It Takes a Baby to get Better at Household Chores

I’m terrible at household chores. I’m also the worst person when it comes to building furniture or running errands. I always save it for later, instead choosing to get entertained by a new work project or temporarily feeling productive by doing other less-important tasks that need to be done— like watering the garden. I mean, I eventually get it done, but sometimes I’m so late to it that I pay a good price for it, like the one time I opened a box for a desk I ordered 60 days after it was delivered only to discover it had come broken.

So as you could imagine, I was so nervous about all the work that was going to come my way with having a new baby in the house. Both Stefany and I work-from-home and we planned our work situations this way so that when we were ready for a baby we were able to be there for our child 100% of the time. If that was ever going to work, I knew I was going to have to step up my game, and the half-assed sweeps around the house weren’t going to cut it.

So where am I, nine months later? I’m still terrible at those things, but I’ve got quite a good handle on my daughter and at least in those responsibilities I feel confident that I can do them. I think having a kid makes you immediately so much more inclined to do things because it’s no longer about you and instead have everything to do with the little one. From the day Isabella was born, I handle the majority of her poopy diapers. If I’m home and not in a meeting and she goes, it’s a little present for me. I’ve got good control of her morning routine and getting better every day on the little things that I’ve realized I have to be more conscious of—like ensuring the space she’s going to be in is constantly clean, drawing her baths, and taking time to feed her good things that may be more complex to prep but are so much greater for her health. I’ve also been able to take her out more often for baby activities on my own.

Overall, Stef is my rock. She has a great handle on things and I feel like it comes for naturally for her than it does for me. As such she was pulling so much more weight when it came down to doing things and that’s really not fair, because we’re both pulling in the same amount of hours working and have the same amount of free time for Isabella’s care. For work, I’m an overachiever, and yet I only did the bare necessities for keeping the house in order? I had to figure out how to redistribute my time to make sure I was giving attention to where it’s needed.

For work, to-do lists have always worked for me, so Stef and I started doing to-do lists where we both put in what needs to get done. It’s probably something every couple does when they first move in together but for us it wasn’t really necessary. I did the things around the house that I was quicker and better at, and Stef did the ones she was extremely efficient in. (FYI she’s better than me at everything but I’ve learned to be efficient in a few things). But now, Isabella needs to see that we both take part in her care and household duties equally, and one day she’ll be expected to pull in her weight as well. So far, the to-do list approach has really worked for me and it’s allowed me to be so much better at doing chores. Given that I have a pretty structural way of approaching things, this gives me a little bit of a procedure in place that has gone a long way.

I hope to get better as I go and that things start becoming more natural for me too—because I want Isabella to thing her dad can do anything; well maybe with the exception of construction projects…I’ll pass on DIY projects for now, I’ll leave that one for the pros.

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