a toy or if he knew every time I got a facial we might start to nag each other. But instead we have our own credit cards that are ours alone to spend how we want.
We each have sports and leisure activities that keep us sane and happy: golf and workouts. We have a few weekly time blocks that are unofficial trades of time.
Thomas usually plays golf one afternoon a week bumping up to dinnertime. I usually go to my favorite workout class on Saturday mornings and sometimes play women’s soccer on Sunday afternoons. When we each have some weekly personal activities scheduled in, the childcare sharing feels balanced. We also swap nap times on Saturdays sometimes so we each get a break now that Birch isn’t napping himself.
Spend Time Away From Home
While this isn’t always in the budget, there are ways to make it work! (Ahem, travel rewards!) Sometimes we just need to get OUT to reset. The household doldrums get so monotonous that even a quick one-night stay somewhere (with or without children) can breathe so much life into our relationship.
Of course in a perfect world we’d have a weekly date night and a monthly weekend away. Perhaps some day that will be more realistic. But we really do try to budget for these as much as we can because we know they are as important for our marriage as not fighting over chores is.
And speaking of time away, we have a very special trip coming up in December to celebrate both of our 40th birthdays and our anniversary all in one. We can’t wait for some quality time together!