The Honey-Do List

Home & Garden 8

The Honey-Do ListSince my husband travels a lot, I'm used to doing more man projects around the house than I'd like. I'm not trying to be sexist; I realize that they can just as easily be woman projects. And considering that my husband is gone more than he is home, they do become that way.
But the labor division in our house is such that he's responsible for the stuff that involves tools -- hanging pictures, putting together furniture, that sort of thing.
This also means, however, that it takes forever for any of this to get done.

A few years ago, he was leaving for a trip and I had to go away on business a day later. My mom was coming to watch the kids and I didn't want to leave her without a gate at the top of the steps since my youngest was at the crawling, wobbling walking, and "make a break for it every two seconds" stage. So since he had to leave, I had no choice but to whip out the drill and put it up myself.
Granted it took me just over five hours to get it done, but I did it.
And I loathed every second of it and the subsequent migraine I got when it was completed.
Though most of the situations don't require such urgency, it would be nice if they were done sometime in this century. And while I understand that hanging pictures and moving furniture around aren't the funnest activities to do on your days off, I'm whipping around the house doing daily loads of laundry, cooking dinners in advance, and vacuuming any chance that I get.
And believe me, I do not find any of those things fun.
So, I've decided to start a honey-do list, compiling the things that I need him to do. It's really not that long; hang a few pictures and shelves, grab the baby's carseat from high up in our garage shelving.
And given that he's fairly handy, it shouldn't take him that long to do.
But the problem is that he doesn't respond to lists like I do. Sure, he makes them for work projects and other things, but apparently the "honey-do" list has "OPTIONAL WHENEVER YOU WANT" written all over it. And I fear that he thinks if he just ignores it, I'll end up doing it myself.
And he's not that far off. I've already crossed a few things off because I did them.
I've hung it on the fridge and offered him friendly reminders of it when he's home. But yet, he spends the five hours in the afternoon we have with the sitter at our home putting together his music table and searching online for my son's Halloween costume (that I already bought).
Aside from hanging the darn list on the back of the bathroom door or taping it to his butt, I'm not sure what else to do, other than finding another hired "honey" to take care of it for me.
How do you get your honey to actually do the list?

Photo from Flickr/Josep Ma. Rosell

marriage, love, chores


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DebraA DebraA

I add a "by close of business"  date to my honey do list.  It helps and the ones in red are the priorities. I also have a list of numbers for handyman services.  Mine husband is out of town a lot here lately.

Nellyo Nellyo

Boyfriend travels a lot and deploys, but when he is home, I give him a few things each day that I need help with, that way the list isnt HUGE and overwhelming.

We also label things as boy and girl jobs, but mostly for fun. If he needed help doing a boy job, I would always jump right in and help, and he is the same way- if the whole house needs dusting, he would typically do whatever I ask. As long as I ask nicely and time it right ;)


momof... momof3inTN

I don't. I do it myself. It gets done faster and my husband appreciates that he doesn't have a list waiting for him when he comes home from a long day. I've done everything from moving the furniture to stripping wallpaper and painting rooms, ripping out carpetting and refinishing hardwood floors, replacing the "guts" of toilets, building walls and swingsets... none of it has been hard. And now my husband has bragging rights that he has the coolest wife on the planet.

Wrtng... Wrtngfantasymom

My hubby drives a semi, but he gets to be home for his 36 hour restarts, thank GOD.  but during that time, he has other things he needs to do, such as mowing the lawn, chopping wood, and checking out the van when I hear something weird clanging on it or something.

The most I ever as of him to do when he's home work wise is heavy lifting. Or something that may involve power tools.  I could probably work the drill, but anything else, forget about it.

He works all week long, and is only home for those 36 hours, I want him to spend time with me and the kids above all else, so house work and heavy lifting on the weekends are usually put on hold... unfortunately... that's when i need that lifting done... vicious circle I tells ya

Darcie Brand

I am with you Kristen! My hubby doesn't respond well to lists - or any honey do items for that matter! Although I don't like letting him off the hook because he is working...I am to and doing all the things that are needed to keep the house going. I have been tempted to call one of his friends to help with a manly chore around the house - as an incentive to get it done faster next time. I haven't actually done this yet :) I tend to give an extraordinary amount of praise for anything he does (even if I have done 10x more during the course of the day). This helps, but atlas I still have the same delima you do!

nonmember avatar MM_McGee

momof3inTN has exactly the right idea. If something is your priority, you need to do it yourself. Marriage doesn't give you a carte blanche monopoly on your husband's labor. If you're not a working parent like your husband is, you already have a monopoly on his income. Let him chill. Let him play with the kids while you patch up the wall. Really, it's not that urgent, anyway. If it were, he'd have done it already.

nonmember avatar Shawn

This is a great story line and one that is common in the dual working family. It is very much part of the fun and the sense of satisfaction one achieves by doing it themselves. I cannot comment on the level of response the man of the house gives to the to do list, other than maybe not have the list visable to him. Just have one task at a time! We know that men can only focus on one thing at a time. Yours is clearly a cut above the normal, as he appears to juggle his work life and family life with relative ease. Good luck to you!

nonmember avatar Michiel Van Ket

I'm a guy, so I'm giving my two cent's worth from the other side of the coin:) Maybe the reason your hubby procrastinates so much with the home projects is because he probably has something similar at work (where it isn't optional), the last thing he wants to do at home is More Of The Same. And yes, that means that your lists have 'Optional' written all over them. That being said, men hate nagging, so if you really want him to do something, you should probably let him know once and leave it to him. He probably feels better thinking that he's doing something out of his own initiative rather than because he was told to.

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