After nearly thirteen years of marriage, two children and a slew of dynamic career changes, Tia Mowry and Cory Hardrict are still going strong. Their secret? The couple told ESSENCE that rejecting gender roles and sharing the household chores has brought them closer together.

 The longtime couple is partnering with “Come Clean to Close the Chore Gap,” a campaign inviting everyone to do their part to create more equality in the division of household work. “Cory and I truly believe in equality,” says Mowry. “We’ve never really focused on specific gender roles, meaning if I’m cooking, Cory will help clean the dishes. I owe a lot of my success to his support in all areas. He’s an incredible father. He’s an incredible husband and supporter when it comes to helping me take care of the kids when I need help.”

Hardrict jokingly tells us that when he was single, he’d avoid doing his dishes by hiding them in his oven. That type of procrastination is a thing of the past, as he’s since found a sense of peace with tidying up. “With the pandemic, there’s been a lot of anxiety and stress,” he says. “Can you imagine having a dirty house on top of that?”

Not only do the Hardricts believe in sharing equal responsibility as a couple, but they’re also imparting the same values onto their two kids, Cree and Cairo. “We’re all about positive reinforcement,” says Mowry. “So if they do their chores, then we’ll go ahead and reward them with something at the end of the week. I think starting at a young age helps because then it just becomes a routine for them.”

Hardrict ultimately says the pandemic was a blessing in disguise for their family by putting a much-needed halt on their busy schedules. “Seeing mt kids grow, being with mt wife, cooking more, and learning how to love each other more in this new era that we live in was a blessing for our family,” he said. “We did get closer as a family, and our love just grew.”