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3 Steps to Streamlining Household Tasks (WITH your partner)

I know many of us moms (myself included) have just said “If I could only go down to part time, I would be able to get everything done”.  

The problem when I actually tried this was that I was now trying to squeeze 40 hours of work into 32 each week - NOT less stressful. 

And it even backfired on me later when I told my husband I needed more help with the housework.  He used MY OWN justification as to why I took a 20% pay/hours cut for our family, asking “isn’t that why you went down to part-time?” 

Now, before you paint my husband as a bad guy, he’s not.  He’s one of the MOST supportive people I have in my life.  He is my proverbial “rock”.  I call him my "partner" on purpose - we are doing this life and parenting thing as a TEAM.

He just had NO idea how I was feeling. I was in this go-go-go "just have to get everything done mode" and didn't really have the words to describe how I felt or know exactly what was weighing me down.

He honestly had NO idea about all the things that were swimming around in my head on a daily basis. (Heck, there were days I couldn’t tell you the umpteen things on my mental and ever changing to-do list).

So the solution to me being able to have less stressful days was essentially 3 main things. And I couldn't do all of these alone - I had to engage my partner. We weren't DINKS anymore 😆 (dual income, no kids) and had more joint responsibilities.

So here are the 3 steps that I hope might also help you.

After I got these in place, I no longer feel the pressure to "remember" EVERYTHING and it's not all on my shoulders to make sure it all gets done.

Our days and weekends stopped feeling totally dictated by everything that needs to happen for a household to run.

1) Understanding "mental load" and how taxing it really is

I started to understand more about “mental load” and the “invisible work” that the default parent (typically the mom) takes on. With this understanding, I was finally able to describe to my husband how I felt and also realized I wasn’t alone, or weak, or failing. 

(Resources: Great article "The Hidden Load" by Melissa Hogenboom and Eve Rodsky's groundbreaking card deck and book called Fair Play).

I was indeed running my household how my mom (who was a stay at home mother by the way) ran ours when I was little - that was really the only example I had.  

But I realized MY household was going to have to be different - if I wanted to show my daughter that she could indeed have a career she was passionate about AND a family life she wants...without sacrificing her sanity and self.

2) Streamlining key household processes (take control)

One thing I COULD control was what happened in my own house.  I created processes (in conjunction and in conversation with my partner) for some of the household stuff that happens each and every week on repeat. 

I’m an engineer, so it was simply a matter of streamlining processes. We could make them much easier (so they take much less thinking and figuring out each week i.e. mental load) AND we can make them “family” tasks  (not just “stuff mom does”). 

I started with 1 at a time, but now have flowcharts (YUP, with who does each step - kids and partner have roles too) for these 3 processes:

  • Feeding (from meal planning to grocery shopping to getting food on the table and clean up)

  • Clothing (making sure everyone has clean clothes each week)

  • Cleaning (making sure the house is livable - note: not sparkling clean)

And sometimes things don’t go as planned or exactly as written every single week.  But I will tell you that when these things started happening more routinely on an orderly basis, with ALL of us contributing, it felt….lighter. 

P.S. Want one of my flowcharts? Email me at which one and I'll end the PDF directly to you. Maybe it could give you some ideas of how to lighten the mental and actual load of the house stuff.

3) Let go of control

I also had to just let go of HOW some things got done.

Because I wasn’t the one DOING all the steps, sometimes they didn’t get done how I would have done them (i.e. when your 5 year old puts his own clothes away, it doesn’t look the same 😏 ). 

But what I’m also doing at the same time is teaching independence and teaching about being a contributor to the family, which are key values I want to pass on to my son and daughter. ❤️

So I encourage you to start having conversations with your partner and how you could collaborate on making the house run effectively - so you can have more time and mental space for the good stuff. 😎

Need help in deciding how to start? Book a free call with me here.

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