Here is another great guest post from Jessica Stark. Jessica has written several wedding posts for Louisiana Bride which you can find on the Wedding page under several topics. Today Jessica shares great advice for all newlyweds about being prepared when you first move in with your new spouse.
You may think you're prepared. You may dream about your biggest issues being walking into the bathroom to find facial hair lining the sink or dirt at the bottom of the tub. And truth be told, this is a big problem, or at least, it can lead to one. The little things add up right alongside the big things like cleaning the gutters and repairing the roof. Getting to know one another and negotiating tasks in the weeks or months of moving in with your spouse or boyfriend can make a huge difference.
You'll likely both be working 40+ hours a week and always feeling tired when you get home in the evenings. In these tired moments, those hairs in the sink can seem like no big deal. Deciding who was going to repaint the entryway or fix the sink is more important. Sometimes a rowdy shouting match of "Not it!" can lead projects starting to accumulate, along with dirty laundry and dishes. This why a little pre-negotiating can help out. Here are some tips on what it means to build a home together:
Divvy it up
Chores, meal preparation, important errands – you’ve got to divvy up the household responsibilities. And that doesn't mean one personalways cook whilte the other always fixes the gutter. Sometimes we go out to eat when neither of us feels like cooking. Make trades. Or even bribe each other. Offer to go to that movie he knows your don't want to see if he takes an extra turn doing dishes.
Also, remember that divvying up is not so simple as assigning tasks to one another. That creates tension and breeds resentment. Everything should be negotiable and the expectation should be that the chores get done--not that a specific person will do them. If you like organization, keep a chart or calendar and do the negotiating up front so that it doesn't lead to a nightly session of bribery and a backlog of chores.
Handle unexpected problems as they arise
Fixing the sink might not seem like a romantic gesture, but you'll probably feel happier when your loved one comes home from work and that unexpected issue is already on its way to being resolved. A good rule of thumb is, if you find it, fix it. We all know how it feels to discover the trash has been smashed and compacted so tightly into the can that the bag breaks while trying to lift it out. Avoid that. And don't underestimate the value of a surprise gesture. Mow the lawn when you see it needs attention, even if it's on his to-do list. Change the refrigerator water filter out of turn and earn that smile you like so much.
You're in this together
Remember you own the house together, even if you are a kind of dorky, uncoordinated, jersey-less team. Share tasks when you can and try not to fall into a rut. Agree to have your own little spaces that allow you to be sloppy, or to horde things that you should’ve gotten rid of years ago. That’s a happy compromise – no one can be tidy all the time.
From time to time, you’re going to have disagreements about who should do what and how it should be done, but as long as you’re open with each other, you’ll find the right arrangement for your household.