How can I deal with conflicts over household chores

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The following are some strategies for dealing with conflicts over household chores:

1. Do not think you have to face all your problems on your own. Not sharing your problems with others will increase not only your stress level but could be bad for your health and could also negatively impact on the rest of your family, too. So share your feelings with a few people you trust. Even if your problems are not resolved right away, talking about them will reduce stress and tension.

2. Make an effort to get people around you (family members, friends, neighbours) to help with your problems. If help is not forthcoming, try asking again using different ways to explain the things that bother you. Whilst not everyone will understand or be supportive, sooner or later someone will recognise your needs and provide support. Sometimes men just do not recognise that a woman may need help because they are just not aware of all the work a woman has to do. So try to motivate your whole family to work as a team for the sake of your children.

3. Try to encourage your husband to spend time playing with and taking care of your children. Many men think that only women should take care of babies and young children, but this is wrong as studies have shown that babies and children whose fathers get involved in their upbringing and education develop much better than others and become more intelligent when they grow up. So, ask your husband if perhaps he could play with, sing to or talk to your baby at least once a day or ask him if he could perhaps bathe, massage, or settle the baby to sleep.

4. Share your problems with other women. Women often feel anxious and shy about discussing their problems with others because they think no one will understand them or that people will look down on them if they talk about their difficulties. However, by not making an effort to meet or talk to other women, they potentially lose many opportunities to get, and give, support within their society. You could try forming a small group of women who can meet together from time to time to talk about their problems by inviting some of your friends, friends of friends, neighbours or women you work with to meet together. You will find out that many of them are facing exactly the same problems as you and can probably find ways to support each other by, for instance, sharing tasks like cooking or taking care of children once or twice a week.

5. Make an effort to relax every now and then - even if all your household chores aren't yet completed. Many women believe that attending to their family‘s needs is all that matters and think they do not have the right to take care of their own needs. This is wrong - if women do not look after themselves and do not pay attention to their own needs they become ill and in the end their families have to look after them. So always try to spend a small amount of time on a regular basis looking after your own health and well-being.

  • Burns, A. A., Niemann, S., Lovich, R., Maxwell, J., & Shapiro, K. (2014). Where women have no doctor: A health guide for women. Hesperian Foundation.
  • Audiopedia ID: en021008