How to Start Dividing Responsibilities With Your Partner During Quarantine

Sharing the load will help alleviate stress and strengthen your relationship.

Getty Images
Getty Images

The COVID-19 pandemic is shifting the dynamics of work, parenting, and the home. With these changes comes new (or amplified) sources of stress, especially for women, who regardless of whether they work outside the home, bear two-thirds of the work it takes to run a household and a family. That’s where Fair Play comes in — a system created by organizational management expert Eve Rodsky that helps couples rebalance domestic responsibilities so that both people in the relationship can thrive. In this series, Rodsky will draw on her knowledge from creating Fair Play, and offer tips to empower you and your partner to share the load while navigating this new normal together. 

It’s slam on the brakes time! COVID-19 is the ultimate life-changing “wild card,” undoubtedly rocking the lives of everyone we know. If poorly managed, this wild card can disrupt your household and derail your relationship. As the dynamic of the household shifts — some parents are working from home, children are home from school — there is a need to redefine teamwork. Having the whole family at home means there’s more work to be done: there’s more dishes to be cleaned, more laundry to be folded, and there’s children around who require constant entertainment and education.  These responsibilities should not fall on one person alone. 

If your household tasks seem to be one sided, it’s time to enlist your partner to consistently and reliably own their fair share of domestic responsibilities. If we don’t, we’re going to have a greater run on divorce lawyers than we do on toilet paper!

Here’s a tip to help you get started making positive changes in your home (and your relationship) today:

Identify what daily responsibilities are essential to your household right now — and remove the rest. Social distancing restrictions have done a lot of this work for you — there’s no more carpool during a quarantine! By making sure your to-do list is representative of this current reality, you’ll set you and your partner up for an honest, accurate conversation about what needs to get done and by whom. Upcoming from Eve Rodsky: Communication is everything! Here’s how to have important conversations during these difficult times.

Take a few minutes to write down your “why” in just one sentence.
Challenge yourself to get really clear about your intention. Then, share it with your partner. Once you’ve discussed, create a visible reminder: a note on the fridge, the bathroom mirror, or your phone’s home screen.
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