The comment goes “Oh, you are so lucky he helps out in the house, cooking and the kids”. I hear this comment and cringe to my core.
If he was a woman, would we applaud her for doing housework, cooking, cleaning or helping with her children? Of course not. Why? Because this is the expectation for every woman.
Even today, with most women working full or part-time, women continue to do most of all home and child-related duties. We don’t say, wow, how amazing she does all this because this has become all of our expectation.
Boys and girls see their mothers do most all house and child duties, they see dad doing little within the home although they do spend time outside doing perhaps lawns or car once every week or three. As long we women keep electing to do most everything for everyone excusing this with ‘he can’t cook” or “he just isn’t any good at that stuff” we will keep excusing inequality.
Why wouldn’t he avoid doing things, especially if she will do it anyway, and usually faster and better? This is such a fallacy.
This is a call out to all women – STOP IT!!!
Stop taking on everyone’s responsibility. Stop doing things for everyone who is capable of doing it for themselves. Stop failing to teach your children independent responsibility.
Our sons and daughters will not break this inequality cycle until they learn from their parents that equality within the home and life is a basic, essential requirement. Women often complain about this non-egalitarian world, yet usually, the ones creating it in the first place. Not all women, of course, do this, only the majority. I see it every day within my counselling rooms.
A couple enters with relationship issues or problems with their lazy teens. After a discussion, the same information is usually tabled. She has done most everything for years and is now over it. He agrees she has but knows no different and can’t understand why she is complaining now when nothing is different. She is simply exhausted from being what she believes is ‘taken advantage of because of his and the kids’ laziness’. Then the next problem is the teen children do nothing. When I ask did they ever need to do anything or have been educated to do things, the response almost every time is ‘well no’. With the addition of ‘but they are older now, so they should’.
All to be Involved
Of course, our kids should be participating in household tasks, but it’s difficult to implement once their older. When we start training our child at the age of about 4 years old to set the table and pack away toys, clothes, we are teaching them life skills. Sure, they will be slow and not great at it, but by the time they are 9 or 10 years, they will be magnificent. Kids are wonderful at cleaning and wiping, vacuuming and sweeping, folding washing and putting things away, even learning to cook dinner after helping out for a time in the kitchen.
As equally important is both parents being involved. This teaches our children that our world is egalitarian, and this is precisely what we all want. Problem is until the mothers start conducting themselves as equal within the home or relationship, things won’t change.
Some may argue that mum is at home with the younger children while dad works; therefore, she should do everything at home. Oh gosh, so silly of me, why on earth should dad do much if mum is sitting around drinking coffee with friends all day or consuming Netflix shows. Such nonsense. Not sure about any of you but I have yet to see a mum with young children not working herself into the ground 24/7.
This is a callout to all mothers. Start setting the ground rules for the independence of children and partner today. I have included a link to obtain a free e-Book with charts and suggestions of what tasks kids and dads can do to balance things out, so they are more equal and mum is treated as an equal human rather than everyone’s slave. Just drop us an email and ask to send the Household Task Book to you, and it’s Free because I want every woman in every home to have it. Share this with your friends.
Where we have equality, we have less stress, lower levels of anger and exhaustion, increase happiness and better connection with our kids and husband. A win-win all round.
Read more from LifestyleDr. Karen Phillip