I come through the back door from an evening walk to find the kids noshing on shrimp alfredo. We wake early and preheat the oven for homemade bread. As the sun rises on a Saturday, puffy beignets are pulled out of hot oil and dusted with powdered sugar.
My man, the chef. Courtesy of quarantine.
Our lives have surely shifted over the last year. You may have once done the grocery shopping, but now your partner orders and picks up. Your spouse may have paid the monthly bills, but you took that over when he picked up a second job. You may have put the kids to bed every night for years, and it’s a joint effort now.
The rhythms we establish in marriage are meaningful and can be comforting. They can also become ruts if we’re not careful.
The outcome of a year of upheaval is that our daily patterns bent, sometimes broke, and we left the deeply grooved trails of routine we once walked. But here’s the thing: we can see that as catastrophe or opportunity.
As you examine the world coming back to a sense of normalcy in 2021—a reflection I have created a guide for, by the way—it may be time for you and your partner to audit your daily rhythms and the shared responsibilities.
Think about breakfast making, carpool, homework help, cleaning, yard work, bill paying, kids’ bedtime, meal making, kitchen clean up, investing, home projects, car maintenance, laundry, doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping, birthday gifting, and date night planning.
Who has traditionally held each of these roles in your family?
Where can responsibility be more equally shared or traded?
What would it look like to transfer control in an area you have long held authority?
What margins could open up for both you and your partner with a new delegation of roles?
After I came in from the walk last night, I got to work cleaning the kitchen. If my guy is going to cook, if my kids are going to clear the table and load the dishwasher, I can certainly wash the pans, set the coffee for the next morning, turn off the lights.
New roles, fresh rhythms, wide margins.