Homework: Who Does It After Retirement?

Aug 21st, 2009 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

There are all kinds of ways to distribute the workload in a home, after retirement.  If both parties worked outside the home, prior to retirement, it is likely some accommodation was made during that period.  It is both unfair and tension building to expect one party to do it all. It can be appropriately ventured that homework never ends, no matter the age. It just changes its nature.  There needs to be a schedule, clarity about timelines, nature of duties, clarification of accountability, expectations if circumstances change, and an overall appreciation that one is not doing something for the other, but meeting the needs of the total household.

If upon retirement, living arrangements have changed, along with expectations, it is high time to renegotiate the work load.  One complaint, following on retirement, is having too much time with your spouse. Changing that dynamic does not mean one of the two leaves the house just to get away from the other, i.e. to play golf or be with the boys or girls, whatever, on a regular basis. 

Psychological dynamics accompany the need for making alterations in at home behaviors.  Short of that happening, it is highly likely some conflict will be introduced which may escalate and create a very uncomfortable environment.

Household chores need not be a burden or a dreaded event.  They can offer the option for taking pride in your collective living environment.  When illness falls, it is much easier for the well person to take hold of the reins and fill in as necessity requires.

Cooperative projects will enable seeing things that need to be addressed together.  It will also stimulate discussions on what and how the workload can be continued by each or either in the event of a major illness or disease.  Not always a comfortable conversation, but one that will likely need to be put on the table.

Problem solving in aging, particularly upon retirement,  means exercising a new maturity and insight for living in an arrangement which, at first, may seem strange.  If it doesn’t, your relationship is miles ahead of many.   

So, begin an inventory of the routine tasks to be addressed.  Divide the week and the duties.  Post a calendar.  Create an atmosphere of shared responsibility.  Reward yourselves with a lunch or dinner out at week’s end.  Build a 2 person team to keep the domicile in good condition and the relationship in stellar style.

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  1. Are you a professional journalist? You write very well.

  2. No, I have dabbled with writing most of my life. Majored in English and have written for newspapers and periodicals purely on a volunteeer basis. Thank you and others for your inquiry and keep visiting.

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