Husband and Housework: Getting Him to Help

It's seven o'clock and the kids need to be fed, the clothes washed and the toys cleared from the living room floor before the PTA craft fair committee arrives. As you frantically hurl frozen fish sticks into the microwave while vacuuming the rug and making three-point shots with the towels into the washer (all the while praying you don't blow a fuse -- literally or figuratively), one thought races through your mind:

"Why the heck can't he help me out here?"

One of the most common complaints about marriage, from both stay-at-home and working moms, is that our husbands are AWOL on household chores. Whether it's because they just don't notice the mess, don't think it's their responsibility, or just ... disappear when dish duty is called for, one thing is sure: We need their help and we're not getting it. But we all agree that the only thing nagging will get our men to do is schedule another night out with the boys each week. So, what to do?

Well, we put that question to the membership of iVillage. And you all came up with great solutions. Here are the 10 most effective, non-nagging approaches to creating household-chore heaven with your partner -- ones real women have made work.

1. Make a list and check it twice
"Put his name in one column and yours in another. Itemize everything that has to be done, and break it out evenly. If one partner does not complete an item on his or her own list, he or she has to take one item from the partner's list and complete it as well. After a while, you'll find a list isn't necessary and each partner helps the other. But refresher courses wouldn't hurt." -- kurback

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