Do you ever turn around at the end of a long, tiring day and find your to-do list as an adult, rather than a reduced one? Ever wondered why you and your girlfriends are all so busy? Always?
Of course you do that. Women know what it's like to not only struggle to get it done, but also to struggle to identify exactly what we do all day long.
But it appears that this phenomenon, this unrecognized form of work, actually has a name, or many names. Variations are under Mental load – this is the endless mental task list that you keep for all your family tasks, dental appointments, sports schedules, school trips, social calendars and so on. Mental load is a constant, distracting buzz that creates stress, fatigue and often forgetfulness.
Then there is Second Shift – or the housework that you do long before you go to work and often even longer after you get home. It is tidying up one day and preparing the next (often while your partner gets up).
Do you ever turn around at the end of a long, tiring day and find your to-do list as an adult, rather than a reduced one? Ever wondered why you and your girlfriends are all so busy? Always? (stock image)
Or what about emotional work – this term has evolved organically in pop culture and also includes & # 39; maintaining relationships & # 39; and & # 39; managing emotions & # 39; work that women do, such as in-laws, send thank-you notes and buy gifts for teachers. This caring work can be one of the most tiring of them all.
And finally there is Invisible Work – hardly noticed and rarely appreciated, this is the things behind the scenes that keep a home and family running smoothly. It is also unlimited. In other words, the unpaid jobs of washing the toilet, buying the birthday cards and knowing that the cat needs food are still on us. It is women's work.
Most of us first notice the wild discrepancy between what we do at home and what our partners do when we have children. Pre-kids, I was a city lawyer with a thriving career and my husband Seth and I shared the household duties fairly evenly.
After my first baby? Suddenly I was the standard parent and housewife, while he was my & # 39; helper & # 39; used to be. Our roles changed radically – and even when I started working full-time again, I noticed that I had to do at least two-thirds of the work to make our home and family work.
And I'm not alone. I started to get angry about this when, during a weekend for a charity walk for breast cancer with a group of my girlfriends, our husbands and partners – once at home with the kids – we started texting us. . .
Where did you keep Josh & # 39; s soccer bag? What is the address of the birthday party? Do the children have to eat lunch? Do the children have to eat lunch?
The biggest problem in our marriages, it seemed, were the small details.
Still later, determined to find a way through my frustration, I asked my girlfriends to start making a list of what we do.
From everything we did every day with a quantifiable time component, from grocery shopping to making sure the bathroom has at least one backup toilet roll, to checking homework, taking care of older parents, booking APK & # 39; s and so on and on.
Our list ran to hundreds of tasks – and it's a list with profound implications for women's lives.
It is at least a partial explanation for the persistent problem of the gender pay gap.
Husbands and fathers are committed to their careers, safe in the knowledge that their partners will bear most of the mental and physical burden of family life.
Most of us first notice the wild discrepancy between what we do at home and what our partners do when we have children. Pre-kids, I was a city lawyer with a thriving career and my husband Seth and I shared the household duties fairly evenly (stock image)
In the meantime, their women's careers are hampered, not by a lack of ambition (a common reason for women not climbing the company ladder), but by the exhaustion because they have to do it all.
But it is also more than that. Where is the time for us to be the people we want to be, rather than those who exist solely to facilitate the dreams of others? And where is the manual with a practical and sustainable solution?
That's how Fair Play was born. Fair Play offers a new way to think about how work can be shared within your family.
Think of it as a figurative game to play with your partner, with 100 & # 39; task cards & # 39 ;, representing all invisible but vital tasks needed to run a house. Trust me when I say that playing this game will revolutionize your marriage!
First take the time to discover what kind of person you and your partner are. . .
YOU ARE A . . .
New super woman
You do at least 60 percent of the household and work full time.
In the 1970s, & # 39; super & # 39; an honorary sign. But today you are probably turning into an endless cycle of work-parent-sleep repetition, and you feel & # 39; decision fatigue & # 39; and hit the & # 39; exhaustion ceiling & # 39 ;.
The new Superwomen that I have met are all competent, ambitious and successful. However, many consider stopping work and everyone reported an illness. At the top of the list: insomnia – not a shocker, because sleep disturbance is the nocturnal manifestation of a busy brain during the day.
If this is you, it is vital to transfer responsibility, otherwise you can burn out.
You do two-thirds of household chores and work part-time or are a full-time housewife.
You are a traditionalist in the sense that your partner has taken on the role of primary breadwinner. You have not necessarily planned such a & # 39; conventional gap between men and women.
You may have once thought of yourself as a new Superwoman, but found yourself joining 60 percent of British women with children making a career detour.
You often say to yourself: & # 39; This is not the career and marriage deal I thought I had. & # 39;
Time to close a new deal with your partner.
Fair Play offers a new way to think about how work can be shared within your family. Think of it as a figurative game to play with your partner, with 100 & # 39; task cards & # 39 ;, representing all invisible but vital tasks needed to run a house. Trust me when I say that playing this game will revolutionize your marriage! (Stock Image)
You like to do at least two-thirds of household chores, because as a mother and mother you have made the choice to take on more of the upbringing and household chores.
However, since you consider the household to be your sole responsibility (and your spouse agrees), you feel that you cannot ask for help or breathe spiritually. Give yourself permission to spend time with you.
You do less than 60 percent of the household work and you have a partner who willingly handles his fair share of household chores. Lucky you!
YOUR PARTNER IS A.. .
Your partner is light-hearted, spontaneous, fun and exciting, but does not respect the house rules.
He does not clean up his own mess and does not volunteer to help. This is not because he is incapable, but because you are so capable – the unspoken implication is that the more laborious, less enjoyable tasks of domestic life & # 39; on you & # 39; to be.
Your partner takes on the role of breadwinner and supports your efforts at home.
On the other hand, regardless of whether you work or not, he expects household chores to follow traditional gender roles.
If something goes wrong, he probably points his fingers and asks for praise for & # 39; help & # 39 ;.
In his eyes, after all, he does the most important job of earning the money.
At work, your partner is a competent leader who can independently perform tasks and delegate effectively, but somehow he leaves those organizational skills behind when he crosses the threshold every night.
Once in his own castle he seems to have no idea at all. If this is your partner, you often hear phrases like: & # 39; You do so much better than me. & # 39; & # 39; You should remind me. & # 39; & # 39; I forgot. It's just not something I'm thinking about. & # 39;
One step forward, two steps back
Your partner has great intentions, is willing to lend a hand and would probably accept household chores.
Unfortunately, he often bites a lot more away than he can chew, becomes unfocused and runs behind schedule while working through everything he comes to.
Eventually, despite his thoughtfulness, he will say: & # 39; It's easier if you just tell me what to do. & # 39;
More Than Most (MTM)
Your partner already has it! He values time inherently and appreciates that you both have a lack of time. An MTM always likes to do housework without giving you the feeling that it is doing you a favor and does not point fingers when something inevitably falls between the cracks.
And yet, like other partners, he doesn't fully understand what it takes to make your household work smoothly, nor the true value of all the emotional work you do. He may like to do the dishes, but does he know the names and addresses of your children's best friends?
Whatever type you and your partner are, the goal is to make visible the invisible work that you both do.
My husband and I now play tacos and tequila every week. My book, Fair Play, also contains all the instructions and a list of possible cards for you. There are four important rules, the most important of which is to immediately recognize that time is a commodity of equal value. You both only have 24 hours a day
From that huge list that I have compiled with my friends, I have summarized the tasks into 100 cards – physical cards that you can keep – with different & # 39; colors & # 39; to represent different aspects of life.
Home (family organization at home); Out (same as outside the house); Care-giving; Magic (planning vacations, friendships, the fun aspects of life); and Wild (the management of events that you cannot predict, such as family illness or job loss).
I asked my partner, Seth, to play a game with me. I distributed the cards according to which of us did what. We then renegotiated the cards so that I no longer had the vast majority.
I explained to Seth how this was a victory for both of us. It would save my common sense. It would save our marriage. For the first time he saw what I actually did.
There would be fewer explosions and less whining and resentment. We would have more confidence and trust in each other. And probably more sex. He was in it.
My husband and I now play tacos and tequila every week. My book, Fair Play, also contains all the instructions and a list of possible cards for you.
There are four important rules, the most important of which is to immediately recognize that time is a commodity of equal value. You both only have 24 hours a day.
Research shows that men are more willing to take on domestic work that they can do in their own time, while women take on responsibilities that are difficult to postpone or reschedule.
Sick visits, meal preparation, help with homework, teenagers & getting out the door in the morning. . . I call these immobile tasks the & # 39; Daily Grinds & # 39 ;, and it is imperative that they do not fall on women alone.
It is also vital that every task is not only carried out by the cardholder, but also conceived and planned by them. I call this the CPE of every task – the concept, the planning and the execution – and it means that you have to take full ownership of it from start to finish.
Not only to feed the dog, but also to know what food he likes, never to look away and to remove all the worries of pets from the mental burden of the other partner.
As soon as you and your partner rebalance your relationship, you will breathe new life into ways that you have not felt in years.
When Seth the card with & # 39; extracurricular activities (sports) & # 39; before my two sons took over, I got back eight hours a week. And Seth likes to watch how they exercise.
Once you start playing, with more time, less mental strain and more energy, think about what else you could do. . .
- Adapted from Fair Play by Eve Rodsky (£ 16.99, Quercus Publishing) from October 1. © Eve Rodsky 2019. To order a copy for £ 13.59 (offer valid until October, 62019; p & p free), call 01603 648155 or visit mailshop.co .uk
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