The fact that men still do less housework than women is more than unfair: A recent University of Southern California study found that it can also be unhealthy. Researchers looked at how two-earner families spent their evenings and found that typically women do more chores while men indulge in more leisure activities. Not surprisingly, the husbands posted a steeper decline in the stress hormone cortisol, high levels of which can lead to stress and illness. But wives whose husbands helped out also saw sharp declines. For your health (and sanity!), here are three tips on getting your husband on board with the evening chores.
Divide and conquer. A division of labor is fine, if it’s fair. Christine Johnson-Staub’s husband does all the cooking, food shopping and yard work—and some of the cleaning, too.
Be hands-on.** Don’t just expect him to do chores—be specific and tell him what you want him to do. Walida newby sent her husband to make bottles in the middle of the night when their kids were little and now has him braid their daughter’s hair.
But let him do it his way. What Walida didn’t do was carp at her husband for sending a kid to school with one red sock and one blue. Likewise, Christine’s husband “doesn’t clean the kitchen as well as my mom cleaned it, but it’s good enough.”