The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

July 30, 2009

From the Publisher's Desk: Chores can be shared


As we all know, there are not enough hours in the day to get that growing "to do" list finished, whether it be at home or at work.

We keep checking off and adding more in hopes that we will get to it, but in my case, with priorities set, some tasks just move from the scribbled-off version to the fresh one I create every few days.

I have been told I am a "type A" personality, and, I must admit, I fit the mold. I am very detail-oriented and lists tend to be instrumental in making sure nothing gets left by the wayside.

For example, if an item is not on the shopping list, it doesn't get purchased. Nothing gets moved from my inbox until there is resolution.

I am sure it drives my husband and my management team crazy, but knowing it is my style, they have come to love and embrace it.

My gentle reminders may either spark the gulp of "thank goodness because I forgot" or the eye roll to let me know it is on their agenda.

To the contrary, my husband is very laid-back and rarely gets bothered by things that infuriate me. I guess that is why we complement each other the way we do.

In our house, based on our work schedules, family time and, of course, the chores that need to be accomplished, we have chosen the divide-and-conquer approach.

So, rather than assign tasks based on the traditional gender roles, reminiscent of the "Leave it to Beaver" sitcom, we operate much differently. (Although, I cannot tell a lie, occasionally I try to play that card!) Although I love to eat, I despise cooking. After the painstaking process of cooking from a recipe book or a girlfriend's suggestion, nothing I seem to try really hard at in the kitchen turns out great, or at times, even edible.

The frustration has turned me off and killed my passion to pursue the culinary arts at all. Yet Kevin doesn't mind cooking a meal, and quite frankly, any meal I don't have to cook, I enjoy!

Taking out the garbage is another good example. Typically, the male figure was assigned the task of hauling the overflowing bag to the pail.

Not to say I particularly enjoy it, but I don't mind this chore and minimize the need as I continue to push the garbage down until there just isn't any more room to do it _ which drives Kevin mad!

My hope is that he will just give up on me and do it himself, but that rarely happens.

There is one task that remains the exception. Neither of us claps our hands and says "Oh goody, it's that time again" when it concerns cleaning the bathroom.

Not to stereotype, but my mother had boys and girls and made comments that girls tend to be neater than boys. I'm not sure if that is true, but in my experience, Kevin certainly makes more of a mess of the bathroom sink and mirror than I do, yet I always end up cleaning.

To quote him: "That is the only job I won't do." Yet it never fails. Every time I finish the unpleasant task, he feels the need to shave, and lo and behold, the vanity has little hairs all over and I am forced to do it again. Anyone else in that boat with me?!

To instill a work ethic in Hailey, chores will be assigned when she is old enough, with a small allowance to reward her for a job well done. We are just not sure with a third set of hands, which "to do's" will become hers, but I look forward to the day!

We have found that balance that all relationships need. It is all about give and take. Find the mix between selfishness and selflessness.

The list will continue to grow with work that is never done, but to maintain your sanity, figure out what is tolerable and what is not so that sense of accomplishment still remains and the check marks keep coming.

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Tanya Shalor is publisher of The Daily Star and may be reached at (607) 432-1000, ext. 214, or tshalor@thedailystar.com. Her column appears every other week.