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po-craftAre you a woman who is feeling exhausted, overwhelmed and frazzled by the sheer volume of tasks and things you have to remember for your household to function well?

Do you feel that you are struggling to remember everything that needs to be achieved?

If the answer is yes you are not alone. Whenever I speak to women, the conversation more often than not, steers towards the subject of how stressed, overwhelmed and exhausted they are feeling with the sheer amount they have to do. We are told we can have it all, but the reality is often that we can’t because the responsibility of running the household more often than not lands in the lap of the woman.

As well as attempting to build our careers (or quite often this has to be put on the back burner), women are juggling household chores,  running to activities, being in charge of remembering the life details such as mufti days, violins on Wednesdays, gym clothes to be ready on Monday, play dates, preparing the costume for topic day on Tuesday – even remembering there is a project day on Tuesday – and being present for all the emotional needs and nurturing that isn’t necessarily valued but is absolutely necessary for a functional and loving home life. Women often mention that when they return from work, they are still expected to wash up the supper they weren’t there to eat, tidy up the house and get the school bags ready for the next day, whilst their partner is in front of the TV or playing with the children. They are spending more time out of the home to earn money, but the reality is that very little has changed within the home and the expectations that are placed on them. A Survey carried out by Mumsnet in 2014 found that men were mostly responsible for carrying out 3 household chores, such as taking the bins out, changing light bulbs and doing occasional DIY.  Women were responsible for 36 chores such as laundry, cleaning the bathroom and hoovering. Also, two thirds of the people surveyed said they argued over chores. That is a lot of arguing! And we wonder why we are stressed, overwhelmed and unfulfilled!

It would also seem that a big issue is that when this is raised as a problem within the home, women are accused of nagging, it’s their hormones or just ignored. So the issue perpetuates into resentment, unhappy relationships and a complete imbalance of workload. Educated women with strong feminist values can find themselves living like a 1950’s housewife whilst still having to go out and earn money.

A very important question is do we need to make changes just to make women happier, less frazzled and reduce her ‘nagging’? Is it just the improvement of married life and considering women’s workload the only aspect to this subject? It would seem the answer is a huge NO! The impact of this imbalance has a  far deeper and greater web of influence than that. A study published in Psychological Science has reported that the way household chores are shared has a direct impact on the beliefs the children gain on the role of women. As well as that, they found that in households, where men shared the chores with the women, their daughters grew to be more ambitious and gravitated to careers away from gender stereotypes and with higher salaries. So how we divide the household chores has a direct influence on our society and career choices of our children!

So what can be done about this? Firstly, we need to educate every woman and man about these fundamental findings. To be a good role model to our children we need to share the burden of household chores. Being a good parent isn’t just about playing with them and feeding them. It is showing them how to be resilient in life and how they choose to live their lives when they are adults. To demand that equality within the home isn’t nagging, selfish or to be ignored. It is our duty as parents that we give both our sons and daughters the correct belief and value systems that will lead them on to being fulfilled professionally, happy within their relationships and peaceful within themselves. We also owe it to ourselves that we experience happy, loving and respectful relationships.

So get sharing those chores and create happier lives in the present from reduced arguments and a sense of appreciation within your relationship, as well as showing your sons and daughters they too can be ambitious and work to whatever career they want.

 

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