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Paula Jampsa

About one month into our marriage, we sat down and made a list of chores. What needs to be done daily, weekly, and monthly. In the making of the list, we determined if a particular issue or standard was more important to one person than the other. (and it can depend on the household you came from). This list included our vehicles and yard. Then we decided who would do what chore. I strongly recommend this approach. (P.S. we have now been married for over 35 years).

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My husband had been in the army, including Vietnam, before we married. I had to remind him to flush and to wash his hands, what we call "taming" him. He has never camped out since then because he says he camped out for a year and couldn't wash properly or flush and that was enough camping to last a lifetime. I love camping and go with other people to camp. I always did the lion's share of the housework, but I never complained because I was the one home the most (usually I had part time jobs) and I cared the most. I gave up thinking he would ever not urinate all over the bathroom long ago and am glad he has had his own bathroom fo the past 15 years. I just throw cleaner all over it and wipe it up with a big raggedy towel. I repeat to myself, "don't sweat the small stuff, and it's all small stuff" from the book by Richard Carlson. I also say, "pick your battles" and "don't poke the bear". It makes for a little peace with an unpeaceful person. (PTSD) No, I am not saying I am wonderful. Far from it. Just patient, tired, and realistic.

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I am lucky that I married a man that, as a child, learned the way to his Mama's heart was cleaning. With eight children in a large old farmhouse, my husband would notice his Mom looking frustrated or tired and would go clean the bathrooms, or tidy up around the house. As I work full time and he works part time and from home, he is Mr. Mom and the housekeeper, cleaning the house at least once per week. As I am an eternal neat freak, where he lacks a little in keeping things tidy (sorting mail, putting clothes and such where they belong, etc), I can easily stay on top of that (which includes guiding the kids in their learning process of keeping their belongings sorted and tidy ), and he does the cleaning. It's a good combo! Our joke is that the fresh smell of Pine Sol when I come home from work is my aphrodisiac. It makes me happy straight away! Not to mention appreciative.

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