Making SMARTER goals starting Grad School

I start school in just over a month, hurrah! I’m really nervous about it, because I think that work-life balance is really illusive. I want Tim and Sylvie and I to have time for ourselves, each other, our jobs, and not live in squalor, and I wonder if that is too much to ask.

But in hopes of accomplishing this, I am going after some SMARTER goals to prep myself and my family for this transition.

The first goal is to make chores and family obligations explicit and a habit by the time school starts.

I’m going to start by consulting the website on equally shared parenting. I’m going to download their equality scales and have Tim and I take them seperately. We may disagree about how equally we are sharing parenting, housework, etc., so it will be important to use my interpersonal communication skills to talk through the lists and the expectations with Tim.

Then, I will do a walk through of our home, thinking about the chores that need to be done on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. I will use my judgement and critical thinking skills to come up with this list. The list will reflect my values of meaningful work because the list will be about the work I do for my family, which also reflects my value of relationship, because my family is important to me.

I will then talk through the list with Tim. I anticipate that the list may seem overwhelming. I will keep an open mind as we talk through the list with Tim to prioritize what is truly important, and so we can work together to get these things done in partnership. Together we will turn each chore into a reasonable list of steps.

After that, I will make us a chore chart. We will then use the chore chart to build our daily and weekly routines and habits around taking care of our home. Sometimes things will be forgotten because of circumstances or for no reason. In those cases we will learn from our mistakes and learn to schedule in chore time, or we will forgive ourselves and try again the next day,  week, or month.

The most important thing to remember is how good it will feel to have our chores explicit. It will make keeping our house clean an easy thing to talk about, hopefully minimalizing fights and frustrations over expecting something to be done a certain way, or expecting someone else to do something.

It will feel good to work together with Tim, being fair in our relationship. It will feel good for our home to be a sanctuary, and when it gets dirty, have an easy plan to fix it.

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4 thoughts on “Making SMARTER goals starting Grad School

  1. Ooh, please post more about this as you work through it! I have so much trouble figuring out what standards I really want at home and how to work those out so we both feel like it’s fair.

    • I don’t think it’s too silly, but it seems like something that would take a while to set up and then might not be used as frequently as needed to make it useful. If it had an android app, though, that might make it useful. Then there is the thought that chores should be done intrinsically instead of extrinsically — do them because you want to, because you choose to live in a clean environment… instead of because of XP points. It’s a conversation worth having.

  2. Pingback: How to Talk About Chores «

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