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-   -   division of labour in a poly family (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=970)

redpepper 10-16-2009 05:26 PM

division of labour in a poly family
So I was wondering what peoples experiences are with being in a poly family and dealing with day to day life.

My husband is going away for the weekend and Mono is coming over for most of the weekend. It isn't unusual for him to around a lot, but when he is over we hang out mostly and enjoy each othes company. While I love spending time with him I have a hard time getting things done that need to get done. For example the four loads of laundry that has piled up in baskets in the bedroom, not to mention the three still to do. I have the couches to steam clean, on and on... Dusting... Okay I won't think about it. I feel as if I should drop it all to entertain and make our time special, but as I also have our boy its not like it is alone time.
Mono is content to just hang out and helps out a lot. I just don't want him to think that he comes to our house to be used as a minion in our crazy family life. After all he lives alone and has tons of time at home to relax, get things done, zone out. There is never time to do that at our house. Not to mention that somewhere in there I would like to have my own time to zone out and maybe do stuff on the computer. Something I only get to do if I cut into my sleep time. He is looking after my boy for a couple of hours so I can go to my studio, but I feel bad about that as he will be getting no time for himself.

While I know we need to talk about a balance to our weekend and need to work it out I was just wondering mostly is anyone else experiences this and what they do to create a balance.

LovingRadiance 10-16-2009 05:42 PM

Our life is different because C lives with us.
But most often time I have with C is spent catching up on chores and talking/hanging out while we do them together and almost ALWAYS we have at least one of the kids-but quite often we actually have our kids and more!

I think it's important for Mono to understand since he doesn't live there that there are things that need done over the weekend and things that you want to do as well. Maybe you could get the kiddo to help you two sort the laundry and run it to the appropriate rooms (my 9 year old does this with me a lot). I'll start making folded piles and he'll run mom and dad's to our room put it on the dresser (I will put it in drawers before bed talking to Maca) and take sissy's to her room and put it on her dresser, take C's to his room and set on bed etc.
If you toss a load in the washer before you start it darn well may be done before you get those put in the right rooms, flip it over, put a new one in and set the oven timer for 1 hour. Then do the couches. By the time they are done the timer will be going off and you can flip the laundry. That's load three into the wash. If the boys (mono and kiddo) dush while you do the couch OR they could do the couch together and you could dust you'll basically be done at that point with that list.

Also-if Mono doesn't mind it's good for the kiddo to see that he too does "work". Something we learned with our older kids (18, 13) is that they really didn't get that Maca actually DOES WORK when he leaves for work. They knew he left and money came in because of it. But they resented doing chores-because he didn't and they actually SAID "dad doesn't have to". Because all the work he did was out of sight, it was non-existant in their little minds. I think that's one reason boyscouts and girlscouts do things that get the kids going in to people's jobs to see what the "work" is that they do.
So if Mono sets an example of doing little chores it will help the little guy see that everyone has to do their share.... Even though Mono doesn't live there-it's a great opportunity for him to set an example for a child he greatly cares about. That is something our family has always done. When guests come over they help make dinner, they help clean up the dinner mess etc. (we often will have in excess of 20 people over on holidays including kids).

Instead of thinking of him as a "guest" to entertain, think of him as someone who is joining your family. As a family member even if he doesn't LIVE their he is a helper....

NeonKaos 10-16-2009 05:56 PM

This is real life™, it's what we've all been waiting for! I think it's a really good sign if you're thinking of your relationship around these terms. Life isn't always about thrills and excitement.

Srsly, I have this very same issue and I only have ONE man and NO kids (but I do have a few dozen cats, so work is never done).

Is Mono going to sleep in your bed? I bet he won't want to.

Maybe Mono and T can cook or bake something together for the three of you to enjoy when you're done with chores.

redpepper 10-16-2009 06:42 PM

Thanks LR, yes I need to include my boy more. Mono does a ton of work. He has been in a marriage for 17 year and knows what its all about. He does lots of stuff while he's around. My kitchen is the cleanest ever, lawn mowed, he even put in new base board heaters last week! Something we had not been using for three years as we don't know how to change them and the housing rush has made it impossible to get an electrician. We have heat because of Mono!

I think I need to make it all more fun and inclusive, maybe watch a movie while we do laundry or something...
I think we just haven't had enough alone time lately. When I go to his house its like a holiday. I love that, it just hasn't happened enough as of late.
Next week is Mono' s birthday. I plan to be sick that day and we have worked out with my husband that he will see our boy to school so I can stay the night and not have to get home. A whole luxurious day! Woahooo! Can't wait.

LovingRadiance 10-16-2009 08:26 PM

A night alone is an awesome thing. Very few of those in my 4 kid household! :)

I do a lot with the kids and C always helps out. Maca works day shift so he's not here when most of it's being done, but he helps out with things like bringing in the wood, cutting it etc (wood stove). He also helps get the kids going to burn off burn barrel trash which helps keep our trash bill down.

I find that kids tend to be really good at chores if they have a goal in mind that works out to competitive play time. Like telling my son (he's the 9 year old) that I am going to do the dishes, he has to vacuum and we'll see who gets it done first AND BEST. (have to add the best or it will get done half assed). Kid will put his mind to the matter and vacuum things I didn't even see!
Also we'll do things like, ok lets get these (list of what needs done) as soon as we can so we can go to dinner and you can have dessert! Then we'll divvy out the chores between whoever is here and we'll be done a HECK of a lot faster than if I did it alone!
Another bizarre thing I do-I put a load in the washer every night before bed, then first thing in the morning I put it in the dryer. No matter what. That way-even if my day is busy cuddling ALL DAY and I'm too lazy at least a load got clean! And I always put my clothes on my dresser when I leave the laundry room, then at night while Maca and I are talking and winding down, he makes the bed (I don't know why we make the bed every night before we get in it????) and I put away my clothes. Course I don't iron-if someone has ironables that doesn't work quite so well!:confused:
I also got all the kids trained early to rinse their dishes. Even Trin who is only 2 rinses them (terribly) with help to get up to the sink. Now the other three all wash their own dishes (we have no dishwasher) as they go through the day. Every time a meal is made-I put dishwater about 2 inches deep in the sink so it's ready when they are done eating, cuts down a LOT on kitchen chores.
The worst is the kitchen floor and the bathrooms. Those are chores we all dread and admittedly we practically draw straws to get out of them (all 9 of us)! I don't know if money is an issue but maybe make a deal with your son that if he will do one of your chores periodicaly-like putting everyone's clean laundry on their dressers-he gets a dollar each time he does it?
Also-if Mono is so naturally motivated maybe he has some suggestions for things that will make it easier or smoother... didn't he have a daughter??? I think that I read that, maybe he could come up with suggestions of ways the little guy could help out that the little guy would enjoy and feel good about doing since he knows him too (I obviously don't).

My kiddo feeds the dogs and waters them every day. Makes him feel good because he knows it's slippery and steep getting in the gate. I have a damaged disk in my neck and it's dangerous for me to do it. So he not only is doing a chore-but feels like he's being mommy's little knight in shining armour-great for his self-esteem....

Ceoli 10-16-2009 09:29 PM

These are all questions I don't have the luxury of being able to answer, though I hope someday to have that privilege.

redpepper 10-16-2009 10:46 PM

I hope so too Ceoli if its what you are striving for. Enjoy your time though, because it all gets very hectic! I don't know how you do it with 4 kids LR! I think I struggle with one! Mind you if he had some one to race to get chores done with, that might be helpful. I'm done though. Our family is complete as is!

LovingRadiance 10-17-2009 01:59 AM

Interestingly I never wanted any children. :)

My first one was a 15 year old's dumb behavior. She is so much my personal miracle. Her conception forced me to really consider what my priorities in life were and what I was going to do with my life. She turned 18 last month.

The second is my stepson and I chose him 100%. He was nearly 2 when Maca and I ran into one another again and that boys life was in such turmoil it was enough to break anyone's heart. I couldn't hold myself at arms length. He needed a mothers love and I knew how to give it-so I did. He'll be 14 in April.

The third was Maca and I's "last". Hahaha. He's my angel. The sweetest most compassionate, caring person ever to grace my life. He would give his life for anyone in need in a heartbeat and he's always been that way. His heart breaks for people as if their pain was his own. But his joy is just the same. If you have a joy he lives it as his own as well. He'll be 10 in February.

The baby-she's our gift. C gave her to us and she's really pulled our fractured lives together in ways no one expected. For her Maca would do anything. They have a bond that surpasses any expectation. But she's also spit and fire! That girl breaks hearts with her demands and insists that the world WILL spin the way she says it will or else! She'll be two and a half in December.

They are work, but two or more is actually easier than one. When there is two they can entertain one another which takes a HUGE amount of time from a parent when there is only one. It's actually much easier with all 4 then it ever was with only the oldest (it was me and her for 6 years). She was an easy child-but kids require a certain amount of attention-and if there is only one, well they get it all from you!

maca 10-18-2009 01:46 AM

Although I dont KNOW mono the impression I get is that he is a very accepting and very cool guy.I wouldnt worry so much about "entertaining him" I have a feeling that just being around you he is happy as is possible.Have fun,get what needs to be done, done and then you will find time for peaceful relaxation.

As you said he was married for 17 years he knows that everyday things have to be handled.You dont want those 7 loads of laundry to start crawling out of the bedroom:)

Peace and love,
Have a great weekend

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