Redefining roles & wants in the home

Updated: Aug 16, 2020

Are you spending more time than ever before with your partner or housemates and going a little crazy? you're not the only one! Whilst some may have transitioned nicely into this new way of living, for others, the changes have proven to be a challenge. There is a little work being done behind the scenes and we want to show you what some of these steps can be to a smoother transition.

We're in a time of readjustment and so our roles and how we function as a household may also need readjusting. This can be achieved with a practical conversation with our partners and housemates about what it is that we need at this time.

  • Are there new roles?

  • New things to consider?

  • New or changing wants and needs from your partner or housemates?

  • Is there an increase to existing roles? I.e. cooking lunch, extra cleaning

The reason why some of us may be getting annoyed at our loved ones is most likely because we have set expectations of how our partners and housemates should act, spend their time, and the chores they should be doing. When they don't take proactive steps to live up to our expectations we get annoyed, for example you may be thinking "don't they know I need absolute silence to work at home!' What we are doing is setting expectations that they may not have any idea about and therefore, setting them up to fail.

Can you think of some of some situations when you wanted your partner or housemate to do something, yet they're doing nothing or the compete opposite? An example could be:

  • Not putting their clothes away

  • 'Moping' around the house

  • Leaving dishes out

  • Unnecessary spending

  • Missing out on a week of vacuuming

  • Being noisy during working hours

  • Playing 'background music' that for you is really distracting

To help overcome this we have three recommendations on how you can move through communicating and agreeing on how you can adjust the roles and wants around the home to ensure the new situation works for all parties in the houeshold.

1. Be super clear. What is it that you really want? What do you need from others to help you thrive? Is it:

  • Helping out with weeknight cooking

  • Keeping noise to a minimum 9-5 on weekdays

  • Rotating cooking lunch and dinner

  • Setting a household workout routine

  • Quiet meditation time for 30mins each day

  • Making a shopping list together to ensure you're going to making minimal shopping trips

Ask yourself, have you been clear? if not, start now by spending some time journalling this out.

When communicating this it's easy to say 'yep, been there done that and nothing changes' but what we want you to also consider is how the message was/ is going to be delivered. Could you turn to love instead of frustration? Have a think about how you can shift the delivery of what you want and need in the home and communicate this in a way that you'd like to be asked to do something.

2. Negotiating. Come to an agreement with your partner/housemates on what areas you would like them to contribute to the home and relationship, and give them an opportunity to put forward what they want you to change and contribute.

This may take you back to when you first moved in together and you had a time where you were working out who plays what role in the home. This could be that they cook dinner, you clean up the dishes, they makes the bed in the morning, etc.

Some ways that you could tackle this negotiation are:

  • List 2 tasks/chores in the house that you hate. That you absolutely can't stand doing. You get two of these and your partner and/or housemates get two of these each. These could be your "get out of jail free cards".

  • List 2 tasks that you don't mind doing

  • List 2 tasks that you're happy to do

Bring these to the negotiation table to help with reestablishing the roles.

3. Show up as the partner or house mate you want to be around.

We love this advice because eventually the proactive and positive energy that you put out there will come back around. We have a few examples of how you can be showing up to support the roles and your wants around the home:

Do you want more support from your partner? Give them more support (i.e. ask them how their day was and dive into the day rather than just setting on 'good' as the answer)

  • Did you have an argument the other day that you've let slide under the rug but you want closure? For them to say sorry and apologise? Could you find parts of that argument that you could forgive them for (if not everything in the argument?)

  • Do you want your housemates and parter to focus on their health more and boost their immunity? Show up as the example you want them to learn from. Could you cook everyone a healthy meal? Share a book with everyone or play a health focused podcast through the TV for everyone to hear? (Pretty sneaky!)

Where could you be a role model and set the tone for your home to look up to? Why not start today? Start with the smallest or most motivating thing that comes to mind.

And lastly, do you think this blog could support a friend or family member at the moment? Take 2 minutes to think of another home that may need a few ideas to help them transition and send this link to them. We're here to spread the love and tactical tips to helping you put your health first.